magic realism


: painting in a meticulously realistic style of imaginary or fantastic scenes or images
: a literary genre or style associated especially with Latin America that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction

called also magical realism

magic realist noun

Examples of magic realism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web García Márquez’s work has survived legions of imitators who have misunderstood magic realism as a stylistic mannerism rather than the means to a sharper, less omniscient reality. Michael Greenberg, New York Times, 10 Mar. 2024 Hailed in 2007 as a triumph of magic realism, though the summary presented by El Principio del Film stresses the novel’s more contemporary themes such as female empowerment and a woman’s continual disappointment with men. John Hopewell, Variety, 28 Nov. 2023 But fans of such classics as When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle may find themselves a bit perplexed by What Happens Later, which is not so much a rom-com as a comic drama infused with strong doses of magic realism that some viewers will find charming and others insufferably twee. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Nov. 2023 She’s credited with coming up with the main character design for Doctor Strange in her own blend of impressionist and magic realism styles honed by decades of practice. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Aug. 2023 The book is an atmospheric combination of a Nancy Drew-style mystery with otherworldly magic realism that also details the complexities of high school friendships, adventure, first love, abuse and the overpowering allure of escaping small-town life. Sean Clancy, Arkansas Online, 16 July 2023 Without plunging into full anachronism, the film happily plays both fast and loose with history, its tone frequently wobbling between melodrama, magic realism, and the more traditional structures of classic period drama. Leah Greenblatt,, 17 Feb. 2023 Call it gentle magic realism, a playful twist on the everyday that prepares the reader for more profound breaches of reality. Ed Park, The New York Review of Books, 14 Mar. 2023 Published in the author’s native Iraq in 2018 and drawing heavily from Arabic folk tales, the 76 very short stories that make up the collection also show the strong influence of Latin American magic realism as well as echoes of writers like Kafka, Chekhov, Cervantes, and O. Henry. David Conrads, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'magic realism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1933, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of magic realism was in 1933

Dictionary Entries Near magic realism

Cite this Entry

“Magic realism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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