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19 January 2007
RE: NEW ADDRESS
Magical Realism News is now posted at http://marginnews.blogspot.com Update your bookmarks and, when you visit the new site, pick up our new RSS feed!

Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 9:00 AM PST
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8 September 2006

BIRTHDAYS

9.12—Michael Ondaatje

JUST FOR FUN

Read about the evolution of magical thinking in this article in the Times Online (UK) for Sept 5.

Don't think plants can take on human characteristics? Think again.

INDUSTRY NEWS

[09.07.06]—Online news and culture magazine, Slate, ran an interesting commentary yesterday on whether art has helped folks to manage the vagaries of living in a post-September 11th America. Magical realism (or at least that kind of thinking) popped up in the discussion:

Christopher Benfey, Slate art critic, mentioned Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow
Steve Coll, author, Ghost Wars, mentioned Ian MacEwan's Saturday
Robert Pinsky, author, The Life of David, pointed to the following poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade (Mark Strand, translator):
SOUVENIR OF THE ANCIENT WORLD

Clara strolled in the garden with the children.
The sky was green over the grass,
the water was golden under the bridges,
other elements were blue and rose and orange,
a policeman smiled, bicycles passed,
a girl stepped onto the lawn to catch a bird,
the whole world—Germany, China—
All was quiet around Clara.

The children looked at the sky: it was not forbidden.
Mouth, nose, eyes were open. There was no danger.
What Clara feared were the flu, the heat, the insects.
Clara feared missing the eleven o'clock trolley,
waiting for letters slow to arrive,
not always being able to wear a new dress. But
she strolled in the garden, in the morning!
They had gardens, they had mornings in those days!

Editor's note: The magical realist perspective may be one of the best lenses through which to view the complexity of September 11. Let me know if you find a poem, story or novel that used magical realism to piece together the chaos of that defining moment for Americans.

[08.31.06]—Early in Margin's beginnings, an ages-old title was suggested for the reading list with a strong assurance from its advocate that it was early magical realism: The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais. Lo and behold, one can now download a copy of the 320-page book, first published in 1887 by G. Routledge and Sons, via Google's new Book archives. And look what else I found! Gustave Flaubert, by the author of the same name; published in 1903, this volume includes his magical realist story, "The Legend of St. Julian the Hospitaller". Another treasure: Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun. But what might be of most interest is Knut Hamsun's Pan. Given the outcry against Gunter Grass's recent admission to having served the Nazi party as a soldier in 1945, there's bound to be special interest in other literati with ties to Hitler.

WRITING NEWS

[09.07.06]—Folks who appreciate magical realism but who might turn up their noses to science fiction should read this interview with BLDG BLOG, which features MRist and SFF author Jeff Vandermeer as he discusses the value of the urban landscape in his narratives. He makes some interesting points about the common ground between SFF and MR, especially as it relates to the novelist, who is uninterested in replicating "reality" but who is interested in "plausibility and verisimilitude" and "the kinds of bizarre juxtapositions that occur" within cities.

BOOKS

[09.08.06]—Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Pantheon Books/Random House of Canada: Aug 2006—From the Star-Phoenix: "This sprawling novel viciously lampoons African despotism. It's also lit by magic realism and contains a tender love story."

[09.08.06]—Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami (Knopf: 2006)—Writes From The Complete Review: "Murakami is also fairly inventive in some of the situations his characters find themselves in. Only a few of the stories have truly fantastical premises (talking animals, etc.), but there's frequently an element of the unnatural and extra-ordinary—but Murakami has a way of making these things seem almost entirely ordinary."

[09.05.06]—Fifty Odes by Pablo Neruda; George Schade, tr. (Host: September 2006)—Writes From Small Press Distribution Books: "Neruda magically transforms everyday objects, from dogs to dictionaries, into essential elements of an always amazing and surprising world."

[08.31.06]—Pick Up Stick City by Steve Semken (Seven Stories Press: 2005 [English version])— Writes Mike Kilen for the Des Moines Register: "Many would label [Pick Up Stick City] inventive magical realism. His main character finds tiny people pods in the pond of an Iowa ghost town. The main character summons those citizens back to life."

[08.31.06]—The Guest by Hwang Sok-Yong; Kyung-Ja Chun and Maya West, tr. (Seven Stories Press: 2005 [English version])— Writes John Feffer for The Nation: "With its supernatural events and chorus of spirits, The Guest would seem to belong to the tradition of magic realism. And like so much magic realism, it involves the remembrance of unspeakable atrocities. …Yet for all its affinities with Garcia Marquez and Rushdie, The Guest's magical elements are faithful renditions of Korea's traditional shamanic culture."

[08.28.06]—Mr. Thundermug by Cornelius Medvei (Fourth Estate: Sept 2006—Writes Philip Hoare for The Telegraph: "Cornelius Medvei's novella is a magic-realist confection with a sly, wry sense of humour and a deft ear for the surreal and the inconsequential. Illustrated with mysterious, Sebaldian photo-etchings by the author himself, Mr Thundermug might be a Kafkaesque allegory of tolerance and prejudice, or simply an elegant literary whimsy."

[Jan.06]—Not Before Sundown by Johanna Sinisalo (Troll: 2003)—From The Guardian: "A brilliant novel, mixing magical realism with contemporary Scandinavian realism."

MIXED MEDIA

[09.01.06]—At Geoffrey Philpps Blog Spot, Cuban poet Ricardo Pau-Llosa answers a series of five questions and, in doing so, reveals magical realist influences such as Neruda, Borges, Rilke, Lorca and Walcott.

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING…

The newsblog will officially appear once weekly starting today and will appear every Friday.

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed, and all submissions have been processed. If you have not heard from us and you have a submissions that remains outstanding, chances are good it was lost in the mail. You can always check with us; we have sent you a reply, which could have been lost in the mail.

GET PINGED! If you are set up to read web feeds, simply Margin's MAGICAL REALISM NEWS RSS feed to your reader using your web reader's tools. You'll receive automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. If you haven't moved into the world of RSS, don't despair. It's easier than it looks. RSS means "really simple syndication." To download a freeware RSS web reader (which allows you to "get pinged"—that is, receive automatic updates of new content posted at all your favorite blogs), we recommend Active Web Reader 2.4. Set up is easy and the feed reader is customizable.

GENTLE REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays due to back-to-school chaos, novel revision, apple-picking or fall bonfires.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 6:33 PM PDT
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31 August 2006
MR News: The Week in Review: Labor Day, Sloth, The Railway, Volver
Topic: September 2006
EDITOR'S NOTE

We'll be taking off Mon, Sept 4 to celebrate Labor Day. See you on the 8th!

BOOKS

[08.22.06]—Sloth by Gilbert Hernandez (DC/Vertigo: August 2006)—Writes Andrew A. Smith in the Teetering Tower column for Scripps News: "In his first graphic novel, Gilbert examines disaffected suburban youth who want to start a band…Oh, yeah, you've heard all that before. But with Hernandez, who has apparently absorbed the magical realism of Garbriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude at the genetic level, you expect, and get, quite a bit more."

[09.01.06]—Check out this collection of reviews from the British media regarding the book, The Railway, by Hamid Ismailov. The reading of this title is now considered by some as the most notable event of this year's Edinburgh Book Fair. [reviews courtesy Ferghana.Ru news agency, Moscow]

MIXED MEDIA

[08.31.06]—Volver—Writes Derek Malcolm for The Evening Standard—"The storyline may be fractured and at times puzzling but it doesn't matter because the style and feeling are so completely right. It amounts to a kind of European magic realism, absurdist but shrewdly grounded in accurate character drawing." With director Pedro Almodovar and actress Penelope Cruz.

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING…

YOU MAY NOTICE: We'll be experimenting with the format and frequency of this newsblog over the next few weeks. Let us know if something works well or doesn't work at all. We're here to serve you.

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed, and all submissions have been processed. If you have not heard from us and you have a submissions that remains outstanding, chances are good it was lost in the mail. You can always check with us; we have sent you a reply, which could have been lost in the mail.

GET PINGED! If you are set up to read web feeds, simply Margin's MAGICAL REALISM NEWS RSS feed to your reader using your web reader's tools. You'll receive automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. If you haven't moved into the world of RSS, don't despair. It's easier than it looks. RSS means "really simple syndication." To download a freeware RSS web reader (which allows you to "get pinged"—that is, receive automatic updates of new content posted at all your favorite blogs), we recommend Active Web Reader 2.4. Set up is easy and the feed reader is customizable.

GENTLE REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays due to pool parties, novel revision, rib festivals or stargazing.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:59 PM PDT
Updated: 31 August 2006 10:56 PM PDT
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28 August 2006
[Testing] MR NEWS: DOUBLE ISSUE...NO COMMENTARY
Topic: August 2006
EDITOR'S NOTE: We've had some trouble posting to Angelfire (our blog service) so we have combined last Friday's and today's news blogs into one. Let's hope Angelfire will correct the problem before next Friday's WEEK IN REVIEW.

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS

8.25, Alvaro Mutis. 8.26, Julio Cortazar. 8.27, Jeanette Winterson. 8.28, Janet Frame.

JUST FOR FUN

Editor's note: I just love opening up the Boing-Boing blog everyday. You never know what you'll find there. Today, it's giant praying mantises. [Or is that mantii?] How very Kafkaesque!

INDUSTRY NEWS

[08.25.06]?Lipton Tea is celebrating its 100th anniversary in an artful way: they've commissioned Japanese design firm Nendo to create a cafe inspired by the Mad Hatter's Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland. You can visit the installation at the Ozone Living Design Center in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

[08.24.06]?It's widely understood how literary magical realism was likely birthed from a European fine arts movement led by Franz Roh. Lois Parkinson Zamora has written three new essays which address the relationship between the visual and the literary. [Source: Endicott Studio]

WRITING NEWS

[08.24.06]?The Burning Epiphanies blog offers a couple of great writing prompts which we think are of special interest to magical realist writers who aim to uncover Truth in their work.

CELEBRITY NEWS

[08.24.06]?Did you know that Jorge Luis Borges has some poetry and nonfiction?two editions of Bibliotheque de la Pleiade?yet unavailable to the reading public? His widow and estate-controller, Maria Kodama, won't allow reproductions of the two vast tomes. Learn about the scandal here

BOOKS

[08.27.06]?The Women in Cages: Collected Stories by Vilas Sarang.?Writes Prasenjit Chowdhury for Deccan Herald? "The art of the willing suspension of disbelief gave way to magic realism mainly in the hands of the Latin American writers and beyond, the tribe of Borges and Marquez. But if you had always wanted an Indian writer to take up the literary cudgel for the best of what is largely a continental literary tradition, read Vilas Sarang?s The Women in Cages, a collection of 26 short stories that represent 30 of his 40 years? work in English and Marathi." Penguin Books, 2006

[08.24.06]?Before I Wake by Robert J. Wiersema (Random House Canada: August 2006)?Writes Jacqueline Turner for Straight.com: "An accident puts a three-year-old girl in a coma, and her parents struggle to cope. Discovering subsequently that she is a source of miracles is only one part of the novel?s many twists. The driver who caused the accident tries to commit suicide but is left in a kind of magic-realist limbo seeking, you guessed it, redemption."

MIXED MEDIA

[08.24.06]?Komome Diner?Dylan Young for Hour writes that this film, showing at the World Film Festival is "a magic realist gem made by Japanese in Finland." Playing through Sept 4.

[08.23.06]?Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke, will be adapted into a film starring Brendan Fraser by New Line Cinema.

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING?

YOU MAY NOTICE: We'll be experimenting with the format and frequency of this newsblog over the next few weeks. Let us know if something works well or doesn't work at all. We're here to serve you.

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed, and all submissions have been processed. If you have not heard from us and you have a submissions that remains outstanding, chances are good it was lost in the mail. You can always check with us; we have sent you a reply, which could have been lost in the mail.

GET PINGED! If you are set up to read web feeds, simply Margin's MAGICAL REALISM NEWS RSS feed to your reader using your web reader's tools. You'll receive automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. If you haven't moved into the world of RSS, don't despair. It's easier than it looks. RSS means "really simple syndication." To download a freeware RSS web reader (which allows you to "get pinged"?that is, receive automatic updates of new content posted at all your favorite blogs), we recommend Active Web Reader 2.4. Set up is easy and the feed reader is customizable.

GENTLE REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays due to pool parties, novel revision, rib festivals or stargazing.

MR NEWS: DOUBLE ISSUE/NO COMMENT: Magical realist birthdays, Kafkesque Mantii?, Tea Party Installation, Lois Parkinson Zamora, exercise: writing the Truth, Borges's Widow, Vilas Sarang, Before I Wake, Komome Diner, Branden Fraser in Inkheart

Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 3:40 PM PDT
Updated: 28 August 2006 3:43 PM PDT
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23 August 2006
RE: MR News Extra + Commentary: In Defense of Gunter Grass
Topic: August 2006
NEWS EXTRA!

SPECIAL NOTICE

You can help Southern libraries restore collections devastated by last year's hurricanes. Scroll below for details.

CALENDAR

[8.24.06]—Birthdays: Jorge Luis Borges; AS Byatt; Jean Rhys

INDUSTRY NEWS

[08.22.06]—The Quill Award nominees have been announced, and among them, you'll find the following titles of interest to magical realism fans:

A Dirty Job: A Novel by Christopher Moore [for Best General Fiction]
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin [for Best Young Adult/Teen Novel]
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo [for Best Children's Chapter Book]
The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snickett [for Best Children's Chapter Book]
The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue [for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Novel]

The Quill Award (via Reed Business Information and NBC) is an industry-qualified “consumers choice” awards program for books, honoring the best adult and children's books annually in 20 popular categories. You can vote for your favorite nominated titles here until September 30.

[08.16.06]—The Man Booker long list nominees have been announced. However, The Museum of Unconditional Surrender by Dubravka Ugresic, which we reported in the June edition of Margin as a People's Choice nominee, did not make this list.

CELEBRITY NEWS

[08.15.06]—Here's a fun interview from the Lit-Blog Co-op with fabulist writer Michael Martone, author of the book, Michael Martone. [No, there is not an echo in here!]
LBC Podcast
LBC discussion of Michael Martone

BOOKS

[08.22.06]—New out in hardback this week: Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 25 Stories by Haruki Murakami (Knopf) [source: Shelf Awareness]

[08.22.06]—New out in digital this week: Flashes Of The Other World by Julie Ann Shapiro (Pulp Bits) [source: The Open Press]

[08.22.06]—You can read an excerpt from An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter by Cesar Aira (Chris Andrews, translator) here.

[08.21.06]—DaVinci Code-aholics might want to check out Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, if they haven't already. Here's a quick review by Ken at the blog Neth Space to get started.

MIXED MEDIA

[08.23.06]—South African director Teboho Mahlatsi's new short film Sekalli Sa Meokgo (Meokgo and the Stickfighter) will be screened at this year's Venice Film Festival [Aug 30-Sept 9]. Sekalli sa Meokgo is a magic realism story about Kgotso, a recluse stickfighter living high up in the Maluti Mountains outside Lesotho.

[08.21.06]—Oddities of interest at the consistently magical blog, BoingBoing.com include milk-drinking statues in India and chocolate drippings in the shape of the Virgin Mary in California.

[08.18.06]—Santa Barbara-based producer Susan Stewart Potter and writer-director Simon Monjack have raised $20 million to produce a film version of DM Thomas's challenging novel, The White Hotel. But Jeffrey Wells for the blog Hollywood Elsewhere asks: Can it be done? According to the blog, seven other producers, including David Lynch and Emir Kusturica, have not been able to do it themselves. Wells suggests the story is cursed.

COMMENTARY: IN DEFENSE OF GUNTER GRASS

For those who do not already know, magical realist author Gunter Grass recently confessed to serving briefly in the Nazi Waffen SS in 1945, which has raised a tremendous amount of controversy worldwide. ||| Read about it here

In Elizabeth Kiem's op-ed piece for The Morning News, she testifies on Grass's behalf. Below, you'll find my response to that piece, which was printed in the TMN letters section this morning.

"Dear TMN,

Today’s 'Not an Open Letter' by Elizabeth Kiem speaks for so many of us who understand how the world works in shades of gray.

I was sad and disappointed to learn about Grass’s secret when I first read about it. It was the same knee-jerk response that so many others continue to express. But I pulled myself back from that abyss; what we need in this world is more understanding and less rush to judgment, after all. The howling critics that remain rooted in their absolute positions clearly have forgotten all the horrible mistakes they also made when they were young and stupid.

Let me point out that “horrible” is not solely defined by the Holocaust, but by the many daily indiscretions we have all contributed to in the fall of our own collective humanity. A child born without a father but with a drug addiction. A careless lane change that sets off a chain-reaction car accident. A gambling challenge that puts an entire family into straits of financial despair. The signature on a business proposal, which lays to waste the livelihoods of thousands of working-class people. These are all horrible things, are they not?

So is one innocent if one didn’t do any of these things? Maybe the question should be this: Is one innocent if he or she didn’t try to prevent any of these things? Inaction is, in and of itself, another kind of crime against humanity. Only the youngest children are innocent. What have any of us done today to make the world a better place?

Writing The Tin Drum made the world a better place.

Who Grass is in the August of his life versus those months preceding April of 1945 needs to be remembered with perspective. Kiem has done so with a kind of raw compassion not normally expressed so publicly. I thank The Morning News for publishing her eloquent editorial in the same spirit that I honor Grass for his honesty.

Opening up dark matters means a little light can shine. I thank God for beacons.

Tamara Kaye Sellman"

Let me know what you think.

SPECIAL NOTICE: You can help Southern libraries restore collections devastated by last year's hurricanes

As reported in the August 9 edition of Shelf Awareness, Southern libraries are still in desperate need of books and funds to replenish collections ravaged by last fall's hurricane season. Many libraries in New Orleans were already underfunded, so the losses from Katrina have not been recovered fully; insurance and FEMA monies have been of limited help; and a reduced tax base (one understated and dismal effect of hurricane devastation) means local governments have fewer resources than ever for library support. This means that libraries in the South must rely on private and public efforts to aid in their restoration.

How can you help? Buy a copy of our anthology, Southern Revival: Deep Magic for Hurricane Relief.

For a $10 (or more) donation, you receive a handsome, collectible edition of an anthology of creative writings from authors who have some intrinsic tie to the South.

The writing is amazing and high in quality; the subject matter is compelling (lovelorn women transforming into oak trees, a creation myth of the Mississippi Delta, living kudzu, "widdershins," the mythic Ivory Bill woodpecker); and the artwork is stunning and evocative: block reliefs by award-winning artist Stephen Alcorn and images from dedicated Katrina photographer and chronicler Jack A. Neal of Mississippi.

Best of all, 100% of all donations collected for this anthology go directly to Book Relief.

Book Relief, the division of First Book which has made library recovery a priority in the hurricane-ravaged South since fall 2005, is the charity we chose to benefit when we released the anthology last April. We urge you to read their anniversary reflection on their commitment in "Looking Back on Book Relief: One Year Later".

The Book Relief initiative has distributed more than 2.5 million books to schools, libraries organizations and individuals throughout the Gulf Coast since September 2005. And yet, they are only halfway done. Their commitment is to distribute 5 million new books to the region.

As you've probably guessed, they've been one busy charity. Last June, they joined Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu and civil rights activist Ruby Bridges to recognize the State Library of Louisiana for its tireless efforts in helping First Book to distribute 1 million new books, as part of their Book Relief initiative, to children and adults affected by the 2005 hurricanes in Louisiana. On that day alone, First Book distributed 70,000 new books, donated by Strictly By-The Book and YES Solutions across the Gulf Coast.

Next week, they'll be distributing 170,000 more books in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. [Volunteer to help with that distribution]

This month in particular will be a particularly busy time for the charity. Not only are they marking the anniversary of Katrina (and keeping their fingers crossed there won't be added devastation this fall), but they have played a key role in assisting in the reopening of many schools and libraries that remained closed for the entire 2005-2006 school year.

But their work doesn't end there. Upcoming distributions are schedule for Bernice, LA and New Orleans, and Book Relief expects to extend its efforts well into 2007.

Please consider purchasing a copy of Southern Revival to help out this outstanding, hardworking charity. There are yet a handful of copies left and we'd really like to sell every one of them. Click here to start the process. It's that simple. You'll be glad you did.

At this time, we'd like to take a moment to thank all the good people who have helped to put these anthologies before the reading public. We at MARGIN could not have done this on our own. We'd also like to thank The Georgia Review and The North American Review for their generous donation of advertising space so that we could get the word out, as well as Eagle Harbor Books in Bainbridge Island, WA for keeping SOUTHERN REVIVAL stocked on their shelves. And thanks go out to so many of our readers, who have, by buying copies of the anthology, significantly helped to distribute First Aid to the hearts and minds of our Southern neighbors. This is perhaps the best reason of all for buying your copy of SOUTHERN REVIVAL.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:20 AM PDT
Updated: 23 August 2006 10:33 AM PDT
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21 August 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS
Topic: August 2006
NOTE:

We're cutting over new hardware today, which means that today's news aggregate is a little abbreviated. We'll post a News Extra on Wed Aug 23, featuring MR news in the blogosphere, to make up for it. See you then!

CELEBRITY NEWS

[08.21.06]—The Chicago Tribune Literary Prize was announced this week. Louise Erdrich's The Painted Drum earned kudos for the fiction category, and Kate DiCamillo's Because of Winn-Dixie captured the children's literature award.

BOOKS

[08.13.06]—Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o—Writes Stuart Kelly for Scotsman.com—"I have every expectation that his new novel, Wizard of the Crow, will be seen in years to come as the equal of Midnight's Children, The Tin Drum or One Hundred Years of Solitude; a magisterial magic realist account of 20th-century African history. It is unreservedly a masterpiece." This review was written in conjunction with the recent Edinburgh International Book Festival. Pantheon, 2006

[08.12.06]—The Whale Caller by Zakes Mda—Writes James Smart for The Guardian—"With its likable mix of the mundane and the improbable, this new novel by academic and playwright Zakes Mda fits effortlessly into the magic realist tradition." Penguin, 2006

MIXED MEDIA

[08.18.06]—The Illusionist—Writes Ann Hornaday for the Washington Post—"As the intrigue builds, The Illusionist becomes not only a love story infused with the captivating romance of magic realism, but also a subtle, eerie augury of the cataclysm that lies ahead for Austria. Eisenheim, as befits Norton's solemn characterization, uses his sleights of hand not simply to divert his audiences, but to comment on such weighty matters as time, the soul and the nature of power itself." Directed by Neil Burger, who adapted the film from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Millhauser's short story of the same title. Starring Edward Norton, Jessica Biel and Paul Giamatti.

[08.18.06]—House of Sand—Writes James Verniere for the TownOnline.com—"Largely allegorical, House of Sand is an example of magical realism at its most minimalist, an at-times thin tale about the passage of time and the way we lay down roots almost involuntarily." Directed by Andrucha Waddington, who adapted, with Elena Soarez and Luiz Carlos Barreto, the 1964 classic novel, Woman of the Dunes, written by Hiroshi Teshigahara.

[08.15.06]—5 Cups of Coffee—Writes James Hebert for the San Diego Union Tribune—"In Gillette Elvgren's play… java doesn't just mark the days; it also becomes a catalyst for time warps and all sorts of supernatural happenings. " Showings through September 17 at Lamb's Players Theatre in Coronado, Ca. For tickets and information

[08.11.06]—The Bird People in China—Writes Mark Hinson for the Tallahassee Democrat—"Miike's tale plays around with magical realism - turtles power a boat like horses on a stagecoach, there's a school that teaches people how to fly with cloth wings—to come up with one strange "Bird" of a movie." With director Takashi Miike; in Japanese and Chinese with English subtitles.

COMMENTARY

Due to today's hardware cutover we'll be postponing this feature until later in the week. Thanks for your patience!

Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 8:16 AM PDT
Updated: 21 August 2006 8:17 AM PDT
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10 August 2006
MR NEWS WEEK IN REVIEW [8.07.06-8.11.06]: vacation notice, Disappearances, Ishiguro, The Stolen Child, Water & Power
Topic: August 2006
NOTE FROM EDITOR

[8.11.06]—Magical Realism News will be taking a vacation from Aug 11 through Aug 20. We'll post again on Aug 21.

CALENDAR

[8.11.06 through 8.21.06]—Showings of Disappearances throughout New England include:

Fri, Aug 11: Barrett Hall in South Strafford, VT and Town Hall in Hinesburg, VT
Sat, Aug 12: Tracy Hall in Norwich, VT
Sun, Aug 13: Lafayette Regional School in Franconia, NH and Windsor Recreation Center in Windsor, VT
Mon, Aug 14: Katherine Cornell Theater in Martha's Vineyard, MA
Tues, Aug 15: Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, VT
Wed, Aug 16: Katherine Cornell Theater in Martha's Vineyard, MA and Lyndon Institute Auditorium in Lyndonville, VT
Thurs, Aug 17: Thetford Academy Theater in Thetford, VT
Fri, Aug 18: Town Hall in both Shelburne, VT and Lancaster, NH
Fri-Thurs, Aug 18 – 24: Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield, VT
Sat, Aug 19: Town Hall in Lancaster, NH
Sun, Aug 20: Chester Town Hall in Chester, VT
Mon, Aug 21: Peacham Library in Peacham, VT and Otter Valley School in Brandon, VT

From the website: "Based on the award-winning novel by Howard Frank Mosher. Legendary actor/songwriter Kris Kristofferson … stars as schemer and dreamer Quebec Bill Bonhomme—in a spellbinding tale of high-stakes whiskey-smuggling, a family's mysterious past, and a young boy's rite of passage. … Quebec Bill, desperate to raise money to preserve his endangered cattle herd through a long winter, resorts to whiskey smuggling, a traditional family occupation. He takes his son, Wild Bill, on an unforgettable trip that will long remain etched in the viewer's mind: a journey through vast reaches of the Canadian wilderness and into a haunted and elusive past. What they find is the stuff of genuine legend."

[8.15.06]—Book Discussion of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go at The Elliot Bay Book Company, 101 South Main Street, Seattle, at 6:30 pm. Free admission. More info: [206]624.6600.

[8.21.06]—Reading from The Stolen Child by the author, Keith Donohue, at The Elliot Bay Book Company, 101 South Main Street, Seattle, at 7:30 pm. Free admission. More info: [206]624.6600.

MIXED MEDIA

[08.11.06]—Water & Power—Writes Don Shirley for Los Angeles City Beat—"…At least for the moment, Water & Power is not only topically jokey, but its saga of brotherly love is also somewhat moving. It helps that the script is adorned with a little magical realism. A boy (Moises Arias) plays a graceful, antler-wearing symbol of death—when he isn’t playing the young Water and Power in flashbacks or the underage waiter who serves The Fixer. The play’s final note, in which the boy is released from his grimmer duties, offers a moment of hope to this otherwise dark tale." Showing at Mark Taper Forum, Music Center, in downtown L.A. through Sept 17. More info: [213]628.2772 or contact the Center Theatre Group.

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING…

YOU MAY NOTICE: We'll be experimenting with the format and frequency of this newsblog over the next few weeks. Let us know if something works well or doesn't work at all. We're here to serve you.

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed, and all submissions have been processed. If you have not heard from us and you have a submissions that remains outstanding, chances are good it was lost in the mail. You can always check with us; we have sent you a reply, which could have been lost in the mail.

GET PINGED! If you are set up to read web feeds, simply Margin's MAGICAL REALISM NEWS RSS feed to your reader using your web reader's tools. You'll receive automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. If you haven't moved into the world of RSS, don't despair. It's easier than it looks. RSS means "really simple syndication." To download a freeware RSS web reader (which allows you to "get pinged"—that is, receive automatic updates of new content posted at all your favorite blogs), we recommend Active Web Reader 2.4. Set up is easy and the feed reader is customizable.

GENTLE REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays due to pool parties, novel revision, rib festivals or stargazing.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 1:10 PM PDT
Updated: 10 August 2006 12:10 PM PDT
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7 August 2006
MR OVER THE WEEKEND + COMMENTARY: Why did Hollywood label 'NANNY MCPHEE' magical realism?
Topic: August 2006
CALENDAR

[8.10.06]—Opening this Thursday, running through August 20: Amphibian Stage Productions version of the play, Icarus. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, at Texas Christian University, Hays Theater, 2800 S. University Drive, Fort Worth. Admission: $20. Info: 817-923-3012.

[8.14.06]—Reading for Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child. To be held 12:30p at Stacey's Bookstore, 581 Market Street, San Francisco. Free admission. Info: 415-421-4687

INDUSTRY NEWS

[08.07.06]—Bookslut offers this wonderful interview with small press editor extraordinaire Gina Frangello, who has been a strong proponent of magical realist writing within the literary world.

BOOKS

[8.07.06]—The Longest Pregnancy by Melissa Fraterrigo—In a review column from the Associated Press—"…Fraterrigo's stories have been called 'blue collar magic realism,' and she likes that description." Swallow's Tale/Livingston Press, 2006

[08.06.06]—Salamanca by Dean Francis Alfar—Writes Sylvia L. Mayuga for INQ7: "Salamanca makes a good case for magical realism a la Pinoy, although it gives pause for thought on English as the medium for Filipino magical realist literature. Strange, when you consider that our first exposure to this variety of storytelling from the marvelous Latin American writers led by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was in books originally written in demotic Spanish."

COMMENTARY: WHY DID HOLLYWOOD LABEL 'NANNY MCPHEE' MAGICAL REALISM?

Hmmm. I finally saw the movie last weekend on DVD. It was charming, with a perfect cast, terrific sets and a delightful (if perhaps predictable?) plot.

I guess I should have predicted this as well: It's definitely not magical realism. Once again, Hollywood gets it wrong.

Why do they do this? It's ridiculous to say that 'Nanny McPhee' is magical realism when it's clearly fantasy from the get go. A mysterious title character with an untraceable background arrives (either by miracle or prayer) at the home of a man who needs quality childcare for his atrocious children. The new nanny has a magical cane through which she delivers her 'lessons' in the form of implicit spells. The fairy-tale like quality of the storyline is supported systemically in both plot and script when a household servant girl, Evangeline, shares in the grim delights of reading and telling actual fairy tales to the children. Likewise, Nanny McPhee herself suggests to Evangeline in the "happily ever after" scene how the girl is, in fact, the ending to the story.

Folks, fantasy tropes run rampant in this film. The arrival and magical workings of the new nanny is never for once expected to be believed by the audience; this is pure fairy tale.

I suspected as much when I first commented on 'Nanny McPhee' in the MarginNewsBlog [01.30.06]. Reagen Sulewski, commenting for the Monday Morning Quarterback series at Box Office Prophets declared "It's tough to go wrong with magical realism these days—Harry Potter really opened things up," to which I replied, "Oh, don't get me started. Harry Potter is not MR. Harry Potter is not MR. Repeat after me… ."

Let's all try to remember that magical realism wears concrete shoes made out of realism. Maybe Hollywood will catch on.

Let me know what you think.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 1:02 PM PDT
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4 August 2006
MR WEEK IN REVIEW [7.31-8.04]
Topic: August 2006
INDUSTRY NEWS

[08.05.06]—Here's an easy and inexpensive way to get little doses of mostly magical realist fiction in your e-mail inbox on a regular basis: a ShortShortShort subscription offered by Margin contributor Bruce Holland Rogers. Not only does he have a handle of magical realist writing (he publishes widely across mainstream and genre markets), but he also has a terrific handle on the short-short form, which lends itself especially to magical realist and other forms of "unreal" writing. Subscriptions are $10 (USD) annually payable through PayPal and include 36 stories a year delivered at a rate of 3 per month.

CELEBRITY NEWS

[08.02.06]—Fun and Games: Check out the entry for "Gabriel Garcia Marquez" on The Literature Map.

CONTRIBUTORS' NEWS

[08.02.06]—Work from one of Margin's most frequent poetry contributors, Maureen Tolman Flannery, will appear in the upcoming anthology, Collections, Fetishes and Obsessions (ed. Stephen Powers & Michalene Mogensen, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee). She joins Margin editor Tamara Kaye Sellman, whose work will also appear in the anthology.

BOOKS

[07.31.06]—On the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association list for the week of July 30: FOR HARDCOVER FICTION: #8, The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins). FOR TRADE PAPERBACK FICTION: #4, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage); #9, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin); #10, The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin); #11, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperSanFrancisco); #14, The Zahir by Paulo Coelho (Harper Perennial)

[07.26.06]—Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo (University of Texas Press) was recently featured in The New York Sun's "Readings" section by Eric Ormsby, whose take on the story, about a son in search of his father, serves to demystify an otherwise complicated text. Widely categorized as magical realism, the book "nevertheless stands in a category all its own," writes Ormsby. [He's right.]

MIXED MEDIA

[08.03.06]—Writes Nellie Andreeva for Reuters—"Fox is adding a sci-fi flavor to its development slate by committing to drama pilots about an undead attorney and a young cop who happens to be centuries old." Hmmm…I'm not sure how an undead attorney and an ageless cop are specifically sci-fi by definition, but we'll take it as a good sign that encounters with realism's secret varietals will continue into the next prime time television season.

[07.26.06]—The Fiery Angel (The Bolshoi Opera)—Writes Fiona Maddocks for The Evening Standard (sourced here for This is London—"…[E]ven a director of Francesca Zambella's ingenuity could not find an easy path through this episodic piece, where the magic-realist narrative leads us into bizarre territory, as in the sudden encounter with Mephistopheles and a Fortune Teller."

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING…

YOU MAY NOTICE: We've changed our frequency to Mondays and Fridays. Mondays will feature MR News over the weekend and commentary, and Fridays will feature the week in review. Let us know if something works well or doesn't work at all. We're here to serve you.

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed, and all submissions have been processed. If you have not heard from us and you have a submissions that remains outstanding, chances are good it was lost in the mail. You can always check with us; we have sent you a reply, which could have been lost in the mail.

GET PINGED! If you are set up to read web feeds, simply Margin's MAGICAL REALISM NEWS RSS feed to your reader using your web reader's tools. You'll receive automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. If you haven't moved into the world of RSS, don't despair. It's easier than it looks. RSS means "really simple syndication." To download a freeware RSS web reader (which allows you to "get pinged"—that is, receive automatic updates of new content posted at all your favorite blogs), we recommend Active Web Reader 2.4. Set up is easy and the feed reader is customizable.

GENTLE REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays due to pool parties, novel revision, rib festivals or stargazing.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 8:28 AM PDT
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31 July 2006
MR OVER THE WEEKEND + COMMENTARY: Is there room for children's perspectives and science fiction tropes in magical realism?
Topic: July 2006
[ed. note for 8.05.06: not sure why this entry doesn't seem to show up as the most current, but I'm hoping it'll at least show up in the July 2006 listings.]

AROUND THE WORLD

Ever heard of a "hungry ghost?" If your answer is yes, it's likely you've got connections with Taoism. The Hungry Ghost Festival is widely observed by Chinese throughout Asia, and it has a tremendous effect on daily life at the time it's celebrated. From an article in Reuters/India: "It's the time of the year many Chinese businesses dread—the hungry ghost festival, when families avoid moving house, couples postpone their wedding plans, and tourists shy away from beach resorts."

INDUSTRY NEWS

[07.31.06]—Spotted on the Independent's top 50 hottest summer reads: at #37—The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter. "Hugely influential feminist retellings of classic fairy tales like Bluebeard and Mr Fox, reissued along with other key Carter works. Sharp, brilliant and thought-provoking stories from the much-missed doyenne of British magical realism." Carter is one brilliant die-hard magical realist! You go, girl, wherever you are!

[07.30.06]—Folks in the Pleasant Hill, CA environs recently discussed the magical realist accents in the novel, Maybe a Miracle by Brian Strause at Orinda Books as part of the Contra-Costa Times book club led by Lynn Carey. Read their findings here.

[07.27.06]—This New Yorker discussion of African author Ngugi wa Thiong’o by John Updike is not to be missed.

[07.23.06]—Two titles by Will Clarke discussed by Liesl Schillinger in The New York Times deserve some scrutiny by those inclined to connect dots between magical realism and madness: Lord Vishnu's Love Handles: A Spy Novel (Sort Of) and The Worthy: A Ghost's Story, both published by Simon & Schuster.

BOOKS

[07.31.06]—Praying Mantis by Andre Brink—Writes Laurence Phelan for The Independent—"[Protagonist Cupido Cockroach] wasn't born in the usual way, but 'hatched from the stories his mother told.' One of these had it that an eagle dropped him in her lap, another that a phantom stranger delivered him in a dream."

[07.30.06]—The Keep by Jennifer Egan—Writes Madison Smartt Bell for The New York Times—"Jennifer Egan is a refreshingly unclassifiable novelist; she deploys most of the arsenal developed by the metafiction writers of the 1960s and refined by more recent authors like William T. Vollmann and David Foster Wallace—but she can’t exactly be counted as one of them. The opening of her new novel, The Keep, lays out a whole Escherian architecture, replete with metafictional trapdoors, pitfalls, infinitely receding reflections and trompe l’oeil effects, but what’s more immediately striking about this book is its unusually vivid and convincing realism." Perhaps not magical realism, but metafictionally ancillary?

[07.30.06]—Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto, tr. David Brookshaw—Writes Uzodinma Iweala for The New York Times—"War in Africa is hardly a new phenomenon, nor are voices telling its stories of terror and triumph. Yet some of the continent’s most devastating conflicts—and the literature born from the experiences of their survivors—have often gone unnoticed in the West. The Mozambican writer Mia Couto’s 1992 novel Sleepwalking Land, newly translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw, helps correct this oversight by telling of his country’s 16 years of brutal civil war, using magic realism to turn its harsh reality into an exceptionally beautiful nightmare."

[07.29.06]—The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo—Writes Jenny Sawyer for The Christian Science Monitor—"…[T]his isn't a story about a girl who loved a china rabbit. It's a story about a china rabbit who learned to love a little girl—and not just a little girl, but a sailor and his wife, a hobo and his dog, a sickly child, a homeless boy. Royalty and riff-raff alike—but especially the riff-raff."

[07.29.06]—Madonna from Russia by Yuri Druzhnikov, tr. Thomas Moore—Writes Tibor Fischer for Guardian Unlimited—"The writing is at times reminiscent of Solzhenitsyn—indeed, he has a guest role—but Druzhnikov has a lot more humour (well, he missed the gulag) and even offers a whiff of magical realism."

COMMENTARY: IS THERE ROOM FOR CHILDREN'S PERSPECTIVES AND SCIENCE FICTION TROPES IN MAGICAL REALISM?

This past weekend, I had the amazing experience of viewing the Spanish film, Spirit of the Beehive [here's a link to a discussion of the film by blogger Campaspe for Self-Styled Siren]. In a nutshell, the film is about a little girl in post-Franco Spain who, after viewing the Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein, decides to try to invoke his "spirit" (a ritual as described to her by her naughty older sister) in an attempt to learn why both the little girl and the monster in the movie were killed.

Oh, what a beautiful film! And the music was perfectly evocative, capturing the oddity of living as a child without supervision in a landscape so vast and remote and yet so close to the vest of the Franco regime. The subtlety of this film is its greatest strength.

One of the reasons I chose to watch this film? One of Margin's readers asked us to include it as a title on our film list. Having not seen the film previously, I did a little research and decided that it could be, at least peripherally, considered magical realist in its form (theoretically). Having seen the film now, I think I'm a bit more on the fence for a couple of reasons.

First: The key "magical realist" scene involves an interaction between the child protagonist Ana and Frankenstein. This lingering between worlds—of childhood imaginings and harsh reality, along with the possible and the impossible—seems to suggest a solid planting in the magical realist œuvre.

But then I pull back. When are stories told from a child's point of view simply imaginary (fantastic) and when are they truly magical realist? Magical realism is rooted in the real, after all. Part of the answer to this inquiry relies upon our perception of the character in question. In the case of Beehive, the child is a gullible 8-year-old (who ends up being not so gullible after her big sister fakes her own death—Ana is then once bitten, twice shy, I'll wager—but, still…) Did little Ana really see Frankenstein (another way of putting it: Was that really Frankenstein?), or did she only want to see Frankenstein?

More to the point: As an adult watching this film, does it even matter what I think? I was sympathetic with Ana (who wouldn't be, her beautiful dark eyes had me from the first), but I think she only wanted to see the monster in order to make things right in her own mind. In a way, her actions rewrote Shelley's version of the story as a way to resolve unanswered questions within herself.

Second: Is there room for science fiction tropes in magical realism? When we first placed Mary Shelley's Frankenstein on our recommended reading list, I had second thoughts. Should we really strive to function more on an Either/Or basis with this list? Should work be only magical realist, or should it include works that are only partically magical realist? Should it include authors whose bibliographies are not exclusively magical realist?

Except that so much of magical realism shares rent with other imaginary forms, like surrealism (Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz) or parable (The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho) or speculative writing (Blindness by Jose Saramago).

Should one draw a line, and if so, where?

So we included Frankenstein because, while it exists as a commentary on the horrors of science-gone-bad, it's also a story about common people set in a realistic world in which something extraordinary occurs. (And Margin is nothing if not a place to debate, for we don't have the answers any more than anyone else does.)

And think about it: the mundane way in which a pseudo-man is pieced together by a zealous scientist can't be altogether different, after all, than Melquiades' lessons in turning lead into gold in One Hundred Years of Solitude, can it? What about the engineering of ice in the same novel? That "miracle" had sociological repercussions as well.

Let me know what you think.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:18 AM PDT
Updated: 4 August 2006 8:12 AM PDT
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28 July 2006
THE WEEK IN REVIEW [7.25-28]
Topic: July 2006
JUST FOR FUN

Who says the world isn't full of surprising things?

[7.28.06]—Salem-News.com
Strange Fish Found on Beach Near Seaside
The extremely rare fish's name stems from Indian lore when it was believed that the King of the Salmon led the smaller species back to the rivers to spawn.

…Also on our freak-o-meter near Greensboro, North Carolina: Slithery Creature Prompts Speculation
Ooooh, I just love to hear about intersections between real life and cryptozoology, especially when they're reported on in the local paper.

INDUSTRY NEWS

[07.27.06]—One Hundred Years of Solitude as a revue? Musical theater writers Allan and Peggy Epstein of Kansas City, MO gave it a shot. As collaborators for a new musical revue, “Bindings,” which premieres tonight at 9:30 p.m. as an hour-long opener to this weekend’s Fringe Festival in the city. Their musical was inspired by 17 of the books immortalized on the 10th Street section of the KC Central Library parking garage wall. When they discovered how difficult it would be to translate Gabo's magical-realist epic directly from its circuitous plot, they switched gears and focused on the essence of Garcia Marquez’s writing style with hopes of capturing his sense of the extraordinary in a musical format. [Too bad Frank Zappa wasn't around. He could've added a lot to that project.] Read more about the fringe fest here

[07.25.06]—In the blog, Tales from the Reading Room, an interesting discussion has started about slipstream writing, which we've already discussed at Margin here. Join this debate and add your comment

WRITING NEWS

[07.24.06]—Indian author Namita Gokhale chimes in about the origins of magical realism in Indian fiction in the Indian Express Newspapers this week. "I feel every language has its own distinct literary traditions—the idea of many languages, one literature, is so true in case of India. Every mother tongue has its own colloquialisms attached and its own sensitivities—take Rushdie for instance. The so-talked about magic realism in his works is actually a tradition borrowed from Urdu literature." Read and comment

[07.22.06]—While Guardians of the Key by Clio Gray is considered an historical novel, Scottish Booktrust organizer Jan Rutherford insists it's much more than that in a recent Scotsman article by David Robinson: "Clio has incredible flair for atmosphere, imagery, setting and description. There is a strangeness and originality about her work—halfway between historical fiction and magic realism—that absorbed me throughout the mentoring process." Read and comment

CELEBRITY NEWS

[07.26.06]—You can vote for Gabriel Garcia Marquez as the most influential Latino for 2006 at the Vivirlatino website.

BOOKS

[07.28.06]—Remapping Reality by John A. McCarthy (Rodopi: February 2006)—From the publisher's synopsis: This book is about intersections among science, philosophy, and literature. It bridges the gap between the traditional “cultures” of science and the humanities by constituting an area of interaction that some have called a 'third culture.' " Expensive ($90 at Amazon.com), but probably useful for graduate courses.

[07.28.06]—Spilling the Beans in Chicanolandia: Conversations with Writers and Artists by Frederick Luis Aldama (University of Texas Press: March 2006)—From the Amazon.com synopsis: "Since the 1980s, a prolific 'second wave' of Chicano/a writers and artists has tremendously expanded the range of genres and subject matter in Chicano/a literature and art. Building on the pioneering work of their predecessors, whose artistic creations were often tied to political activism and the civil rights struggle, today's Chicano/a writers and artists feel free to focus as much on the aesthetic quality of their work as on its social content." This is sure to be a useful book for breaking down the walls of misperception about today's Mexican authors; Aldama's Postethnic Narrative Criticism was previously and favorably reviewed at Margin.

[07.28.06]—On the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance bestsellers list for the week ended July 23: FOR TRADE PAPERBACK FICTION: #2, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead); #5, The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin); #7, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin); #11, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin); #12, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Harvest), #13, Saturday by Ian McEwan (Anchor), #15, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage).

MIXED MEDIA

[07.25.06]—Karma—Writes Jigme Ugen for Phayul.com—"Credited with no fewer than three hats on this project (original story, producer and director), Tsering Rhitar Sherpa cleverly mixes magic realism with a certain fairytale sensibility, which has been the hallmark of his career." A recent pre-release of the Tibetan film in St. Paul, MN brought more than 300 locals out even in 102? heat.

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING…

YOU MAY NOTICE: We'll be experimenting with the format and frequency of this newsblog over the next few weeks. Let us know if something works well or doesn't work at all. We're here to serve you.

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed, and all submissions have been processed. If you have not heard from us and you have a submissions that remains outstanding, chances are good it was lost in the mail. You can always check with us; we have sent you a reply, which could have been lost in the mail.

GET PINGED! If you are set up to read web feeds, simply Margin's MAGICAL REALISM NEWS RSS feed to your reader using your web reader's tools. You'll receive automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. If you haven't moved into the world of RSS, don't despair. It's easier than it looks. RSS means "really simple syndication." To download a freeware RSS web reader (which allows you to "get pinged"—that is, receive automatic updates of new content posted at all your favorite blogs), we recommend Active Web Reader 2.4. Set up is easy and the feed reader is customizable.

GENTLE REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays due to pool parties, novel revision, rib festivals or stargazing.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 3:42 PM PDT
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26 July 2006
Hump Day bonus: MR in YA titles which address child abuse and/or mental illness
Topic: July 2006
I received an inquiry from a high-school teacher researching a reading list of novels of magical realism which approach, as a subject or theme, "mental or physical handicaps, child abuse physical or mental or abuse in terms of forcing children into unlawful labor-sweatshops, etc."

Well, it's hard for me to say how appropriate some of these titles are, but YA seems to be getting more sophisticated all the time. Walter Mosley's recent 47 was quite disturbing in its beginning (and necessarily so, but I wonder, as a parent, if it's a little too traumatic?).

At any rate, here's the list I came up with. Let me know what you think: do you have other titles to add, would you argue some aren't well suited for the teacher's request?

47 - Walter Mosley
The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison
The Bone People - Keri Hulme
The Book of Everything - Guus Kuijer
Daddy's Girls - Suzanne Gold
Geek Love - Katherine Dunn
Heart of the Order - Tony Ardizzone
Holes - Louis Sachar
Is Anybody Listening? - Larry O'Loughlin
Love in the Asylum - Lisa Carey
Midnight Robber - Nalo Hopkinson
Noor - Sorayya Khan
The Obscene Bird of Night - Jose Donoso
Only Twice I've Wished For Heaven - Dawn Turner Trice
Sights - Suzanna Vance
Strand of a Thousand Pearls: A Novel - Dorit Rabinyan
Swan - Gudbergur Bergsson
The Tin Drum - Gunter Grass
Woman at the Edge of Time - Marge Piercy
You Don't Know Me - David Klass
And what about these for supporting literature?

[anthology] The Armless Maiden, and Other Tales for Childhood's Survivors - Terri Windling, ed.
[graphic novel] Blankets - Craig Thompson
[biopic] - An Angel at my Table - Janet Frame's œuvre is a perfect blend of magical realism defined by a life shaped by child abuse and mental illness


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:29 AM PDT
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25 July 2006
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Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 9:25 AM PDT
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24 July 2006
MR OVER THE WEEKEND + COMMENTARY: Will 'Lost' be Lost in 2006?
Topic: July 2006
INDUSTRY NEWS

[07.21.06]—Margin contributor Zelda Leah Gatuskin (aka Zelda Gordon) became co-owner and Managing Editor for Amador Publishers LLC of Albuquerque, NM in July. An artist, writer and editor, Zelda has assisted in one capacity or another with numerous Amador projects. Her first book The Time Dancer, A Novel of Gypsy Magic was published by Amador in 1991, to be followed by the mixed genre collection, Ancestral Notes (as featured in Margin) and two other titles.

The reorganization coincides with Amador’s twentieth anniversary year. Amador Publishers describes itself as, “a humanist press dedicated to peace, equality, respect for all cultures and preservation of the Biosphere, specializing in fiction and biography of unique worth and appeal, outside the purview of mainstream publishing.” Amador books are available in Albuquerque at the Art Is OK Gallery, The Collector’s Item, Page One, and Borders Books on the west side as well as local libraries. They may also be ordered directly from the publisher (505-877-4395), from the publisher’s web site and from other on-line book vendors. Retailers can order Amador books through Books West in Boulder.

WRITING NEWS

[07.22.06]—Magical realist authors Ursula Hegi [The Vision of Emma Blau], Randall Kenan [Let The Dead Bury Their Dead] and Helena Maria Viramontes [The Moths and Other Stories] will be among the faculty slated for Bread Loaf 2006, which runs from August 16th to the 27th in Middlebury, VT.

CELEBRITY NEWS

[07.22.06]—Here's an interesting take on all the M. Night Shyamalan bashing that's gone on over the last week or so in conjunction with the release of Lady in the Water. Editor's note: I haven't seen the film, so I won't be join this fray just yet.

COMMENTARY: WILL LOST BE LOST IN 2006?

Whether you think of the popular television series, Lost, as a kind of magical realism is irrelevant here. It started out that way, exploring improbability through the use of miracles (survivors of a plane crash), solitary settings (a remote island in the South Pacific) and the mundane lives of people taking on magical qualities (Hurley's trouble with numbers, as one example).

The writing in 2005-2006 seems to have moved the show off the MR radar, however. It may or may not matter to the millions of television's viewers, but it matters here. Why? Part of the success of rock-solid MR (if there is such a thing) lies in its ability to maintain the magic in a believable fashion. Part of that maintenance includes avoiding loose threads.

I'm not suggesting explanations for things like the creepy animal-thing in the jungle. MR is not about explanations but about offering alternatives to the Western mode of realism. So what has happened to the creepy animal-thing? It hardly shows up anymore. Maybe it was a bad element and they replaced it with something more believable, such as the whispering Others? And what about these Others, anyway? We know they aren't so mysterious after all. Have they lost their spookiness with the series' late-spring revelations?

So many open questions lurk that the upcoming season really must address them if the show is going to keep from jumping the shark for so many peripheral viewers who wouldn't ordinarly choose sci fi or fantasy or supernatural programming. (For purists, it JedTS in the first season and continues to splay its skis).

What I want to know is how they plan to develop futures for two of the key characters, Mr. Eko and Locke? Both are strong, magical realist archetypes, their lives having been shaped by a mixture of the magic and the real. Are we likely to lose their stories as the plot thickens from its X-Files-styled finale, in which a connection is drawn between a turncoat member of the Others, his mysterious lover (who is the daughter of a major power player on the level of James Bond intrigue) and the scientists at a subzero station who located the odd magnetic "beacon" on the island in the last episode?

All this to say, the show is fast losing focus.

I've heard through the grapevine that Lost's season will run in two sections next fall, with a 6-week opening in October followed by a 13-week absence before it reappears with unbroken episodes in February. One bright spot? The elimination of repeat after repeat (and thank God for that). Will the time away allow the show's writers to change this chameleon into colors the audience will still recognize? With its creator, JJ Abrams, possibly jumping ship (but not the shark) in spring 2007, it's hard not to predict the fall of the show. Keep your fingers crossed they'll stop with all the loose ends and keep it believable in its originally magical way. Thumbs up for mystery; thumbs down for new plotlines that explain without resolving anything.

Let me know what you think.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 9:21 AM PDT
Updated: 24 July 2006 9:36 AM PDT
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21 July 2006
THE WEEK IN REVIEW [7.18-21]
CALENDAR

[07.24.06]—Coming Up: Margin contributor and poet Katherine Grace Bond reads from her latest collection, Considering Flight. To be held at the P&G Cafe, 15614 Main St., Duvall, WA. Open mic at 6p; featured reader at 7p. Info: email

CELEBRITY NEWS

[07.24.06]—from The Independent—Daniel Howden is taken on a tour of Gaboland, led by none other than Jaime Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate's younger brother. "The Portal de los Dulces, one of Cartagena's favourite meeting points, has changed little in the last 100 years; the characters are just where Gabriel Garcia Marquez left them."

[07.20.06]—from DialogicFranz Kafka: "I Write Differently... I write differently from the way I speak, I speak differently from the way I think, I think differently from the way I should think—and so it goes on into the darkest depths of infinity."—(Letter to Ottla, July 10, 1914)

[07.20.06]—reported in The Elegant Variation: Australian magical realist Peter Carey appears in the latest edition of Paris Review. Get your copy

BOOKS

[07.19.06]—Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (Pantheon: November 2006)—Writes Luke Harding in Strasbourg for the Guardian Unlimited: "Increasingly, it seems, young German writers are no longer looking to Thomas Mann and Grass for inspiration, or studying the theories of Theodor Adorno. … Instead, they are looking to Anglo-Saxon fiction and Spanish magic realism. Kehlmann—who studied German literature and philosophy at university, publishing his first novel at 22—spent his teens reading Nabokov and Borges. He likes British writers including Zadie Smith and Ian McEwan."

[07.19.06]—On the Midwest Booksellers Association and the Great Lakes Booksellers Association bestsellers list for the week of July 16: FOR TRADE PAPERBACK FICTION: #5, The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin); #9, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage); #12, Saturday by Ian McEwan (Anchor); #15, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Mariner); FOR CHILDREN'S TITLES: #15, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick)

MIXED MEDIA

[07.21.06]—The Brothers Grimm—Writes Bryan Reesman for Premiere—"Grimm is well cast, features dazzling effects, and incorporates the magical realism and antiauthoritarianism that are trademarks of Gilliam's œuvre, although that combination is not as potent as usual here." With director Terry Gilliam and writer Ehren Kruger.

[07.20.06]—Cloud Tectonics—Writes Neil Genzlinger for The New York Times—"The playwright doesn’t have quite enough here to be worthy of a full-length work (this production runs 100 intermissionless minutes), but the piece builds to a lovely concluding thought about love over a lifetime. Helping immensely the whole way is some striking lighting by Paul Hackenmueller, who does quite a lot with not very much." With director James Phillip Gates; based on Jose Rivera magical realist novel of the same title; runs through August 5 at the Culture Project, 45 Bleecker Street, East Village, NYC. For more info: (212) 868-4444.

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING…

YOU MAY NOTICE: We'll be experimenting with the format and frequency of this newsblog over the next few weeks. Let us know if something works well or doesn't work at all. We're here to serve you.

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed, and all submissions have been processed. If you have not heard from us and you have a submission that remains outstanding, chances are good it was lost in the mail. You can always check with us; we have sent you a reply, which could have been lost in the mail.

GET PINGED! If you are set up to read web feeds, simply Margin's MAGICAL REALISM NEWS RSS feed to your reader using your web reader's tools. You'll receive automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. If you haven't moved into the world of RSS, don't despair. It's easier than it looks. RSS means "really simple syndication." To download a freeware RSS web reader (which allows you to "get pinged"—that is, receive automatic updates of new content posted at all your favorite blogs), we recommend Active Web Reader 2.4. Set up is easy and the feed reader is customizable.

GENTLE REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays due to pool parties, novel revision, rib festivals or stargazing.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 10:03 AM PDT
Updated: 21 July 2006 10:07 AM PDT
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17 July 2006
MR OVER THE WEEKEND + COMMENTARY: McOndo and the manufacturing of literary movements
Topic: July 2006
BOOKS

[07.17.06]—Michael Martone by Michael Martone (Ficton Collective 2) has earned the distinction as the Litblog Co-op's Summer READ THIS! Selection this week. Maybe this isn't magical realism per se, but fans of MR will likely appreciate the book's unorthodox approach by an equally unorthodox (and excellent) author. Read an excerpt here

[07.16.06]—An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter by Cesar Aira; Chris Andrews, tr.—Writes Ilan Stavans for SFGate.com—"More than fiction, [Episode] is an imaginative chronicle based on [protagonist] Rugendas' correspondence and other historical sources from the [19th Century]. To which Aira adds the novelistic touch: el beso de la fantasia—the kiss of fantasy." Stavans suggests, in the title to his review ("Latin Americans still tweaking the novel"), that the McOndo crowd may be fighting an uphill battle: "The future is unlikely to be kind to McOndo. As for [Roberto] Bola?o [previously discussed in this newsblog] and (on a good day) Aira, they will stand the test of time." New Directions, 2006 [English edition; 2000, en Espa?ol]

COMMENTARY: CAN LITERARY MOVEMENTS REALLY BE MANUFACTURED IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

Question: Why does it have to be MR or bust? I may be a huge supporter of literary magical realism, but it doesn't mean that I expect all Latino writing to take on that form. Now, I know that the American publishing industry has made it difficult for Latin American writers to break out of their prescribed pigeonholes, and that's absolutely tragic. And I understand Fuguet's stance in McOndo, that the only way to break the circle of pigeonholing is to declare a new literary movement (whether it be Fuguet's McOndo or the Mexican members of the Crack Manifesto). But, as Ilan Stavans points out in his article [cited above], "Their objective was to turn Magic Realism on its head. But their novels were flat and repetitive and, in most cases, D.O.A." You can't blame them for trying in the name of literature, but it makes me wonder how successful movements in literature are made. By a conscious effort (such as McOndo), or more organically (such as Magical Realism), so that only in hindsight are the footprints recovered in the sand? It may have been possible, back in the day of Carpentier, Uslar-Pietri and Cortazar, to intellectually move literature into a new direction using geography, experience and culture in ways collective, but can this really happen today? With the global village erasing certain boundaries and consumerism weighing in more than intellectualism in the US, is it possible to create a new literary movement on purpose? Let me know what you think.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 8:06 AM PDT
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14 July 2006
Hubert Lampo; Waking Lazarus; Cellophane; In the Arms of Words; Kafka on the Shore; The Shadow of the Wind; Bernardo Atxaga
Topic: July 2006
IN MEMORIUM

Belgian writer Hubert Lampo died on July 13 at the age of 85. Lampo authored 21 novels, including the infamous The Coming of Joachim Stiller, as well as numerous novellas and short stories. He was an award-winning author writing from the vantage of his experiences in World War II, and he incorporated elements of magical realism in much of his writing. He was considered a likely candidate for the Nobel Prize.

CALENDAR

[07.16.06]—Deadline to enter BethanyHouse newsletter free book giveaway for the debut suspense title, Waking Lazarus by T.L. Hines. From the publisher: "Jude Allman has died and come back to life three times, becoming a celebrity against his own wishes. When the world crushes in around this unlikely miracle man, this modern-day Lazarus, he escapes into the vastness of Montana." Five free copies will be raffled off through a random selection of entries. Go to the website to enter.

[07.14.06]—Reading for disaster relief anthology, In the Arms of Words, Amy Ouzoonian, editor. To be held 7:30p at Writer's Voice of the West Side YMCA, 5 W. 63rd Street (between Broadway and Central Park West), Manhattan. Free admission. Free wine. Info: graucher@ymcanyc.org

BOOKS

[07.14.06]—Cellophane by Marie Arana—Writes Ashley Simpson Shires for the Rocky Mountain News—"[L]like [Garcia] Marquez and Allende, her writing invokes the term 'magical realism.' Arana eloquently derides this term, though, in a 1999 feature for the Washington Post Book Club. She contends that ghosts, levitations, and strange possessions of the soul are 'deeply Latin American preoccupations, forged over centuries by the fusion of indigenous American, Spanish and African faiths.' The supernatural is a way of life, she argues, not a literary device but a constant presence in the mindset." The Dial Press, 2006

[07.12.06]—Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (Penguin) was Renee's Book of the Day this week.

[07.09.06]—The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin) rated #14 on the New England Booksellers Association trade paperback fiction list this past week.

MIXED MEDIA

[07.11.06]—Obaba, or the Hidden Land—Writes Anna Bello for the Romanian daily, NineO'Clock—"An investigative trip to a mysterious, isolated Basque hill town populated by eccentrics (and a fair dash of lizards) becomes a mesmerizing and evocative experience for protagonist and viewer alike in [director] Montxo Armendariz’s wonderful screen treatment" of the Bernardo Atxaga novel, Obabakoak. "The film carefully unlocks the past to study its effect on the present. The production’s fresh vision and fusion of regional charm with magic realism should ensure art house interest from viewers." With Pilar Lopez de Ayala and Barbara Lennie; distributed by Transylvania Film.

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING…

YOU MAY NOTICE: We'll be experimenting with the format and frequency of this newsblog over the next few weeks. Let us know if something works well or doesn't work at all. We're here to serve you.

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed, and all submissions have been processed. If you have not heard from us and you have a submissions that remains outstanding, chances are good it was lost in the mail. You can always check with us; we have sent you a reply, which could have been lost in the mail.

GET PINGED! If you are set up to read web feeds, simply Margin's MAGICAL REALISM NEWS RSS feed to your reader using your web reader's tools. You'll receive automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. If you haven't moved into the world of RSS, don't despair. It's easier than it looks. RSS means "really simple syndication." To download a freeware RSS web reader (which allows you to "get pinged"—that is, receive automatic updates of new content posted at all your favorite blogs), we recommend Active Web Reader 2.4. Set up is easy and the feed reader is customizable.

GENTLE REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays due to pool parties, novel revision, rib festivals or stargazing.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 12:56 PM PDT
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10 July 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR MONDAY, JULY 10, 2006
Topic: July 2006
ODDS & ENDS

[07.10.06]
Fans of or newcomers to the witty feminist magical realism of the late Angela Carter can enjoy a reassessment of the British author's œuvre via an article in the Independent Online by Michele Roberts. From the header: "Angela Carter's playful retelling of fairy tales and her witty feminism won her legions of fans. But 14 years after her death, is she still essential reading or has the world moved on?"

[07.02.06]
Gabo lovers who haven't heard this tidbit must have been on vacation (as I was): The residents of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's birthplace, Aracataca, Columbia, arranged a vote on July 2 to determine whether to change the town's name to Macondo in order to honor him. But in a strange ironic twist, a majority of residents failed to show up to vote. Writes Joshua Goodman in Guardian Unlimited: "In Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, the residents of the fictitious tropical hamlet of Macondo sleep through the midday swelter in porch hammocks. Fact imitated fiction on Sunday…" Isn't that a hoot? Fewer than half the minimum needed to vote showed up, though the town's mayor, Pedro Sanchez, reported that 93% of those who did vote opted for the change.

[06.19.06]
The futurists all predicted the 21st century as the wellspring for Indian culture. Here's more evidence: Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi's new lyrical fiction debut, The Last Song of Dusk. The Los Angeles Times has already blessed Shanghvi as the literary world's next young rising star for her sweeping, modern fairy tale, which "includes elements of magic realism."

[06.18.06]
Rebecca Assoun recently discussed Argentine author Alberto Gerchunoff's new nonfiction book, Jewish Gauchos in European Jewish Press as a "series of vignettes about shtetl life in Argentina. Praised for its depiction of how two entirely different cultures could coexist in a symbiotic relationship, Jewish Gauchos was written about a decade after Jewish immigration to Argentina began in earnest," all written in a style which "mixes prose and magical realism, lyricism and the story-telling."

A LITTLE LIGHT HOUSEKEEPING…

ESPECIALLY FOR WRITERS: Our reading period is closed.

GENERAL REMINDER: Margin's staff is on hiatus through mid-October 2006. Any e-mail we receive during this time will receive replies as necessary, but there may be delays.

ESPECIALLY FOR READERS:

Webfeed (RSS/ATOM/RDF) registered at http://www.feeds4all.nl

I don't know what took me so long, but I finally set up the RSS feed format for this blog. If you can read web feeds, simply click on our URL and add it to your own and you'll received automated feeds whenever we update the Magical Realism Newsblog. Thanks for your patience!


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 12:40 PM PDT
Updated: 10 July 2006 1:37 PM PDT
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7 July 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR FRI, JULY 7
SUMMER NEWS

You'll notice I've been a little slow this summer, but magical realism doesn't take time off. I'll try to keep you up to date as frequently as I am able—that is, vacations, trips to the pool, day hikes and s'mores roasting notwithstanding. Always feel free to send me your magical realism news and tips to Margin News Editor. In the meantime, here's a little catching up:

[06.17.06]
Come read about our fundraising hurricane relief project, Southern Revival, at Square Table! (Which is actually my reminder to you to buy your copy before they sell out!)

[06.14.06]
Here's one for the foreign film buffs out there: Mathamma The Mother Goddess. This film, reportedly the lone Indian-American entry in the Bollywood & Beyond International Film Festival this year, was described in Telegu Portal as "based on the real life experience of one village woman." Much of the magical realism is reflected both in the beautiful landscape cinematography and director Parthiban Shanmugam's painstaking attention to details. This will be a good one to check out for those who'd like to better understand how magical realism is not only about what can be seen, but also about what is behind what can be seen.

Related to this: I'm taking a generative writing class by Curtis Bonney (of Seattle Surrealists) at the Richard Hugo House on "Unrealism," and one of my classmates is a creative nonfiction writer interested in seeing how "unrealistic" writing can be portrayed in nonfiction narrative. She might be interested in checking out Shanmugam's technique.

[06.11.06]
"I would advise you to park your logical faculties at the lobby before you watch The Lake House,” writes Rina Jimenez-David for the Philippine Daily Inquirer (seen here, reprinted at INQ7.com). "Only this way can you fully enjoy the film, jumping willy-nilly into its incredible premise—that two people, separated by time, can write to each other and fall in love through the powers of a magical mailbox. … It may sound unbelievable, even a bit ridiculous, when the movie’s story is summed up so baldly. But trust me. There’s more to The Lake House than just magical realism, as its publicity material trumpets."

[06.09.06]
I like PopMatters.com, which means I'll probably fall out of favor with the more "erudite" folks in the literary world. But so what? North American magical realism, whether it's as wonderful as its South American precursor, still deserves examination. (Personally, I think North American magical realism is nothing like its South American counterpart, which means, of course, that it's its own thing, which is what it should be. And there are plenty of South American magical realists who don't write as well as Gabo, folks.) Anyway?

North American magical realism is cropping up in all sorts of ways, including via the intriguing graphic novel form that's become so hip these days. PopMatters.com recently reviewed one such title, Ghost of Hoppers, written by Jaime Hernandez and published by Fantagraphics. Writes reviewer Chris Barsanti: "It's a bit of a cliche to call Jaime's work magical realist, though he definitely has shown those tendencies."

[Soapbox response: Why some people automatically consider magical realist efforts or categorization as cliche is beyond me—is there such a thing as cliched mainstream or literary writing? You never hear it referred to in that way, but ho-boy, it definitely exists. So much of mainstream and literary writing these days is comprised of derivative characters and plots already done. End of soapbox.]

Ghost of Hoppers is Volume 22 in the "Love and Rockets" series (remember, these are essentially high-grade comic books—but don't let that stop you, since high-grade comics are all the rage these days). It's an illustrated love story, essentially, between two punk Latina bisexuals. Did someone say collectible?

Barsanti offers this advice for those new to either Hernandez or the genre itself: "It's hard to say how much readers who are unfamiliar with the work of Jaime (or his brother Gilbert) will get out of Ghost of Hoppers as a standalone—for those, it's best recommended to go out and find a copy of Locas [from which Hoppers was originally spun] and get straight to reading—but it's likely as good an entry point as any to the furiously romantic and melancholic world of Maggie and Hopey."

[of recent note]
A production of Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change recently showed in Washington, DC. Held at The Studio Theater, the play was summarized by All About Jewish Theatre thusly: "The Studio Theatre's new production features a top-of-the-line cast, a meticulous sung-through score by Jeanine Tesori (composer of Thoroughly Modern Millie) and an intimate staging that explores the not-so-colorblind relations between Southern Jews and blacks during the height of the civil rights era." The play originally premiered on Broadway in 2004 and broadens Kushner's reach by being utterly personal in its evocation of magical realism.


Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 11:59 AM PDT
Updated: 7 July 2006 12:13 PM PDT
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15 June 2006
MAGICAL REALISM NEWS FOR THURS JUN 16
Topic: June 2006
ART AUCTION!

[6.15.06]
Previous contributor, Scottish artist Dee Rimbaud (cover art, Margin, Autumn 2005 edition and current contents page art) announces a special art auction: "The closing date for offers is 30th June 2006… There are 50+ (works) altogether, in different styles and mediums. I'm willing to accept offers for them, because of difficult financial circumstances, which I won't elaborate on here, but which—if you're curious—you can read about in detail in my travel-blog… You may view all the pictures for sale on my website… Also, my most popular artworks are now available as posters, greeting cards, postcards, as well as on t-shirts, mugs and fridge-magnets. … I do hope you will consider taking a look and maybe making a purchase." Check out his work; maybe you'll not only find something you like, but you'll help out an artist in need as well!

Posted by magicalrealismmaven@yahoo.com at 2:44 PM PDT
Updated: 15 June 2006 2:57 PM PDT
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