Ways into Magic Realism
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
On this course we’ll read a selection of magical realist writing from the 1960s to the present, as an introduction to this fascinating genre – including work by Gabriel García Márquez, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison and Mohsin Hamid.
Course Code: HLT284
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
This one-day course investigates magic realism and its intriguing fictional worlds. We’ll look closely at extracts from very different novels, thinking about our experiences as readers and the effects of magical realist writing. We’ll consider magical realism’s peculiar abilities to bewilder, charm and unsettle us – and why writers might choose to use them.
Our ‘ways in’ will be extracts from:
Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)
Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad (2018)
Mohsin Hamid, Exit West (2017).
What will we cover?
During the day we’ll cover a range of topics including: realism in fiction; an introduction to magic realism’s history and development; key novelists and their novels; definitions and characteristics of magic realism; reading metaphors and fables. We’ll think too about magic realism in contemporary writing, and how it can suggest new ways to think about history, politics and human experience.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Discuss the selected extracts confidently, with an understanding of magic realism as a genre and as a topic of literary study
• Improve your understanding of narrative techniques and their effects
• Draw on ideas about magic realism to enhance your future reading.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
You need to have an enthusiasm for reading twentieth- and twenty-first-century fiction, listening to others and participating in discussions. You don’t need to have studied literature formally.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teaching during the day will include mini-lectures, whole group and small group discussions, close reading activities and working with additional materials such as images and video clips. Guided by the tutor, the focus will be on participation and interaction, with opportunities for you to share your own responses and ideas.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
The tutor will send extracts for you to read in preparation for the day; you don’t need to buy any books for this course. The tutor will also provide links to other reading and course materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look for other Literature courses on our website at www.citylit.ac.uk under History, Culture and Writing/Literature.
Dr Kate Wilkinson teaches English literature and has a particular interest in twenty-first-century novels. Since 2015 she has taught at Queen Mary University of London, on courses ranging from Middle English to cultural theory. Her PhD and publications explore the vibrant life of letters in fiction, and what this can tell us about our contemporary world.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.