...possibly? Magic Realism is hard to pin down if you think about it in terms of plot elements alone. It isn't about the quantity or presence of magic so much as its purpose in the narrative - it exists as a manifestation of the characters' feelings or motivations, or to be a literalised metaphor or an exaggeration of an experience.
One aspect of this is that magical realism often takes a surreal or dreamlike tone. The trope page compares it to Mundane Fantastic, but I think where Mundane Fantastic does things like "nobody cares about superpowers because everyone has them and they're well-understood", Magic Realism is more like "nobody cares about superpowers even though no one has ever had them before and no one understands them". This can come off as an intense lack of curiosity if you're used to other SF genres, but it's more like acceptance that almost the entire world is outside your experience or control so reality is just everything that happens to you and this may as well be one.
(Of course my bedroom door opens directly into my workplace now, it's a new office policy, if I hand in my resignation I'll have to walk home. My reflection and I settled an important decision by each of us taking a different choice, we ended up having a jealous falling out and haven't seen each other in five years but I just got a note in the steam on my bathroom mirror asking if I want to go out for coffee and catch up. I always enjoy after it rains because I only get to visit some of my friends by taking the metro line that connects all the puddles. Etc.)
Edited by Noaqiyeum on Nov 30th 2022 at 9:39:37 AM
There's also the point that, well, there are quite a few people who do believe in reincarnation, so depending on the type of reincarnation in question it might arguably not even count as all that fantastical.
Edited by ArsThaumaturgis on Nov 30th 2022 at 12:52:01 PM
Isn't that about stories told with the perspective of animals? Nobody gets reincarnated as animals in the stories I'm talking about.
Ah. Thanks for clearing that up. Not xenofiction, then.
But I wouldn't classify it as magical realism either unless it's peripheral to the realism. If the focus is on the "magic system" so to speak or people's experiences with it, then I'd call it outright fantasy. Maybe historical fantasy? Maybe even skirting the Gifted genre/trope.
More accurately, I believe that "xenofiction" covers stories told from non-human perspectives. This can include animals, but it can also include aliens, and I would imagine supernatural beings if their psychology is significantly different to ours.
I have a question, if I may: In traditional reincarnation, I believe, one doesn't remember one's previous lives, and one carries a new name, a new family, and perhaps even new interests, etc. Is that the case here? Or is the reincarnation functionally more like time-travel, with the characters being just themselves, but in another time?
If the former, then, as noted, there are believers in such today; I think that the story may count simply as historical fantasy.
If the latter, then it's some form of speculative fiction I daresay, but which sort may depend on how the story and characters treat the reincarnation, and how said reincarnation works.
Edited by ArsThaumaturgis on Dec 1st 2022 at 9:47:44 PM
~Ars Thaumaturgis sorry for the late response cause I forgot about this thread lol
The historical figures do remember their past lives, so does it count as the latter? They still have new families and identities in their new lives but most people in the stories don't believe in reincarnation, let alone being the reincarnations of historical figures. There's even an episode where Reincarnates are in a mental hospital because people thought they were insane when they tried explaining the reincarnation thing.
Hmm... I'm not sure. While I believe that there are people in our world who claim to have recovered memories of past lives, I don't know whether that's held to be possible by any major belief. I'm afraid that I'm not sufficiently knowledgable on the subject!
So, I'd been working on a series of stories based around historical royal women getting reincarnated. As I prepare in advance on when I publish it on Archive of Our Own, I'd been thinking of tags to add unto them. One of them I'm considering is Magical Realism but I'm not sure if it fits. I'll give you the rundown of the series.
So with all of this in mind, does this count as Magical Realism?
- As mentioned earlier, it's all about royal women getting reincarnated in different time periods after their death called Reincarnates (a out-universe term used for ease; I don't see it being used in-universe). They can recall memories of their past lives from a young age and can reincarnate more than once.
- However, they tend to not disclose the fact they are the reincarnations of royal women to others as people usually don’t believe them and/or they will be considered insane.
- Reincarnates have this ability where they can tell if someone is a Reincarnate by being near them. If they're from the same era and knows her, the Reincarnate recognizes who she’s the reincarnation of. That's the only remotely supernatural ability they possess unless you count being able to remember their past life as one.
- The basic premise of each story in the series is that the Reincarnate has to adapt to whatever time period they got reincarnated into as they end up befriending someone from said time period.
- I'm still debating whether or not I should reveal why only historical royal women are getting their asses reincarnated (which would probably involve more magical elements). For now, it won't be officially revealed but a Reincarnate or two can speculate about it, thus reincarnation and anything related to it are the only fantasical features.