Keywords: magical realism, German literature, Postexpressionismus, Neue Sachlichkeit, Franz Roh, Massimo Bontempelli


The article is devoted to the study of magical realism in German literary criticism, the origins of the term and its conceptual principles are considered. The author of the article relies on the research of German scientists, in particular M. Scheffel, D. Kirchner, H. Roland, T.W. Leine, M. Niehaus, J. Schuster and notes the differences and contradictions in the interpretation of the term, the vagueness of the concept and its heterogeneity. It is emphasized that the period of formation of the magic-realistic method of writing in Germany in the historical perspective generally covers the period from 1920 to 1960 and includes the beginning of the era of National Socialism and the Second World War. In German literature, the term was not immediately established, its assertion and dissemination were hampered by several factors: first, its contradiction, because it combines semantically opposite concepts – “realism”, which directly correlates with reality, the true image of reality, and “magical”, based on the supernatural, fantastic, reaching beyond reality; second, the moment of its origin falls on a rather complex and contradictory period of German history, which is reluctantly mentioned or silenced; third, magical realism has sometimes been mistakenly identified with the notion of “Neue Sachlichkeit”. Analysis of all factors shows that the origin and formation of the magic-realistic method in German literature has its own characteristics and uniqueness and differs from the world-famous examples of Latin American or English literature. As a result, the author notes that German magical realism is historically determined and in many of its examples reflects the traumatic postwar experience with a pronounced inrospectivity and humanistic orientation. As an aesthetic concept, magical realism expands the boundaries of realism: by depicting the objective world in its real dimensions, it focuses its gaze on the unreality hidden behind real objects.


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