I am Bruce Taylor, also known as "Mr. Magic Realism".
This is my web site where I'll explore and promote the increasingly well-known and creative literature called Magic Realism.
This is also the site for the Magic Realist Writers International Network (MRWIN). The idea behind this site is that it might be a resource for people who want to know more about Magic Realism, who is publishing it, the history of it, Magic Realist films, and more.
Given the scope of the Magic Realist Writers International Network (MRWIN), whatever ideas you have about it -- what you want to see the concept embrace or whatever help you wish to offer, please e-mail your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also visit my new site, www.brucebtaylor.com, for more about me and my writing.
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Yesterday and Today
When I initially launched this site on November 12, 2001, it was my original intent with Magic Realist Writers International Network (MRWIN) to be a focal point for not only those curious about Magic Realism but who also were interested in writing it. I knew I had set out upon a rather audacious task and have to admit I felt a bit daunted by what I had set out to do. But, The God (or Goddess) of Magic Realism smiled and said, "Pick up Poet's and Writers" which I did. There, in the classified ads was an ad for MARGIN: Exploring Modern Magical Realism. Via mail I contacted the editor, Tamara Kaye Sellman, and discovered that the address of MARGIN was, ironically, here in Western Washington on Bainbridge Island on Capstan Drive. (I still smile at the address.) I sent a copy of my book, the Final Trick of Funnyman And Other Stories. Tamara liked it and wanted to feature it on MARGIN.
Why, I'll never know, I didn't investigate MARGIN further is because (I'm rather embarrassed to say I am revealing my Computer Challenged Nature) I wasn't on the Internet yet. But since I needed to learn email and Internet, because so much writing is now done this way and the communication is instantaneous (how soon stuff gets read is another matter of course) anyway, I basically learned everything in the summer of 2001. In July I set up Magic Realist Writers International Network and began to think, well, just what, then, was to be the scope of MRWIN?
While pondering this and getting the article for Magic Realism ready for the SFWA Bulletin, I revisited MARGIN on their website now that I was computer and Internet savvy -- at least, a hell of a lot more than I was -- and wow! They had already done the work. The breadth and depth with which they have covered the subject was, to say the least, astonishing. (Their website is, http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/margin/. I've also been able to access their site by typing in, Margin: Magic Realism.) For information about Magic Realism, well, hats off to them! I can only now, in this capacity, act as another voice out there, directing folks where to go for a vast archive of information.
The ongoing scope of MRWIN is now more of an information source regarding the writing of Magic Realism and, every so often, I'll put a Magic Realist story on this web site. If you have questions about the writing of Magic Realism, feel free to contact me.
Given this, I have for your entertainment a story from the Final Trick of Funnyman And Other Stories, Dr. Frederick's Last Task, and from a collection which was published in 2005 -- also an anthology of previously published stories, several unpublished as well and two short novels, "Kafka's Uncle" and "The Humphrey Bogart Blues", titled Kafka's Uncle and Other Strange Tales -- the introduction of which is by Brian Herbert and another story published in that most excellent publication, Talebones (#2, Winter, l996), published by the finest editors you can imagine, Patrick and Honna Swenson. So, for those of you who are interested in the craft of Magic Realism, do partake and above all, enjoy.
P.S. My book, Final Trick of Funnyman and Other Stories has been reprinted and is available. You can order it from your favorite bookstore or from Fairwood Press, publisher of Talebones magazine - visit them on the web!
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What Is Magic Realism?
Briefly, the concept of Magic Realism has to do with the concept of "heightened reality" or the addition of another dimension of reality through a symbolic or metaphoric structure. It gives us a new way of perceiving the world, as if through a child looking at the world for the first time. The term is a derivation of "lo real maravilloso" which means literally, "The Marvelous Reality." Alejo Carpentier (l904-l980), a Cuban historian, is credited with coming up with this term in l949.
Readers who want to have a general overview of Magic Realist writing need only turn to a collection by Barbara Howes, Eye of the Heart, to get a good idea of the basic format of this marvelous writing.
Recent movies have had a major impact on public awareness about Magic Realism. The most well known movie is probably Like Water for Chocolate (based on the book by Laura Esquivel, it was the highest grossing foreign film of all time until The Postman took the honor two years later). Other more recent movies: What Dreams May Come, The Truman Show, Pleasantville, and the fabulous American Beauty. Much earlier, The Twilight Zone had many episodes which could rightly be described as Magic Realism including the stunning An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge based on a story by Ambrose Bierce (aired February 28, 1964).
Other people writing it are well known writers, such as Isabel Allende, Ray Vukcevich, Bruce Holland Rogers, Jay Lake, Dean Koontz, and Kathleen Alcala, just to name a few. Current publishers include Talebones, who have published a story of mine ("You Know Who I Am By The Song That I Sing") in Issue 21, Spring, and also a webzine, Alternate Realities, which has published my stories "Prey" and "Insight". For a more complete list, please go to Artists, Writers, Publishers and People of Interest.
On the subject of Magic Realism itself, there were almost 500 links to the subject in 2002; now a Google search of the topic reveals one million five hundred thousand (1,500,000) links. And as soon as I get the ok for posting my article on Magic Realism in the SFWA Bulletin, it will eventually appear here, or a link will be provided, so readers can have an access to that.
A network for this genre is badly needed. Given the huge success of just the movie American Beauty, there is interest and appreciation out there of this form of expression with a huge untapped market.
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