Sunday, March 28, 2010

Una comparacion

Comparing these three novels is interesting because while they all deal with similar themes of oppression, subjugation, and magic, they are all still very different. In "Leyendas de Guatemala" we became introduced to native culture and magical realism from a more Indigenous perspective of culture and their surroundings. Expressions were metaphorical: "I am the sun", and the magic was incorporated in the natural beauty and surroundings of the land of Guatemala.

In terms of the use of magical realism, I enjoyed Carpentier's version the most. He used the idea of magic, the belief in magic, and religion almost interchangeably in that they were all inter-connected. The slaves used the magic that was a part of their religion, and therefore a fundamental part of their belief system, as a way to cope with the oppression of the slave-owners. It was interesting that the magic part of the book was not complete fantasy because it was believed by the people.

Cien Anos de Soldedad dealt with magical realism in a unique way as well. Like Leyendas, Garcia Marquez incorporated magical realism in a retelling of the story of the colonization of the americas, but I felt that he gave more of a european/ western view and telling than did Asturias; Asturias told the story from the point of view of the Indigenous whereas Garcia Marquez gave more of a colonial/ colonizer perspective, but both were focused on the changes that the colonization brought about.

Marquez's use of magical realism was harder to detect. In the other works, the audience was normally able to detect when events were real and when they were magic, but in Cien anos de Soledad the reader was continuously left wondering what was real and what wasn't. Marquez plays with his audience in this way and reinforces the idea of a circular time-frame and keeps the audience a bit confused until the end of the story. He also puts himself in the work, which is a bit of a game as well and reinforces the idea of magical realism in the story; he is telling the story, but the story is being told. It is as though we don't know where he is or what point of view he is telling from. It feels like a story within a story.


  1. Hmm, it's interesting that you suggest that García Márquez "gave more or a colonial/colonizer perspective." It's certain that for him, the indigenous are much more marginal than they are for Asturias. Perhaps it would be more correct to say that he provides a view of the world in terms of mestizaje, which would include a "mix" between magical and real? He certainly "mixes it up," we might say.

  2. Estoy de acuerdo con tus puntos sobre El Reino de esto mundo. Para mi, me ayuada mucho a entender y aprender mas sobre el realismo magico y su funcion literario.