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Magical Realism and the Legacy of German Idealism

Christopher Warnes
The Modern Language Review
Vol. 101, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), pp. 488-498
DOI: 10.2307/20466796
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20466796
Page Count: 11
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Magical Realism and the Legacy of German Idealism
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Abstract

This article explores the relations between Novalis's idealism and modern literary magical realism. It demonstrates how the Latin American writers Miguel Ángel Asturias, Jorge Luis Borges, and Alejo Carpentier selectively adapted and transformed idealist modes of thought in the service of their literary and cultural projects. Borges, it is argued, uses idealist tenets for epistemological purposes, and remains faithful to an absolute idealism. Asturias and Carpentier are concerned with cultural ontology, and, like Novalis, they temper the subjectivist tendencies of idealism by finding a place within it for realist conceptions of the world.

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