Margin: Exploring Modern Magical 

Realism

F I C T I O N   2 0 0 4
Stories of Magical Realism
s t o r i e s   ~   e x c e r p t s

INTRODUCTION
f r o m   t h e   e d i t o r

CURRENT FICTION 2005
FICTION ARCHIVES 2002-2003
FICTION ARCHIVES 2001
FICTION ARCHIVES 2000

THE 2004 SHORT STORY CONTEST PRIZE STORY
CECELIA Autumn 2004 - 10 pages
CECELIA
l a u r a   l o o m i s   ~   p i t t s b u r g,   c a l i f o r n i a
" 'Madre de Dios!' she cried. 'They were wrong! The doctors were wrong! She’s awake!' "
     LAURA LOOMIS WRITES: "Magical realism is tricky to define, but can be viewed as real life with a half twist. Instead of an alien planet with spaceships or dragons, characters live and work in our familiar world, with the occasional impossible event. Often it involves a protagonist with magical powers that we've all longed to possess."

NEW!
GINA IS IN TROUBLE Autumn 2004 - 3 pages
GINA IS IN TROUBLE
g i r i j a   t r o p p   ~   m e l b o u r n e,   a u s t r a l i a
"They are interrupted by the voice of God saying, 'She's mine.' "
     GIRIJA TROPP WRITES: "Magical Realism has, for me, shifting boundaries with surrealism and even with work with a postmodern bent. It would include any work where the rules of normal living and appearance are subverted and this is done because the story intent could not be produced in any other way. In my own work, it appears without premeditation and spontaneously."

NEW!
CURIOSITY Autumn 2004 - 3 pages
CURIOSITY
j o h n   b r i g g s   ~   g r a n v i l l e,   m a s s a c h u s e t t s
"In the spirit of skeptical truth, the man hefted the carcass and carried it to his car."
     JOHN BRIGGS WRITES: "For me the term magical realism is a bit of a tautology. I am convinced the world is a dream. The genre of magical realism is a means of revealing, or at least suggesting, this truth to others."

NEW!
A GIFT FOR BROTHER COYOTE Autumn 2004 - 2 pages
A GIFT FOR BROTHER COYOTE
l a r r i   a n n   r o s s e r   ~    f o r t   w o r t h,   t e x a s
"Her society would probably think what she's doing is barbarous and wrong, but I understand."
     LARRI ANN WRITES: "Magical realism to me is writing stories of the world you knew as a child. Not immature, but open to the possibility that fairies might live in the bush outside your window or that trolls make the grinding noise you hear in the night. Magical realists write about the world we might see if we weren’t convinced we know what’s out there, or the world that might be if we didn’t always wake up from our dreams."

NEW!
CEREMONY Autumn 2004 - 3 pages
CEREMONY
s a n d r a   m a d d u x - c r e e c h   ~   w e l l i n g t o n,   c o l o r a d o
"They gather around it, and the coughing boy turns the dragonfly over with one pale hand. The smallest boy asks in a baby voice, 'Is it real?' "
     SANDRA MADDUX-CREECH WRITES: "For me, magical realism is best described in a quote from Chekhov's The Seagull, when Treplev says, 'We should show life neither as it is nor as it ought to be, but as we see it in our dreams.' "

NEW!
NOTES FROM THE CONCH MOUNTAIN Autumn 2004 - 5 pages
NOTES FROM THE CONCH MOUNTAIN
c h r i s t o p h e r   w o o d s   ~   h o u s t o n,   t e x a s
"Old Mendoza claimed he had as many as a hundred dreams on a given night. He could easily relate a dozen dreams in a row, just as he sang all those songs without forgetting a word."
     CHRISTOPHER WOODS WRITES: "Magic realism is a bending of reality with a dream. It is going to open a window to let the breeze come inside, but then discovering you are outside. It is how clouds move across the sky and blanket the ground, then drift through us before returning to the sky. Or it is a story, sometimes lived and other times written, with several realities jostling for space at once."

NEW!
THE STORM JAR Autumn 2004 - 3 pages
THE STORM JAR
j o d i   b i n g a m a n   ~   c a v e   c r e e k,   a r i z o n a
"Once finished dancing, I sat within the storm until the jar was filled."

FRAGMENTS OF A HISTORY Spring/Summer 2004 - 12 pages
FRAGMENTS OF A HISTORY
m a r i a   l e m u s   ~   m i a m i   b e a c h,   f l o r i d a
"He lies buried somewhere, perhaps, under fans and anemones, his body nothing more than a coral city shadowed by sargasso clouds floating in the heavens."
     MARIA LEMUS WRITES: "Magical Realism: when it starts raining butterflies, you bring out the dustpan and the broom complaining about the frequence of miracles."

THE LANGUAGE OF 

SNAILS Spring/Summer 2004 - 5 pages
THE LANGUAGE OF SNAILS
m a r c i a   d o u g l a s   ~   b r o o m f i e l d,   c o l o r a d o
"This is why you see so many country women walking close to the edge of the road and why you should be careful as you swerve around corners."
     MARCIA DOUGLAS WRITES: "Magical realism is multi-dimensional and shifty, connecting to the world of spirit and magic by visiting the everyday, then opening a secret door. Sometimes this posits the writer as mythmaker, attempting to make sense of the world; but then too, sometimes she may be a jester, her audience at her feet, and at other times, a cultural insider exploring old secrets. The term itself is paradoxical and conflicted, and every now and then we should remind ourselves that there are certain contexts in which it is born from the reader/critic's outside gaze and useful only in a particular light."

HERITAGE Spring/Summer 2004 - 11 pages
HERITAGE
k a t i a   u l y s s e   ~   b a l t i m o r e ,   m a r y l a n d
"Madan Casseus clutched her shirt collar and gasped. It suddenly occurred to her that something other than natural causes might be responsible for her husband’s condition."
     KATIA ULYSSE WRITES: "Magical Realism is where the surreal and illogical become plausible, commonplace occurrences."

TWO MEN DO NOT DREAM 

THE SAME DREAM Spring/Summer 2004 - 11 pages
TWO MEN DO NOT DREAM THE SAME DREAM
e w i n g   c a m p b e l l   ~   a u s t i n,   t e x a s
"Someone had declared that a talking fish was a sure sign of approaching calamity and a warning for the world to repent its sins. "
     EWING CAMPBELL WRITES: "I think of magical realism as instances of finding the marvelous in ordinary events or of accepting the impossible as if it were actual, ordinary, and expected."

JUMBIE FROM BORDEAUX Spring/Summer 2004 - 6 pages
JUMBIE FROM BORDEAUX
c e l e s t e   r i t a   b a k e r   ~   h a r l e m,   n e w   y o r k
"What I see make me head throw back and a scream fly out."
     CELESTE RITA BAKER WRITES: "I think literary magical realism is how we explain the unexplainable, sometimes to our liking."

BEAUTIFUL THINGS Spring/Summer 2004 - 16 pages
BEAUTIFUL THINGS
j a c q u e l i n e   b i s h o p   ~   n e w   y o r k,   n e w   y o r k
"It seemed to Emmanuel that the bird was not a parrot at all, but some untamed aspect of the woman. Both were so spectacularly beautiful."
     JACQUELINE BISHOP WRITES: "I was surprised when, as a graduate student, I came to realize that things that I had taken for granted as a child growing up in Jamaica, things that my grandmother and great grandmother took for granted, as natural to us as the air we breathed, had a name to them, and that name was Magical Realism. It was taken as a given, for example, that there was a reality other than the one that was of the physical plain only. Every night my great grandmother set out a plate of food for the "others" to eat. No one blinked an eye if someone around the dinner table talked of seeing a "duppy" in the bushes. We children had to be ever-so-careful of so many things, for what appeared to be a woman, especially if she were a very beautiful woman, might not be a woman at all ... Many of these things I now think, looking over my creative life, have found their way into my story. Another story, from graduate school, best sums up my thoughts on magical realism: an old Irish woman was asked if she believed in fairies. No, she said in all seriousness, I do not believe in fairies: BUT THEY ARE THERE! Those are my exact thoughts on what has now become fashionable to call magical realism."

from The Fablesinger Spring/Summer 2004 - 7 pages
from THE FABLESINGER
j u d i t h   w o o l c o c k   c o l o m b o~   d e p o s i t ,   n e w   y o r k
"Without a Fablesinger, bodies could not be healed, crops grown, souls soothed, or, most important, the spirit assured a smooth journey to the shadow world."
     JUDITH WOOLCOCK COLOMBO WRITES: "In Magical Realism an author creates a society where magic exists not as something extraordinary but as something natural. The magic dwells within the world as part of it. People can be visited by dead relatives or led by a mystical bird toward a specific destination. Some women and men can control the forces of nature and each other's wills. No one seeks a logical or scientific explanation because none is needed. People accept that there are unseen powers in the world and strive to deal with them."

THE CHRISTENING OF 

ALONSO Spring/Summer 2004 - 4 pages
THE CHRISTENING OF ALONSO
j a n   s t e c k e l   ~   o a k l a n d,   c a l i f o r n i a
"Hispaniola breathed water. The island lived like a giant sponge that sucked in Spaniards and spit their bones onto the ocean floor."
     JAN STECKEL WRITES: "As a former pediatrician, I used to screen for psychotic postpartum depression by asking new mothers if, among other things, they heard voices. I eventually had to stop using that question to screen the Spanish-speaking mothers, because so many healthy Latina mothers answered yes, of course they heard voices, and saw visions, too. When I speak Spanish, I am a different person from when I speak English. In Spanish I see the world in more colors and hear it in a greater range of tones; the spiritual imagination becomes concrete. In Spanish I am a magical realist."

ABILENE Winter 2004 - 10 pages
ABILENE
d o r o t h e a   d u e n o w   ~   c h i c a g o,   i l l i n o i s
"No one knew where she disappeared to, but some women said that the sharp autumn winds had lifted her tiny torso and blown her right out of the nursery."
     DOROTHEA DUENOW WRITES: "Magical Realism is what the world looks like when you open your eyes."

THE FIRST, LAST AND ONLY 

PAINTING OF PABLO CASO Winter 2004 - 8 pages
THE FIRST, LAST AND ONLY
PAINTING OF PABLO CASO

b r u c e    t a y l o r   ~   s e a t t l e ,   w a s h i n g t o n
Yes, yes another Picasso in the making here (a teacher once said that Pablo even looked a little like Picasso but another teacher said, "No, I think he looks a bit more like a happy Van Gogh.").
     BRUCE TAYLOR WRITES: "Magic Realism makes the normal, strange—the unusual, normal. That, to me, describes reality as it really is anyway. Children, before they get the magic socialized out of them—hence becoming adults—really do know this. Magic Realism's task is to remind us of what children already know."

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