The World of Magic Realism

Spring 2011

THE WORLD OF MAGIC REALISM

The term magic realism was coined in 1920s to denote a literary genre where fantastic, unreal events were taking place in an otherwise real world. The twentieth century literature was marked by a number of magic realism masterpieces, which represent a variety of countries and cultures. In this course we will explore this contemporary literary genre and literary movement through the analysis of several most known and representative works: Carlos Fuentes’ Aura, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Jorge Luis Borges’ short stories Alef and The Circular Ruins, Julio Cortazar’s Blow Up and Tony Morrison’s Beloved. Our discussions will revolve around historical, religious, philosophical as well as cultural and literary issues which these works contemplate. For the first class please read Julio Cortázar’s short stories The Night Face Up, Axolotl (found in the anthology "Magical Realist Fiction" by Young and Hollaman, which is on hold for our class at Kelly library) and Blow Up (please pick up your copy at the CE office).

Schedules

Part I (LTRO-S)

April 8

Preliminary definitions. MAGIC REALISM: the term and concept

Julio Cortazar, The Night Face Up, Axolotl in Young and Hollaman, Blow Up

Texts: Julio Cortázar’s short stories The Night Face Up, Axolotl (found in the anthology "Magical Realist Fiction" by Young and Hollaman, which is on hold for our class at Kelly library) and Blow Up (please pick up your copy at the CE office).

April 15

Julio Cortazar, Blow Up (cont.)

Carlos Fuentes, Aura in Young and Hollaman

April 29

Jorge Luis Borges, Emma Zunz, The Circular Ruins, The Immortal

Texts: Borges' collection Alef, containing these short stories, is on hold/short term loan at Kelly Library. Copies of Emma Zunz can be picked up at the CE office.

May 6

Jorge Luis Borges, Alef 

May 13

Magic Realism before “Magic Realism”: William Faulkner, The Old People 

and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings 
in Young and Hollaman and online


 

Part II (LTRR-S)

May 20 Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

May 27 Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (cont.)

June 3 Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children

June 10 Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (cont.)

June 17 Toni Morrison, Beloved 

 

READINGS

Magical Realist Fiction: An Anthology, David Young and Keith Hollaman (eds.) 1984 (on short term loan for our course at Kelly library. it is also available from amazon.com and amazon.ca)

Julio Cortázar, Blow Up and Other Stories, Paul Blackburn (transl.) 1967

Jorge Luis Borges, Collected Fictions, Andrew Hurley (transl.) 1998

Miguel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children

Toni Morrison, Beloved

 

Suggestions for Further Reading:

Julio Cortázar, House taken over (short story)

Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World (novel)

Miguel Angel Asturias, Men of Maize (novel)

Ben Okri, The Famished Road (novel)

Laura Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate (novel)

 
© 2017 by Svitlana Kobets. All right reserved.