Topic: March 2005
Kazuo Ishiguro is back in the magical realist ring again with Never Let Me Go, reviewed here by Louis Menand for The New Yorker. Writes Menand: "Ishiguro does not write like a realist. He writes like someone impersonating a realist, and this is one reason for the peculiar fascination of his books. He is actually a fabulist and an ironist, and the writers he most resembles, under the genteel mask, are Kafka and Beckett. This is why the prose is always slightly overspecific. It?s realism from an instruction manual: literal, thorough, determined to leave nothing out. But it has a vaguely irreal effect." Exactly.
WHEN IN DENVER... You ought to check out up-and-coming playwright Jose Rivera's latest work at the Crossroads Theatre. Marisol is the story of a woman who survives (by the hands of a guardian angel) what should have been a fatal beating by street thugs, only to learn from her guardian angel that this will be the last time he will be helping her because of a shift in God's powers. Rivera, whose mentor was Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and who earned famed in 2002 for washing away Los Angeles in Cloud Tectonics, has taken up the end-of-the-world cause in New York this time with this new "mystical urban nightmare." Marisol runs through April 2. For more information, or call 303.320.4011.
The Stanford Daily's Innovation Columnist Daniel Berdichevsky makes some interesting points about the way in which magical realism has been enculcated into mainstream literary culture: "What used to be referred to as magical realism has bled over into fiction in general. Maybe this is why science fiction cliches, like time travel and memory manipulation, can form the bases of critically acclaimed films like The Butterfly Effect and Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind without them even being branded as science-fiction."