Margin: Exploring Modern Magical Realism

F I C T I O N   A R C H I V E S   2 0 0 0
Stories of Magical Realism
s t o r i e s   ~   e x c e r p t s

Boiled Him Jan 2000 -- 2 pages
n o r m a n d i   e l l i s   ~   f r a n k f o r t ,   k e n t u c k y
"And ate him...but that wasn't the end of the story, although she did live happily ever after."
     NORMANDI ELLIS WRITES: "Thoughts are things. Reality is a web of possibility. Magical realism happens as truth in another dimension. The ancient Egyptian idea of heka (meaning 'magic' or 'words of power') relates to this concept. They defined heka as 'the proper words in proper sequence with proper intonation and proper intent;' thus, the world was made and remade anew."

Deercat Nov 2000-- 2 pages
j a m e s   b e r t o l i n o   ~   b e l l i n g h a m ,   w a s h i n g t o n
"It suddenly occurred to me that they were showing off for her, that they thought she was a spirit deer..."
     JAMES BERTOLINO WRITES: "By reaching into what is vast and transcendent we come onto what is personal and precious. Magical Realism is alchemical: what is above is below, inside is outside, dreams are lucidly conscious and meaning fully animates the world. The scale involved is immense: having the magical within the real is a way of enclosing the universe, a way of finding sense in the dance of cosmos and chaos."

Eclipse Jan 2000 -- 5 pages
l a w r e n c e   d u n n i n g   ~   d e n v e r ,   c o l o r a d o
"They are like children in their simplicity, these scientists."
     LAWRENCE DUNNING WRITES: "My definition of magical realism is not particularly original: It's stories depicting metaphysical reality imbued with wonder and mystery, however matter-of-fact the telling, and usually including a sense of the mythical and legendary past in 'real' daily lives. Observations from a recent trip to Morocco: Mysterious old women with veiled faces, eyes reflecting centuries of pain. Ghostly men in long, hooded djellabas standing motionless for what seemed hours on hillsides or in open fields, their faces so darkly hidden there might have been no one inside. Disturbing thought: They and the landscape, the history, were one and the same. Real, perhaps, but mythic, magical."

The Egg Jan 2000 -- 5 pages
p e g g y   m u n s o n   ~   p r o v i d e n c e ,   r h o d e   i s l a n d
"If I ever went back to get the egg, she would tell everyone that it belonged to an endangered bird, and I had touched the egg and it was tainted and now the mother would not love it."
     PEGGY MUNSON WRITES: "One prescription medication I took caused something called rebound REM in the tapering-off process. Rebound REM is a state of quickening, cascading, fragmented dreams, an emergence of dream images and archetypes that have been suppressed, often odd and horrible nightmares. It is unlike normal dreaming because one wakes up frequently in a strange and liminal place. Rebound REM fascinates me because it imples that dreams have a storage tank, that they are a necessary fuel. I guess magical realism is a kind of rebound REM."

El Niño Jan 2000 -- 3 pages
d o r e n e   o ' b r i e n   ~   w e s t   b l o o m f i e l d ,   m i c h i g a n
"A wind that has swept up from across the Argentinean pampas catches the balloon and carries it westward beyond the village, and the child praises the Virgin for the miracle of his lungs."
     DORENE O'BRIEN WRITES: "Magical realism defies the rigid, conventional, linear depiction of reality and creates its own definition of potential. Because it is a major component of postmodernist writing, which seeks to break new ground while refusing strict categorization, its burden is not only to blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality, between that which is real and that which is possible, but to erase the distinction with a deceptively soft touch and with quiet acceptance."

Field Jan 2000 -- 4 pages
a n n e   s p o l l e n   ~   n e w   p a l t z ,   n e w   y o r k
"There is movement everywhere, rushing sounds, as if the air is charged, ignitable, kindling the dry branches of the trees."
     ANNE SPOLLEN WRITES: "In writing magical realism, the author is not bound by the perimeters of time, space or logic. The spirit can be a force with more power, control and wisdom than anything that exists in the physical realm. A successful piece straddles the dreamlike terrain between what is familiar and what is fantastic and, in the end, leaves us questioning all that we previously believed to be real."

Late Jan 2000 -- 7 pages
a t a r   h a d a r i   ~   l o n d o n ,   u n i t e d   k i n g d o m
" 'I'm an attorney, Mr. DeAngelo,' Claudia puts her cup firmly back into the saucer. 'I know people never make it up.' "
     ATAR HADARI WRITES: "Definition of magical realism? Sofas that fly."

The Mapmaker Jan 2000 -- 5 pages
b r a n d y   b a u e r   ~   w a s h i n g t o n ,   d . c .
"Ramesh Kothari had often been told about reincarnation by his elders, but it was not until he saw the blemish that day in the bazaar that he had seen it come true."
     BRANDY BAUER WRITES: "Magical realism embraces everyday events with childlike wonder and tosses skepticism to the wind. It holds an appreciation for that which cannot be explained—the surreal, the supernatural—and maintains that such events can coexist with real-world tragedies, politics and triumphs. The magical realist author does not question, How could this happen? but merely says, Imagine how this happened."

Obsidian Feb 2000 -- 10 pages in 2 parts
s u s a n   s a n   m i g u e l   ~   s a n   a n t o n i o ,   t e x a s
"Outside, the vapor had crept up from the earth and wrapped its arms around the building where husband and wife lay..."
     SUSAN SAN MIGUEL WRITES: "Magical realism is accepting and allowing yourself an awareness of the infinite patterns of so-called reality in your everyday life such that you can't distinguish objectivity from the mythical, the mystical, the supernatural, the hallucinated, the imagined. Fiction merely blurs the boundaries between these vehicles of self-exploration allowing the truth to be revealed. The question of what is real becomes moot. Talk magic, and act magic and believe in the possibility of everything, and pretty soon those around you don't even notice anymore because they too begin to see beyond self-imposed limitations."

Spent Earth Jan 2000 -- 4 pages
c a t h e r i n e   s c h e r e r   ~   c h i c a g o ,   i l l i n o i s
"He was afraid that he would either fall out of bed and down to the earth or float out of bed and up to the sky."
     CATHERINE SCHERER WRITES: "Magical realism is --
          *a paradox arising from the need to say more -- more meaning,
              more beauty, more intimacy -- but at a safer distance.
          *something the mind does with language to defy reality.
          *the greater part of reality that takes place inside our minds.
          *like Marty the waitress said just now, 'I'm trying to get wild.' "

Sunkissed Oct 2000 -- 8 pages
s a n d i   s o n n e n f e l d   ~   s e a t t l e ,   w a s h i n g t o n
" 'They say that witches dance in gardens,' a voice says."
     SANDI SONNENFELD WRITES: "To me, magic realism is a new form of awareness, a sort of wake-up call to remind us that, in the midst of work and family obligations, the world still contains mysteries, small moments of pure joy, self-actualization or complete astonishment which essentially make living worthwhile. I believe that children fundamentally are less distracted by the mundane and therefore experience magic realism moments more often than most adults."

bar graphic

margin home | contents | links | reading list | marginalia | contributors | staff | guidelines | kudos | subscriptions | contact us

Want to know about UPDATES and NEW ADDITIONS to MARGIN?
Try our - S P A M L E S S - opt-in subscription
It's absolutely free!

Layout, design & revisions ©1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Tamara Kaye Sellman, Webmaster
Active home URL:
(also: html)


TERMS OF USE: This site contains copyrighted materials, including but not limited to text and graphics. You may not use, copy, publish, upload, download, post to a bulletin board, include in any weblog or otherwise transmit, distribute or modify any elements of this site in any way, except that you may download one copy of such contents on any single computer for your own personal, non-commercial use, provided you do not alter or remove any copyright, author attribution or other proprietary notices.

Press Kit entrance
Rev'd 2003/02/10