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FOR WRITERS: Magical Realism


Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer John Marshall:

Magical realism. When we include magic in our paranormal settings, do we look to the real word or do we seek something totally original? If we do choose to use real world cultural traditions, how can we both indulge in poetic licence but also be sensitive to the history of white authors sensationalizing non-western cultures in negative ways.

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2 thoughts on “FOR WRITERS: Magical Realism”

  1. I was actually just thinking about a related question: how can authors still write about the Gods of any pantheon, whilst still being sensitive to their Pagan audience? I would also point out that not all magic is non-Western. Just reading “mythology” in translation is not enough to give people an understanding of the cultural, political, and historical context for the sources, the possible motives for those sources, and how to process conflicting information about the subject. I am actually reading Buried: the Discernment of Pagans in Ancient Rome by Frank Troy which is an attempt at respectful historical fiction based on what we know from primary sources and authoritative academic scholarship, or secondary sources in that area. Some authors won’t because of a lack of respect for any “religion” and others won’t because it is a lot of work.


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