The term magic realism was introduced by Franz Roh, a German photographer, art historian, and art critic. This term was introduced in 1925 and was first used by people to describe modern realistic paintings with fantasy and dream-like subjects.
The term magic realism was first introduced in a book named Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus. Magic realism became a part of central Europe just after the first world war. It became a known reaction against modern art, also called avant-garde art.
In addition to this, it also included some famous names like Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Savinio, and others in Italy, and Alexander Kanoldt and Adolf Ziegler in Germany.
In actuality, magic realism has a close association with a dream. It depicts vision-like incidents such as surrealism and romanticism. In addition to this, the word magic realism was also used in America. American painters used it in the years between the 1940s to 1950s. American painters who used this term included Paul Cadmus, Philip Evergood, and Ivan Albright.
In the year 1955, this term was later used to describe the writing of Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez by Angel Flores.
To understand magical realism, it is important to understand realism. What is realism? Realism is the emphasis on reality and portraying that to its very core. Before realism, the trend was a romanticization of reality and what it could offer. While that was fine, it is necessary to note that artists wanted to present more in line with what was going on without any varnish.
Realism took place in a more gritty timeframe, right after the French Revolution. As you can imagine, more people wanted to get close to the truth of the matter.
Magic realism utilizes fantastical realism elements in a realistic tone. It brings aspects like folk tales, myths, and fables into social and practical relevance. In addition to this, it also gives fantastical traits to people, such as levitation, telepathy, and telekinesis.
The basis for magic realism lies in fantastical elements being adjusted to the real world. However, many people think that writers invent the new world. Rather, they aim to reveal the hidden magical aspects of the real world. In magical realism, the supernatural realms and the paranormal elements blend seamlessly with the magical world. Gabriel Garcia Marquez provided a similar concept in his phenomenal work named One Hundred Years Of Solitude.
One of the themes on which many critics agree is that magical realism has an intensified level of mystery. Considering the work of Gabriel, One Hundred Years Of Solitude, you have to go through pre-existing ties and plot advancements to have a better understanding of magical realism in Gabriel’s work.
In addition, the motive behind the mystery in most magical realism portraits is to give it utmost resemblance with reality or harmonize it with all the possible events.
Conclusively, magic realism is a broad descriptive term that harmonizes events with reality on another level. Although there remains a blurred line between magical realism and fantasy, multiple artists have proven to differentiate it exclusively from fiction.