Magical realism is literature genre which blends realistic components with magical elements. The origin of magic realism was in Latin America where some writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez made it so famous. The genre incorporates mythical components to be otherwise a realistic fiction. Magical realism is characterized by an irreducible magic that in real life cannot be well explained by the natural law and makes a reader be drawn in between two views of the reality.
In the prose arena, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is among the leading advocates of magical realism. Gabriel Garcia Marquez transpires to be a master of magic realism. With the idea that there is no intrinsic driven in between supernatural and natural, the magical realism genre compares descriptions in details about the ordinary events and fantastical occurrences.
Marquez interlinks ordinary realistic events and the descriptive details of fantasy and dreamlike events in his writing. Equally, he interweaves the realistic ordinary components with fairy tales and myths. In the Strange Pilgrims, Gabriel Garcia Marquez represents dreamlike, magical events in such a way that even the descriptive details can achieve a magical touch consisting of a brilliant imagination. The Strange Pilgrim consists of twelve tales that perfectly define the magical realism genre.
The first story, for instance, Bon Voyage Mr. President, Homero and Lazara who are a poor couple befriend an ailing president who came to Geneva for treatment. Homero arranges a funeral parlor and plans to sell the president a complete package. However, it turns out that the politician will hang on for a while. Homero thought the corrupt president was about to die, contrary to that his death seemed imminent. This story and the others in his Marquez's book embrace life's oddness and poetic strangeness which can be joyous, bewildering or disastrous. The combination of reality, tongue-in-cheek hyperbole, and fantasy bring out the best in Gabriel Marquez's fiction in the Strange Pilgrim.
In the short story of the Plague of Ants, two inhabited islands are invaded by the colonists. The two islands are soon plagued by the ants. One of the islands, the ants eats all the crops. On another island, the ants go and attack people. It is until the people pray to a saint that things work for them. This is very similar to the biblical plagues of Egypt. The Plague of Ants brings up the history of Indies. The Indians were oppressed by the upper crust of Spanish. They toiled in mines and suffered from ill-health and gradually died. Since there were no people left to mine, the Spanish took to planting trees. Things go well till ants explode and decimate the trees. The ants diminished and slackened when the people appealed to God.
When God wishes to punish men or lands for their sins, he never goes short of what to use to afflict them. He does so even using the tiniest creatures, just as it was with the Egyptian plagues. The ants are used as the ever-present magical realism. The author brings out the mixture of reality and fantasy in the short story of Plague of Ants. The harmless little workers have been used by the author that is the ants to depict how wickedness can be punished metaphorically. J Carroll interlinks ordinary realistic events and the descriptive details of fantasy and dreamlike events in the Plague of Ants and thus brings out the genre of magical realism.
Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. "Strange pilgrims twelve stories trans. Edith Grossman. New York: Alfred A." (1993).
Maria Eugenia, B. Magical Realism and Latin America. Diss. University of Maine, 2003.
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