Habibur Rahaman

Lecturer in English, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University



Magic realism, a genre widely acclaimed and misinterpreted, has been an emblematic expression for the subjugated Latin Americans and for the colonized third world at large. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, albeit not the pioneer of the term, through his ground-breaking One Hundred Years of Solitude revolutionarily popularized this genre as a distinct poetics to exhibit Latin America to the rest of the world. Thus, his magically constructed Macondo becomes a badge of nationalistic fervor for Columbia in the first instance and then for whole Latin America, who have been culturally and civilisationally otherised and rendered undeserving of any recognition or acknowledgement by the colonial canons. In One Hundred Years of Solitude his take-on of magic realism emanated two angles of interpretation. The first angle loudly espouses Marquez’s maneuver of magic realism as a potential postcolonial device to brace the denigrating challenge from the mainstream European realism and to reconstruct the story of subalterns by repudiating all operative and customary trends of story-telling practiced by European realism. The other angle, however, criticizes Marquez’s application of magic realism as a mere genre devoid of any solid theoretical integrity and as a cheap commercial manipulation of the primitive and grotesque, which are in the popular culture of very fascinating appeal, to cater for the authorial demand of financial convenience.

Keywords: Magic Realism, Post-colonialism, European Realism, Primitivism.   

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One Hundred Years of Solitude: Is it All about Magic?