What is "magical realism"? Is it a genre, a style, a label for elaborate fiction from the Third World? How does magical realism, a globalized phenomenon, reflect upon globalization itself? The course will address such questions by providing a deep, contextualized study of the masterpiece most commonly associated with magical realism: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. The two main goals will be (1) to train students in college-level literary and cultural criticism, and (2) to articulate well-informed positions on the scholarly debates that pertain both to this particular work and to magical realism as a whole.
Topics include: transactions between metropolitan centers and peripheral locations in the production and transformation of magical realism; postcolonial approaches from and against the literature on the topic; translatability; relations between story-telling and historical grand-narratives, and between fantasy and critique. Complementary excerpts may include selections by Rushdie, Morrison, Carpentier, Benigni, and Del Toro.