magical realism

John Atherton (American, 1900-1952), I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.–Thomas Jefferson on popular sovereignty, letter to W.C. Jarvis, 1820. from the series Great Ideas of Western Man, 1952. Gouache and paper on paperboard.

Hanahaki disease headcanon/ extended idea

HANAHAKI DISEASE is one of my favorite fictional diseases. But I’d like to see it explored in different ways.

It is an illness borne from UNREQUITED LOVE that causes flowers to grow in the lungs. The sick person will cough up petals with increasing frequency until they suffocate to death with the flowers fillings their chest.

There is two ways to cure it: first, the love must be reciprocated. The other way is to remove the flowers with a surgery that will also remove all the memories and feelings and the tricky part is that this procedure is PERMANENT. The person will never be able to fall in love for that one person again. 

I see it as a MAGICAL kind of TUBERCULOSIS (or  Consumption) because of the dramatic impact and influence this particularly infection disease had in popular culture. [Today it was replaced by leukemia, I think.]

It bothers me that you can cure a MAGICAL DISEASE with SCIENCE (by having a surgery!). The person is coughing flowers! You can’t cure it with a scalpel! Ok, you CAN, but maybe you shouldn’t…?… 

[The best attempt of using science to cure a broken heart goes to “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. Great movie! I also think the same principle could be used for the Hanahaki disease]

I know that this surgery is also kind of magic because it removes something intangible, but I like to think that since there are different types of TB, maybe there are different types of Hanahaki disease. Therefore, you can treat each type with a different approach.

Like, instead of surgery, the person could swallow a bunch of CATERPILLARS that would grow and eat the flowers. When the person coughs the butterflies, he/she will be cured from the disease. In worse cases of unrequited love the person could use leaf-cutter ANTS and then, after the ants do their job, lure them out by sleeping with a plate of sugar near the person’s bedhead. So you would have to see the kind of flower the person is coughing to choose the kind of insect to use, or what method would be the best to use .

[Or maybe instead of coughing petals, the person could throw up butterflies that where living in theirs stomach since they felt in love!]

Water with salt and vinegar or other kinds of homemade herbicides could also kill the flowers… and the person wouldn’t be able to fall in love for some time after that.

The idea is so full of possibilities! 

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

“Dazzle Me”

Done for @huevember day 3. Inspired by @apvrrish‘s new modern fantasy AU, calling me to come back. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece and I highly recommend it.

Appropriating Latinx Magical Realism: A Twitter Thread

Mel from Books on Wings began this discussion by tweeting: “Apart from all the mess that is MS’ new book, I’ve always been hesitant about non-latinx people writing magical realism. It’s prominently a Latin American genre and she took inspiration from Isabel Allende and García Márquez. But why would we need her voice and story?”

I studied magical realism and the fantastic in college, and wrote my senior thesis on it, so I decided to jump in, because this has often bothered me as well. So here it is: You can write magical realism without appropriating Latin-American stories or Latinx magical realism. It’s easy. Here’s why. 

Magical Realism as a genre was founded by Gabriel García Márquez. One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of the Spirits are two examples of the genre. This genre is largely a reaction against colonialism and Western realism. The idea is that mythology and spirituality are not as separate from the ‘real world’ in non-Western storytelling traditions. Here’s a way of explaining this: when I was a kid, my parents and grandparents told me a lot of stories about our history that are exaggerated, added-to, mythologized a little bit, etc. If I told a family history, I would tell those stories instead of finding the real ones, because these stories actually explain my family better. It’s an argument that it’s actually sort of more real if you include those tales rather than the ‘historically correct ones.’ You can pull inspiration from this genre successfully without appropriating it. For example, Jeffrey Eugenides in Middlesex uses the same sort of family/historical epic framework, dotted with magical realism, to tell his story. 

Magical realism is used in the literature of many cultures, from Balkan to Japanese to African-American novels and stories. It’s often used to project an anti-Western outlook, but with postmodernism, many Western writers began to utilize it as well. But outside of Latin America, magical realism is a mode, not a genre. It is a literary tool to enhance your story and give it depth, or mystery. It’s used, just for example, by The Master and Margarita, Ulysses, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Lincoln in the Bardo, the short stories of Shirley Jackson and Angela Carter. Would you put those all into the same genre? No, me neither. That’s because these all use magical realism but don’t try to appropriate the genre of magical realism, which is a Latin American genre. They use it as a mode to create a certain feeling, experience, and depth for the reader, but are not directly using the styles of Marquez.

That’s my problem with Maggie Stiefvater’s new novel. There is no reason why you need to appropriate Latinx stories or tropes from the genre of magical realism in order to write a novel that has magical realism in it. As Mel added, non-Latinx people can use it as a mode—but there’s no reason to take Latinx stories away. I agree. Do you want to write a novel with magical realism in it? Great—so do I, in fact. But why do you need to write a Latin American story to do so? The answer is that you really don’t. 

Magical Realism Fic Rec

for a friend!

burning bright (oikuro)- M, 43k

The tale of how Kuroo Tetsurou invades and subsequently ruins Oikawa Tooru’s life with his larger-than-life fire magic and his terrible hair.

i put my hand out, unfolded, into the sunlight (bokuaka) - G, 3.k

In which Bokuto Kotarou is woefully inept at conveying his feelings, and Akaashi Keiji has a sort-of superpower. Sort of.

hang out and fall in love (matsuhana) - T, 5.6k

In which Hanamaki’s humble medical practice is threatened by an intractable asshole a witch doctor who’s just moved into the shop down the street. Medical/Witchcraft AU.

And flowers bloom in his wake (kurodai) - G, 10k

Magical gifts AU. The first thing Kuroo notices about Sawamura Daichi is that wherever he goes, there are flowers. 

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Who is Balaga? I mean, I know he’s the  F A M O U S  T R O I K A  D R I V E R but who is he? He clearly knows Anatole and Dolokhov from past experiences, but what’s his history with them? Has Anatole eloped with more than one rich girl? Where are the “places not on any maps” and why the hell would Anatole and Dolokhov want to go to them? What were they up to - and more importantly, how much of it does Balaga know? He says he “knows things that would get you sent straight to Siberia if anyone found out”, but Anatole cheating on the wife barely anyone knows about doesn’t seem serious enough to qualify that, so what has he and/or Dolokhov done that Balaga knows about? Is that why he never has to “ask for roubles”? Because he has dirt on them so they pay him off? When he refers to his “fine gentlemen”, does he mean various customers or, as is seeming increasingly likely, does he mean just Anatole and Dolokhov? Could that mean that when he says guys have “beaten me and slapped me with their gloves”, that could have something to do with the fucked up arrangement he has with them? Did he witness something he wasn’t meant to? Alternatively, could the two owe him something, like something suspicious? Dolokhov is a “crazy good shot” according to the prologue, but he misses when he shoots at Pierre in the Duel, even though he managed to assassinate the Shah’s brother… could it be possible that Balaga had something to do with that?? He claims some say his troika “rides into the air”, which doesn’t seem realistically possible - is Balaga some kind of demon, who made a dark deal with Dolokhov and Anatole and therefore doesn’t “do this for roubles” and “does it because I like it” because he’s a true chaotic evil? He’s definitely contributing to chaos by helping them abduct Natasha. Additionally, Anatole’s defining feature - that he’s  H O T - is a little nondescript… is it an enchantment that Balaga gave him? So that all women around him would fall in love with him? Did they send witches to Siberia in 1812?? AM I READING FAR TOO FAR INTO THIS? I KNOW I AM BUT GET THIS: I DON’T THINK BALAGA’S A HUMAN AND I HAVE FURTHER EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT TH

Magic!Check Please AU

I love the idea that a fey, unearthly Eric Bittle would skate because he has an affinity for ice, but have we considered the possibility that it might be metal? Like, skate blades and kitchen knives provide that little extension where he can stretch out his senses and brush against that endless stream of magic. You know that ‘satisfying feelings’ montage? Where people sink their hands into bags of beans or crack creme brûlée? That’s how Bitty feels when his skates cut into ice or when he slices apples.

(And then there’s a dark converse that he’s always got to be alert for, because he is a dangerous creature at his heart, where he longs for the metallic tang of blood freshly let by flashing blade, or a split lip from dropped gloves)

But he smiles and is kind like he was taught, and his teeth flash bright.

Patater Week - Day 1

Feb. 6- Get Together – (Coraline-inspired AU, magical realism, 6.4K)
Soundtrack: [Exploration] + [Dreaming]

There’s a low, paint-chipped door in the corner of Alexei Mashkov’s living room in Providence.

His agent tells him that the door used to connect to the apartment next to his, a long time ago, when the structure had been one. The door leads to nowhere now, only a wall of bricks. Alexei has even seen the wall of bricks in person, when he requested the landlord open the door for fun. He’s always been curious, after all, and the old, rusted key that the agent picks out from the cabinets only added to that curiosity.

“You’ll get yourself into trouble one day, Lyosha,” his grandmother used to tell him. Alexei had been young, perhaps seven or eight, when she warned him. “Don’t ask so many questions, and try to be happy, or the spirits will see, and take you.” She had said, “Don’t go through strange doors, and don’t follow voices, especially if they sing to you.”

“What’s so bad about singing?” Alexei had demanded, in a petulant way only a seven-year-old can manage. “I sing.”

“Yes, love, but they sing to confuse you,” his grandmother had responded. “They sing of a life better than the one you have, so you want to come to them. You see? They want to trick you and steal you away.”

Of course, Alexei had thought her warning had been metaphorical, if not slightly cryptic. She’d been old then, and easily confused. If you take out the spirits part, the rest sound more or less logical. He figured that she doesn’t want him talking to strangers and end up kidnapped, so Alexei had merely nodded and promised her. No going in strange doors, no following the singing voice, not that there’d been any in his life. Until now.

The bricks are nothing special: the seams filled with cement, the corners dusty with cobwebs. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, but there’s a draft that only Alexei can feel because when he mentions it to the agent, she only blinks in confusion.

“Why not lock it?” Alexei asks, when the agent pockets the old key and closes the old, wooden door.

“Why should I?” the agent says, smiling. “The wall is bricked up. Not like there’s anything that can come out. Now, let’s go to the kitchen. The structure itself is a little old, almost 150 years, but it’s been recently remodeled. It’s got a beautiful granite counter top—”

Alexei loves the house. But doesn’t know why he feels uneasy about the door. When he gets the keys to the house, he finds the rusted key again and locks the door. 

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one who can only find his way by moonlight

for @nurseyweek, day 6: dreamer

The first time it happens, Derek is seven years old and having a nightmare.

He’s dreaming of the counselor his parents had made him see after the divorce, the mean one, the one who had pushed and pushed and pushed him to talk even after he’d started to cry and said he didn’t want to. He’s pushing in the dream, too, and finally, Derek, in his dream, thinks, with all of his might, I want my mom.

And then he’s not in his dream anymore. He’s somewhere else.

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