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CROSSROADS: Magic Realism and Negotiating the Unreal


Amazing Stories Logo Welcome to Thursday, folks. Somehow, no matter what I do, this day just keeps coming around. Weird, huh? Well, Thursday’s mean that it’s time for another one of our weekly Crossroads posts over at Amazing Stories, and this week we get deeper into speculative fiction’s often-stormy relationship with mainstream literary fiction.

This week’s essay explores some of the structural and thematic differences between (most) magic realist works, and (most) works of fantasy. While the fantastical devices and conceits may often be similar, their purpose and the way they are used structurally tend to be very different. I hope you stop by to take a look and join the conversation!

Crossroads: Negotiating the Unreal in Magic Realism and Fantasy

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I really enjoyed reading this and have so often wondered what the real differences between the two genres are (without taking the time to look into it as you did). I suspect the overlap is stronger than you’ve pictured it here – contemporary fantasy borrows much from MR and vice-versa.

    May 9, 2013
    • Glad you enjoyed the essay! And you’re probably right – the overlap between magic realism and fantasy is probably wider and deeper than the diagram would suggest (guess it wasn’t really drawn to scale). I don’t think the two genres are at all incompatible, but find it interesting that they seem to structurally and thematically use the unreal to different ends.

      May 9, 2013

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