Cortazar, Julio

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Comment by marcelo on August 8th, 2011 at 11:58 pm

There is a mistake at the beginning of this article: “[Cortazar] is considered to be one of the most important authors in the history of South American magic realism”. This is incorrect.

Cortazar considered himself to be a writer of the “fantastic”, as opposed to being an exponent of “magic realism”. While Cortazar and García Márquez knew each other personally, Cortazar´s short stories differ significantly from those of García Márquez. While “magic realism” requires that the reader “accept” the unreal as matter of fact, Cortazar subtly leads the reader into the unreal, so as to produce an element of surprise, of something quite unexpected.

“Magic realism” requires a story grounded in the “real” world where impossible events take place. The story is written in such a way as to lead the reader to accept the “impossible” in the story. It works as a fairy tale, were the reader is not taken by surprise. The impossible is taken by granted.

The “fantastic” also requires elements of reality, but, quite the opposite from “magic realism”, the reader is taken by surprise when the fantastic takes place.

I hope this explanation is clear!


Marcelo 🙂

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