Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Khasim & Magical Realism

Khasim by megan_n_smith_99
Khasim, a photo by megan_n_smith_99 on Flickr.

Khasim- A Desert Wind
2012, 9 x 12"
Watercolor on Arches watercolor paper
Inspired by, or in honor of, someone i used to know.

Last night I pulled out a favorite book that I have read many times but not in a few years. I think It is time to reread it. The Book is Saudade by Katherine Vaz. Katherine Vaz is Portuguese American. Her family came from the Azores - which sounds like a truly magical place. Her style of writing is very lush and somehow feminine. It's classified as magical realism - but I have not read anything else like it.

Dictionary.com defines magical realism as: "a style of painting and literature in which fantastic or imaginary and often unsettling images or events are depicted in a sharply detailed, realistic manner."

Some of the best known writers in this genre include Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, Laura Esquivel, Salman Rushdie, Angela Carter, Italo Calvino, and Jorge Luis Borges. If you are interested in an introduction to the genre, these are my personal favorites:

Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Innocent Eréndira, and Other Stories by Gabriel García Márquez
Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel García Márquez
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
paula by Isabel Allende
Little Big by John Crowley
The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer
Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
Burning Your Boat by Angela Carter

And here is a little quote, a little taste, from Saudade:

"Do not plan or worry beyond this present instant in which i am with you. In which I am art and music and words with you. Let us sculpt this moment to be everlasting like no other. For here is the seal from which all grace comes: We must create Pietàs in or order to live. Flesh that is torn, flesh that is dead or dying, even as it is rotting through your fingers--hold it next to your heart. Find ripe and tender flesh too, and hold it in your arms, because your life depends on it. Whatever you chose, hold it for as long as you can, and ask for its blessing."
--Katherine Vaz, _Saudade_, 1994

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