Thursday, March 06, 2003

I've started to think about Magical Realism because I wanted to find out what it really means. I like the definition that it applies surrealism to life in the form of literature. You can see this quite clearly in 'News of a kidnapping' when the two enemies are forced to meet and become friends to get what they want.

In the 60s reader there is a comment by Baldwin on the prospects of the Black Nationalists achieving a separate muslim nation in USA ' although, in an age so fantastical, I would hesitate to say precisely what a fantasy is." It is interesting that he uses the word fantasy when you could equally use the word surreal. When it comes to struggling and the oppressed surreal is a common theme. How much more surreal could you get than saying the killing of 3 black children in a bomb was the crucial changing point in the civil rights movement and the final 'push' in helping the blacks to achieve social justice. It may seem cruel to say it but tragedies often have a surreal twist and for example the white supremists who planted the bomb in Birmingham 1963 didn't think they would be instrumental in gaining social change. They would probably feel 'offended' to think such a thing!

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