Firstly, you will notice that something amazing has happened. Not just to you, because then you might simply be insane. And this will not do for magical realism, where everyone must be insane. Or behave like it. No, it must be something incredibly amazing that happens to everyone, like everyone sprouting butterfly wings, or water squirting on people whenever they have bacon and eggs for breakfast or something. Except people don’t eat bacon in magic realism because awareness. Soy.
Secondly, under no circumstances must anyone change their behavior because of this. No one will wear rain slickers when they have soy and eggs. There will be no widespread disuse of bicycles or running shoes because people take up flying.
Thirdly, whatever has happened, it is only really important to one person. Your character. And it will open up his or her or their soul, because this is the person the universe rotates around, and has changed itself to illuminate their one specific problem that is extremely important that no one has ever had to deal with before. Like finding fulfillment. Or falling in love.
Third-and-a-halfly, your character must studiously ignore any larger implications of something amazing, and only ask things like, Grandma, do your wings ever catch on your clothing. And not use quotation marks because decentering spoken discourse challenges the patriarchy or capitalism or something and is really important, okay?
Were you talking there?
Who can tell?
Fourthly, The End
Seventhly, make sure there is no resolution of anything.
Sixthly, play with narrative conventions, such as chronological order, making clear you won’t be bound by them or sentence structure grammar because freedom, I mean liberation
5 thoughts on “How To Tell If You Are In Literary Magical Realism”
Like butterfly wings could really carry humans. . . .
You’re not allowed to think about that. You’re in magical realism.
I’m the villain. I THINK.
They’re *magical* butterfly wings.
Well, of course, they grew on humans. Doesn’t mean we can fly.