This shall be a twofer, since I am so woefully behind...everyone loves two for the price of one, right?
Err, that is, not that you pay for anything here...errr...
On to the faves:
1.) June 18. Wonder why that's on my list? I'll give you a hint. It involves a cake with candles. Very subtle hint, wasn't it? Lol.
2.) Magical realism.
This I mean in earnest. As a reader it's like popcorn or Pringles or lime sherbert for the brain; page after page of just really incredibly entertaining, interesting prose (or poems). As a writer, it's often so perfectly wrought that it almost inspires fear, somehow. LOL.
Magical realism fascinates me; it's the one comprehensive, purely New World literary tradition. Are there magical realism writers from continents other that South and North America? Of course. That's like asking if existential writers are only from Europe. But there's no denying that the very nature of magical realism is something peculiar to this side of the globe, and especially to those countries which were settled by multitudes of ethnicities where indigenous peoples already lived.
The myths, traditions, hopes, habits, languages, sayings, religions--all of these are very hodgepodge in the Americas, so hodgepodge that they've morphed into one new giant, wonderful bastardization of culture--magical realism actually turns this on its head and uses it as a literary technique, a way of telling stories that are unique to this cultural identity.
The believable becomes trite in the face of the fantastic, though to the characters of magical realism stories, the opposite is true. I don't think I'm explaining it properly, but ... all I can say is that if you haven't read any, go, right now, and read some. Go. Now. *laugh*
Here are some great exerpts:
"At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point."-- One Hundred Years of Solitude. Marquez. Utter masterpiece. Look at that writing.
"Years of solitude had taught him that, in one's memory, all days tend to be the same, but that there is not a day, not even in jail or in the hospital, which does not bring surprises, which is not a translucent network of minimal surprises." --The Waiting. Borges. So true, and mundane, and fantastic all at once.
These are just two of the big wigs. There are dozens, hundreds of other worthy writers in this genre!
Anyone interested in more reading, check out Margin's Magical Realism pages at http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/margin/contents.html . Spellbinding stuff there, including fiction, poetry, and criticism.
That's all for now!