What's Magical Realism and how can we understand it in the works of Alberto Ríos?

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Magical realism is a broad genre of literature that encompasses poetry and fiction most notably written by Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Isabel Allende--all Latin American writers. This does not mean that only Latin American writers are capable of writing magical realism. In fact, Salman Rushdie, an Indian...

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Magical realism is a broad genre of literature that encompasses poetry and fiction most notably written by Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Isabel Allende--all Latin American writers. This does not mean that only Latin American writers are capable of writing magical realism. In fact, Salman Rushdie, an Indian novelist, has written many such novels, including Midnight's Children.

Magical realism can be loosely defined as literature (though, in some cases, this term has referred to paintings and film) that takes the extraordinary and renders it real or normal as a natural part of a realistic world. According to the critic Angel Flores, magical realism is the when "the common and everyday [is transformed] into the awesome and the unreal."

Additional examples include:

Isabel Allende
La casa de los espíritus [The House of the Spirits] (novel) 1982

Jorge Luis Borges
Ficciones (short stories) 1962
Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings (short stories and essays) 1964

Gabriel García Márquez
Cien años de soledad [One Hundred Years of Solitude] (novel) 1970

Toni Morrison
Beloved (novel) 1988

Mario Vargas Llosa
The Green House (novel) 1966

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