how does magical realism work? i still can’t seem to figure it out but still it fascinates me and i’d like to explore this concept.
Magical realism is kind of hard to explain, and there’s a lot of argument over what qualifies and what doesn’t. The definition I find most apt, is that magical realism portrays magic or fantastical elements as a natural part of the every day world. Rather than creating an all new fantasy world where magic exists, you illustrate that magic exists in this world, right under our noses. I bring up Maggie Stiefvater a lot because I really enjoy her books. If you’ve ever read The Scorpio Races or The Raven Cycle, these are great examples of magical realism. Both stories take place in otherwise mundane locations: the fictional (but realistic) North Sea-esque island of Thisby, and the also fictional (but also realistic) Virginia town of Henrietta. Magic is a natural part of these two locations, known and unknown to various degrees by their residents.
The best way to learn about magical realism is to read it. Read short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, especially Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude, The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, and Beloved by Toni Morrison are a good place to start. Plus, you can search for magical realism book lists on Goodreads and other places. :)