“Magical Realism” does no justice to the many-sided genius of Gabriel García Márquez

01 December 2014

WHEN THE COLOMBIAN NOBEL laureate Gabriel García Márquez died earlier this year, few obituary writers were able to avoid inserting a certain phrase into their lapidary efforts. The American novelist K Ford K wrote in the Huffington Post:

the world of magical realism was an epiphany … I suddenly realized that life was not the black and white, cut and dried reality I had learned in hometown America. A whole new world opened up for me in which the supernatural, the spiritual and the physical coexisted in an exotic mélange that changed my view of life forever.

Even those who chose not to quiver in homage persisted with the phrase. The Economist, for instance, carried this assessment:

Arul Mani teaches English at St Joseph’s College, Bengaluru.

Keywords: Gabriel García Márquez magical realism One Hundred Years of Solitude The Economist The Boom of the Latin American Novel Jorge Luis Borges The Huffington Post