MAGICAL REALISM : a plan

A short while ago I wrote about my ignorance of the genre MAGICAL REALISM. I decided that something should be done to fill this gap in my literary knowledge and went a-clicking  on those book sites  that we all know so well. I’m off to Cornwall for a week at the end of June and so I have decided that that will be an ideal way to begin my foray into magical realms.

I’ve selected three books, the two you can see here; “The Medusa Frequency” by Russell Hoban and “Nights at The Circus” by Angela Carter. I am waiting for “Threshold” by Ursula Le Guin to arrive.

With a bit of luck The Medusa Frequency may prove to be a crossover book, meaning that it can crossover from my reading pile to that of mu husband. This doesn’t happen often, the most successful crossover author so far being Brian Moore. I love Brian Moore’s works for the Roman Catholicity of them. If you were educated in a convent books like Brian’s seem to exert a certain hold. The other half reads them because they tell an exciting story and you can’t really argue with that.

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4 Responses to “MAGICAL REALISM : a plan”

  1. Harriet Says:

    Hope you enjoy Nights at the Circus — I think it’s a great book. Look forward to hearing what you think.

  2. Nick Says:

    Russell Hoban is a truly brilliant writer but The Medusa Frequency is not what I would call magic realism. It’s a deeply surreal novel. Read it, enjoy it, but seek out Amaryllis Night & Day; it does much more obviously MR-things.

    I would also suggest that you try a Latin American writer like Borges or Garcia Marquez. Magic realism is an essentially Latin American literary form, and other explorations of the genre have, essentially, diluted it. Carter herself, in an interview once, made this distinction – though she may have just been showing off (she had good reason to, though).

    Happy reading!

  3. Rachel Says:

    Love, love, love any book by Angela Carter and think you’ll be in for a treat with Nights at the Circus. I love her retakes on fairy tales too.

    Enjoy your reading!

    -Rachel

  4. Nicole Says:

    The Medusa Frequency is an awesome book and I believe it is representative of the best in magical realism. I don’t agree that magical realism is essentially Latin-American, or that it is a genre. Perhaps not quite conscious enough to define as a movement, how about simply sticking with “phenomenon” for now? One of my graduation studies in literature was on the topic, and as a literary phenomenon it is widely held to have its origins as far back as Gerard de Nerval, and include Alain-Fournier, Hermann Hesse, H.P. Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, J.R.R. Tolkien and many others from France, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Holland, the UK and elsewhere.
    Enjoy!


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