Friday, 5 September 2014

magical realism

Magical realism may be called a syntactical marriage of fact and fiction, the weave of 1st and 2nd attentions. Consider the paradox: when his early nonfiction was considered fiction, Melville attempted to produce fiction that would pass for fact. Well, someone else tried a hand at that game, right? Carlos Castaneda. You will know from that I place CC in the literary genre
of magical realism along with Melville, Marquez, Asturias, Italo Calvino, and a dozen others, not to mention the fabulous Russians such as Bulgakov. Most of this well-known crew in this genre are South American, as was Carlos, born in Argentina. Melville is without question top totem in the North American school of MR. Castaneda belongs in the top five of the South American team. From his first book in 1969, The Teachings of Don Juan, he attempted to pass off fiction as fact.
Melville matters now more than ever, on several counts. First of all, we are currently engaged in an experiment with MR. Not merely a literary exercise, not fictional invention for the sake of entertainment, spinning a good yarn while we hang in our hammocks below deck. Not just that, of course. But an actual experiment that can be verified, following a course that can be charted in imagination and lived in real time. To appreciate the power of MR as demonstrating itself now in the Gaian navigation experiment, consider this proposition from the nagual:
Fiction passed for fact lends enormous directive power to human imagination (Castaneda’s writings), but admitted fiction designed to be interactive with divine imagination does it even better (GNE).

John Lamb Lash

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