Studies in Creative Writing: Magical Realism

course will focus on recent novels that have been described by the term “Magical
Realism.” Commonly associated with Latin American authors (Marquez, Borges,
etc.), Magical Realism
as a term originated in Europe during the 1920’s, in the writings of
Franz Roh. But if Magical Realism is a “genre” then it is ancient.
What makes it seem “new?” Are there North American and Asian examples,
influenced by places other than Latin America? Is the term too broad to be
useful? We’ll ask many questions, knowing that we don’t know. For convenience,
we’ll start by defining Magical Realism as stories that merge what is commonly
called realism with something else: the supernatural, the miraculous, the
mythic, etc. In Magical Realism, these aspects make their appearance as if they
were ordinary, everyday occurrences, part of the rationality and materiality of
normal life. We will read stories and watch a few films from different cultural
contexts, in order to compare the workings of Magical Realism in North and
South America, Europe, and Asia.


will be lots of reading and conversation. Don’t enroll if that doesn’t appeal
to you.



  • write thoughtful midterm and final assignments
  • write a response of one-page or more to the class blog every
  • read thoroughly every assignment
  • engage and actively participate in class conversations and
  • have perfect, on-time attendance


Required books
(Most Readings Will Be Hand-Outs)

be announced