Blog #10 – Magical Realism in “Light is Like Water”

While reading the first few paragraphs of Garcia Marquez’s “Light is Like Water”, one does not immediately notice its supernatural elements. However, when continuing to read, these aforementioned magical aspects hit the reader quite hard, describing children sailing on light, and having vast underwater (or underlight, rather) expeditions in the comfort of their own house. This, of course, leads to a sort of tension for the reader, who must discern between what is real and what is not. This is just one of the elements which Garcia Marquez’s writing employs to cement itself as a staple in the realm of magical realism. Garcia Marquez also describes the magical elements in great detail, speaking of light channeling “down the great avenue in a golden rapid that illuminated the city” (Garcia Marquez 2). The idea of time and space is also clearly evident, and it ties into the idea of realms that intermix with each other. The timing is crucial, and it is explicitly mentioned that every Wednesday, the parents go out to see a movie. This, of course, is when the children’s magical escapades enter the “real” world, essentially penetrating normality. Space is also important, as a seemingly normal room is transformed into islands. What ties this all together, I believe, is magical realist element of the irreducible element. The magical light is never explained, it is just simply to be taken and understood in the contexts of the story. For these reasons, I believe Garcia Marquez’s text employs every primary characteristic of magical realism.

One Response to “Blog #10 – Magical Realism in “Light is Like Water””

  1. Kim Sasser says:

    There is a critic who uses GM and Rushdie for what he calls a “prototype” definition – these two authors’ works define the mode for him. Everyone else’s work is judged according to theirs.

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