This is the most complete empirical analysis of magical realism as a literary genre. This is the first book to carefully show the ways that magical realism emerged in the twentieth century in places other than Latin America. For example, the definition is given that works must contain elements of the neo-fantastic along with re-casting history. Gabriel Garcia Marquez being the acknowledged representative author of the genre contains both in his novels. Authors like Gunter Grass, Franz Kafka, Jorge-Luis Borges, and Alejo Carpenter all contain some but not all elements of the genre. They can be considered early progenitors but not fully within the same classification as magical realism. Today in its fully developed form, magical realism is often viewed as being purposefully vague with determining the lines between fact and magic.
1. Magical Realism: A Problem of Definition; 2. Precursors: The Neo-Fantastic and the Recasting of History; 3. Magical Realism in Latin America; 4. Midnight's Children and the Postcolonial Potential of Magical Realism; 5. Three Aspects of Today's Magical Realism.