Magic is real — The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier

I forgot I had to do a blog post… Sorry!

The Kingdom of This World is an interesting novel, and I’m still in the midst of digesting it and trying to get into the “magical realism” of the story. I read The Chronicles of A Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in high school and loved it, though the magical realism element still confuses me somehow.

I guess this blog post is more of what magical realism is, since it’s sort of difficult to explain and even though my english teacher tried his best to explain it, I have no clue what he’s talking about. What is magical realism? Magic into reality, reality into magic, but it’s subtle and because everything is blended into each other so well there isn’t a way to discern between the two at some point, but then when you think back on certain ideas, it seems ridiculous. This is my grasp on what magical realism is, though I still have trouble trying to figure out what elements are magical realism within the novel… Perhaps I read it too quickly.

Time to reread the novel.


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  1. I think the aspects of the novel that might fall under “magical realism” include the discussions of Macandal changing into animals, of him rising up out of the flames of his execution and flying overhead, of Christophe seeing the ghost of Breille that leads him to paralysis, and the animal transformations that Ti Noel is also able to undertake at the end. Those are the ones that stand out in my memory.

    As for what it is, I’m not entire sure either, but it seems to have to do with the unusual, or the seemingly magical, being presented as commonplace, as just part of what happens. It may also have to do with asking readers to consider whether “reality” might not include more than that which is easily explainable rationally. From this list of discussions of magical realism, I get the sense that some people consider it to be a way to help us think about reality as itself marvellous and unusual, strange:

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