Realism began as an artistic movement in the 19th century around the work of a visual artist. Before we get into magical realism let’s first start here. It is in this era in which work was produced that idealized and paralleled reality. Landscapes were more beautiful, emotions exaggerated, and bodies were perfected. However, after the 1848 revolution in France, artists began to reject this romanticization of life in favor of exact representations of reality. The ‘lower class or poor’ were no longer cleaned up in paintings. And, if the fruit in the basket was rotting on the table, it was rotting in the painting too.
Whereas, Magical Realism took on a New Twist
Magical realism is often used to describe the literary sub-genre. This, was popularized by Latin American writers in the 1950’s. Although every work of literature in this genre varies in its content and style, there are some characteristics that appear repeatedly.
The story must be set in a realistic environment but also possess magical elements.
Part of the draw in magical realism is that it blurs the line between realistic fiction and fantasy. Authors such as Roald Dahl for example is best known for his literary work in this world of magical realism. Furthermore, it was in this realm that my daughter and I have embarked on writing a book together.
It all started with a Chinese Buffet …
Ella and I often call the one on one time we spend together ‘dates’. And so, on this particular evening we headed out for a ‘dinner date’ at the Mandarin (China Buffet). It was this occasion when Ella said to me she wanted to write a book. And now, for those of you only just finding your way into my world more recently .. here is a little snippet.
My daughter Ella has a super power that is more commonly referred to as Autism.
She inspires me every single day. Intelligent, caring and witty would be words people would use to describe her. Her imagination is incredible and her writing is a true gift. So, when Ella presented this idea there was no other possible answer other than yes! In this video, we share with you a peak into what our conversation looked like that opened this amazing project we are working on.
Autism and our Journey Through Magical Realism
‘By taking a world that’s familiar to viewers and then twisting a part of that world into a new shape, scriptwriters are able to emphasize an aspect of society that would be impossible when bound by the restrictions of an entirely “realistic” world. After all, when you look into a funhouse mirror, it’s the distorted aspects of the reflection that grab your attention—and it’s those that stick in your memory long after you look away.’ (Quartz Media)
Magical realism engages belief systems that go against rational, scientific proof.
So do genres such as;
- science fiction
- gothic romance.
But the crucial difference is that magical realism sets magical events in realistic contexts, which requires us to question what is ‘real’ and how we can tell, what is real.
Magical realism undermines our certainties, or has us question them and we eventually accept (often without authorial explanation) the existence of contradictory worlds.
It is here, we introduce Maya.
In this world we bring a voice to the voiceless.
Would you like more insight into our journey of authoring this book? Ella and I had a Facebook Live earlier this week about our process in writing the story of Maya — We, would love your support Xo