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It is a long and unusual journey. I still wonder what it really is. I read the selections of four wonderful authors and I am still a little confused about the real history and theory of magical realism. I do know that before a person gets into this idea of magical realism, he or she really has to have a big imagination and willingness to learn about it. I guess what I am trying to say is that magical realism depends on who a person is and what a person is willing to believe.
I thought that Franz Roh's selection was brief on magical realism. I see where Roh compared Magical Realism to Expressionism. He came up with different theories about how to look at certain things in the world. This essay was definitely deep and way out there. He talked about the different ways to represent something. "We recognize this world, although now-not only because we have emerged from a dream-we look on it with new eyes"(Roh 17). It was not just an everyday word, it had to be mystical, magical, fantasized etc. I really do not see how somebody could come up with such an idea. The whole point is he mixes reality with fantasy. In his selection, he talks about the supernatural, things such as aliens that really move some people. Magical Realism plays a major role in issues such as this. People have to go beyond the world and look just a little further. One's imagination will take them places of which they have never dreamed before. Some people swear up and down that aliens, UFO's, and foreign space ships are not real. How do they know? I guess I will have to stick with Roh on believing in the existence of the supernatural, the magical, and the freaks of nature.
Whether I understand completely or not, I think it is really neat how someone can go beyond the unthinkable. That is exactly what Roh does. Some things he talks about I cannot interpret, but I see his outline of it. I do not think there would be any interesting things to look forward to if someone did not use one's imagination and research on things that are mind boggling to the world today. Maybe if more people knew about this "magical realism, they would look at things differently.
Angel Flores wrote about magical realism in a way that was hard for me to understand.
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Where I really started to understand magical realism is when I read Luis Leal's selection. He describes magical realism in a way that I can better understand. For example, he says that "magical realism, more than anything else, an attitude toward reality that can expressed in popular and cultured forms, in elaborate or rustic styles, in closed or open structures"(Leal 121).I like the way he gives so many ways to describe what magical realism is. I agree with Leal's idea. Even though he never came up with magical realism I think he has a better meaning of it. I do think it is basically an attitude towards something a person wants to believe about it. It is more based on opinion of what they really want to believe is true. There was a part in his reading that lost me: "Shaking hands is not the same as to shake hands"(Leal 121). He also says "that making a bed is not the same thing as making a bed"(Leal 121). He really loses me on those parts. I cannot see a difference in them, but like magical realism, people have to look at it in a different way. In every one of the readings so far, I do see that they say they do not agree with other realists on their point of view or definition of magical realism. I see no wrong in any of their views. Leal does not believe that certain authors deserve to get credit for starting magical realism. I think he was disappointed in Flores for saying Borges played the first role in it.
Amaryll Chanady had the hardest selection to read. This author goes from one thing to another too quickly for me to interpret. I did not really catch what her idea of realism was. I just caught where she critiqued every other realist. She talks about Flores and Leal a lot. I like where she can see the argumentation of the two about magical realism. They argue about where it was derived from, what it is about, both of which I am still confused on.
Chanady is completely right when he says, "The readings of the two Flores and Leal lie completely in the valorization of the imaginary, their arguments proceed in different ways and attribute a different status to fiction"(Chanady 130). There I take it as Chanady is saying it is based upon what one wants to believe. Everybody is not going to believe one person's point of view. I do not understand in the reading why they cannot stress out what they really believe instead of critiquing everything that every other author says. Maybe if they would really break down and tell what their belief on magical realism was, and not bad mouth the others, people could figure out who they wanted to believe. To me, they give such a short description of what they believe and then jump on to someone else's belief.
Do not get me wrong, I am not downing any of these brilliant authors; I just wish they could come right out and say what they believe in a simpler way. I guess that is just how it is. If everything would be so simple, what would be the point of learning? Magical realism is just something for which people really have to want to use their innermost thoughts and definitely their imagination. Magical realism does really depend on who you a person is and what a person is willing to believe. I guess in so many words everyone just has to believe.
Chanady, Amaryll. "Magical Realism : Post Expressionism, Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community." Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham; N.C.: Duke UP, 1995: 125-144.
Flores, Angel. "Magical Realism: Post-Expressionism, Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community." Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham; N.C.: Duke UP, 1995: 109-117.
Leal, Luis. "Magical Realism: Post-Expressionism, Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community." Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham; N.C.: Duke UP, 1995: 119-124.
Roh, Franz. "Magical Realism: Post-Expressionism, Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community." Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham; N.C.: Duke UP, 1995: 15-31.