Readers of Gabriel Garcia Marquez are now forced to live in a world deserted by him, but vegetated by his literary creations. The perfection of the short-lived Maconado and the unyielding belief that all untoward circumstances that one has to face in life are predetermined govern the mind of all Marquez fans.
For the Latin American fans Marquez’s 1967 work was a reminder of their history and for the rest of the world it was a literary journey through an utterly new terrain that was ideologically complex, but simple to read and meditate upon .
Marquez attempted the concept of 'Magical Realism' in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Magical Realism was not coined all of a sudden as an unprecedented literary tool by Marquez. It was a tool acquired by treading thousands of furlongs as an author. It was only after his early works, Nobody Writes to the Colonel, In Evil Hour, and Big Mama's Funeral, that Marquez experimented with Magical Realism. These earlier works are thoughtful and insightful narration of reality.
They are static and premeditated and are close to real life incidents. Incidents that one wished one could have stalled, rectified or ameliorated, but could not. Marquez could only be a good narrator and the realism embedded in these works restricted his scope of involvement as an author. It was in his later writings that he attempted giving short sabbatical to reality by introducing magical realism.
Through this literary tool Marquez steps in as a prime force who accelerate, decelerate or redirect the ford called reality. The grossness of reality is toned down and magically transformed to the 'ideal state' by means of interventions arising from myths, folklores and at times from fantasy. Characters or the environment in which they are planted are attributed fantastical traits.
Magical Realism is thus a hijacking of bitter reality by supernatural forces to transform the situation into a familiar or ideal one. It is the tool deployed by the author to tweak reality and impinge an element of 'ideality' even as Maconado waits out its predetermined and repetitive fate. The technique of magical realism is now widely applied by today’s authors.
That hope would ooze out unendingly from the bosom of a beheaded cactus and that one would be able to drink it to one's content and never feel lost and that a sprawling cane waiting to taste one’s skin would fritter away as a million butterflies as soon as it lands..., magical realism was always welcome and was most wanted at times by all age groups of readers. The beauty of magical realism is that a devoted reader detaches it from the plot and carries it away with him believing in it to occur as a fortuitous intervention in his everyday life.
As in Marquez' works, it comes uninformed, and at times unwelcome, but leaves an uninterruptable and unforgettable mark on the story. A mark that gives hope for the hopeless, warns the evil about the impending retribution and gestures to the hopeless not to give up and that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
Moments of magical realism reflect the interventions that the author long to make with the pity and concern of a empathetic human being that he is. The moment of magical realism in Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude where the blood of a dead son traverse the village to end up in his mother’s feet reflect this thought process of the author.
Thus more than being a literary technique that keeps readers engrossed and excited, magical realism goes all the way to force out the hidden goodness in men and one can only thank Garcia for lighting the way towards it.