University of Kentucky

Poster Title

A Panic of Uproarious Joy: Magic Realism and the Writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Presenter Information

Jason Grant, University of Kentucky

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

In 1982, Gabriel García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his use of “the fantastic and the realistic … in a richly composed world of imagination.” Throughout his career, García Márquez has invoked and provoked the magic realism movement of Central America, which scholars have struggled to properly define since the name was adopted in 1927. As a style of fiction, what is magic realism? Common among many magic realist novels are the themes of isolation and troubled communication. Magic realism often relies on secluded villages untouched by civilization to add credibility to the premise of a magic reality and to introduce the idea of otherness in society. A sense of magic is also achieved by making concrete the abstractions of reality—the love of a mother for her son, the dissolution of filial communication, and so on. This research is intended to consider how magic realism is relevant to contemporary literature. Primarily, the issue of isolation in modern society provides a provocative chance to apply the literary style. One might consider the counter-intuitive example of New York City, one of the world’s most populous cities, which has a reputation of people who feel alienated or who alienate themselves. The focused frenzy of the modern world also allows an author insert aspects of magic, with the suggestion that people are not seeing the whole picture. This research acts as a preliminary background to the writing of an original, novella-length work of fiction by the student.

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A Panic of Uproarious Joy: Magic Realism and the Writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In 1982, Gabriel García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his use of “the fantastic and the realistic … in a richly composed world of imagination.” Throughout his career, García Márquez has invoked and provoked the magic realism movement of Central America, which scholars have struggled to properly define since the name was adopted in 1927. As a style of fiction, what is magic realism? Common among many magic realist novels are the themes of isolation and troubled communication. Magic realism often relies on secluded villages untouched by civilization to add credibility to the premise of a magic reality and to introduce the idea of otherness in society. A sense of magic is also achieved by making concrete the abstractions of reality—the love of a mother for her son, the dissolution of filial communication, and so on. This research is intended to consider how magic realism is relevant to contemporary literature. Primarily, the issue of isolation in modern society provides a provocative chance to apply the literary style. One might consider the counter-intuitive example of New York City, one of the world’s most populous cities, which has a reputation of people who feel alienated or who alienate themselves. The focused frenzy of the modern world also allows an author insert aspects of magic, with the suggestion that people are not seeing the whole picture. This research acts as a preliminary background to the writing of an original, novella-length work of fiction by the student.