What? It's over already? Just when I was beginning to understand things...
Looking back at my first blog entry, I feel like I've come a long way in my understanding of this concept known as “magical realism”. I thought I had a general grasp of what it was at the beginning of the course, however after having gone through the entire course of Span 365, I realize that I really had no idea what magical realism was, and the complexity of the term.
I enjoyed the selected readings for this class. I feel that they were thoughtfully selected, and provided a broad scope of the varieties of magical realism. I also enjoyed the way the course progressed throughout the term, beginning with an introduction to the beginnings of magical realism, seen through Leyendas de Guatemala, moving towards a portrayal of the changes occurring within the concept, seen through El reino de este mundo, onto the epitome of the magical realism, seen through Cien anos de soledad, and ending with a look into how the term has taken off since this canonical work, seen through the McOndo movement.
It’s difficult to pick my favourite book of the term. I would have to say I enjoyed El reino de este mundo most, with Cien anos coming in at a close second. What I loved about El reino was the exploration of perspectives of different groups in society seen through a real, historic event. I thought the final realization of Ti Noel about how living in the kingdom of this world is about survival, and surviving a constant cycle of repression, was eye-opening. However, I loved Cien anos for the simple genius of Garcia Marquez. The symbolism and the way in which he ties in the overlying themes of the novel is amazing. I’m so happy that I finally got to read this novel, cover to cover. I know that I would never have been able to get through this book and enjoy it this much by reading it on my own, so I’m thankful that we got to read it in class with Jon guiding us along the way.
I thought it was great to end the course looking at works of McOndo. I believe it gave a relevancy to the course, so we could understand that even though the magical realism “boom” may have occurred years ago, its repercussions are being felt today still.
Lastly, although I may have complained about having to blog every week, I really did enjoy and appreciate it. The weekly blogs helped me to stay on top of readings. As well, they forced me to reflect on what I had read, and form my own opinions, questions, etc. about the readings that I could bring with me to class discussions. Finally, the wiki project. Quite the task, but I feel it has helped to bring everything together for me. It’s allowed me to draw on what I’ve learned throughout the course and compare this with what critics and academics are currently saying about the topic of magical realism.