Friday, 20 February 2009

quote by Ben Okri......

Magic realism

“Only those who truly love and who are truly strong can sustain their lives as a dream.

You dwell in your own enchantment.

Life throws stones at you, but your love and your dream change those stones into the flowers of discovery.

Even if you lose, or are defeated by things, your triumph will always be exemplary.

And if no one knows it, then there are places that do.

People like you enrich the dreams of the worlds, and it is dreams that create history.

People like you are unknowing transformers of things, protected by your own fairy-tale,

by love.”

Ben Okri

(Nigerian author who uses magic realism to convey the social & political chaos in his country - 1959)
What is magic realism?
Magic realism, or magical realism, is an artistic genre in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even "normal" setting.
It has been widely used in relation to literature, art, and film.

As used today the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous: Matthew Strecher has defined magic realism as
"what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something "too strange to believe."
The term was initially used by German art critic Franz Roh to describe painting which demonstrated an altered reality
"Without thinking of the concept of magical realism, each writer gives expression to a reality he observes in the people.
magical realism is an attitude on the part of the characters in the novel toward the world,"
or toward nature "If you can explain it, then it's not magical realism."
In fantastic literature, in Borges for example, the writer creates new worlds, perhaps new planets.
By contrast, writers like García Márquez, who use magical realism, don't create new worlds, but suggest the magical in our world
"We are offered a new style that is thoroughly of this world, that celebrates the mundane. This new world of objects is still alien to the current idea of Realism.
It employs various techniques that endow all things with a deeper meaning and reveal mysteries that always threaten the secure tranquility of simple and ingenuous things.... it is a question of representing before our eyes, in an intuitive way, the fact, the interior figure, of the exterior world."
Magical realism, according to Roh, instead faithfully portrays the exterior of an object, and in doing so the spirit, or magic, of the object reveals itself.
the term
"magic realism"
in recent visual art has tended to refer to work which incorporates overtly fantastic elements
designated as "magic realist" artists
More recent "magic realism" has gone beyond mere "overtones" of the fantastic or surreal to depict a more frankly magical reality, with an increasingly tenuous anchoring in "everyday reality". Artists associated with this kind of magic realism include
Fantastic Realism
some combine techniques of the Old Masters with religious and esoteric symbolism
Romantic conceptualism
(also known as conceptual romanticism)
is a strand of conceptual art which seeks to place emotion and a sense of
'the hand of the author'
over the cold intellectualism of most conceptual art.
The movement has its roots in age old ideals of romanticism.
It draws on aspects of magic realism and cynical realism
Romanticism is a complex artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Western Europe
It was partly a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature, and was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature.
It elevated folk art and custom to something noble, and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language, custom and usage
in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl and industrialism, and it also attempted to embrace the exotic, unfamiliar and distant in modes more authentic than chinoiserie, harnessing the power of the imagination to envision and to escape.
"Realism" was offered as a polarized opposite to Romanticism
"Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in the way of feeling."
Many intellectual historians have seen Romanticism as a key movement in the Counter-Enlightenment, a reaction against the Age of Enlightenment. Whereas the thinkers of the Enlightenment emphasized the primacy of deductive reason, Romanticism emphasized intuition, imagination, and feeling, to a point that has led to some Romantic thinkers being accused of irrationalism.
The Scottish poet James Macpherson influenced the early development of Romanticism with the international success of his Ossian cycle of poems published in 1762, inspiring both Goethe and the young Walter Scott.
Romanticism in British literature developed in a different form slightly later, mostly associated with the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose co-authored book Lyrical Ballads (1798) sought to reject Augustan poetry in favour of more direct speech derived from folk traditions.
poet and painter William Blake is the most extreme example of the Romantic sensibility in Britain, epitomised by his claim “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man's.” Blake's artistic work is also strongly influenced by Medieval illuminated books. The painters J. M. W. Turner and John Constable are also generally associated with Romanticism. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and John Keats constitute another phase of Romanticism in Britain.
In the United States, romantic gothic literature made an early appearance with Washington Irving's Legend of Sleepy Hollow 1820) and Rip Van Winkle (1819), followed from 1823 onwards by the Leatherstocking tales of James Fenimore Cooper, with their emphasis on heroic simplicity and their fervent landscape descriptions of an already-exotic mythicized frontier peopled by "noble savages", similar to the philosophical theory of Rousseau, exemplified by Uncas, from The Last of the Mohicans
The European Romantic movement that took place in the late eighteenth century reached America in the early nineteenth century. American Romanticism was just as multifaceted and individualistic as it was in Europe
Romantics frequently shared certain general characteristics: moral enthusiasm, faith in the value of individualism and intuitive perception, and a presumption that the natural world is a source of goodness and human society a source of corruption
Romanticism became popular in American politics, philosophy and art. The movement appealed to the revolutionary spirit of America as well as to those longing to break free of the strict religious traditions of early settlement.

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