Reading Roger Mello’s personal take it is immediately obvious that there is a clear distinction between the magical reality with which we are increasingly familiar and ‘magic realism’. This, ‘magic realism’, is not the imagination working with the story so that, though extraordinary, there is strong sense of the real and we are rooted in a particular landscape or situation. This is a very different case that for Mello is something ‘sobrenatural’. The literal translation is, of course, ‘supernatural’ – but this is a definition that does not work in English. It is too loaded with ideas of magic, fantasy, the ghostly. For Mello as an illustrator as well as an author it is a way of expanding the text, a way that is beyond the immediate perception of meaning; of creating images that are not mirrors but are truly ‘above or beyond the natural’. His article will fascinate because here is a practitioner offering us his response to his work.
Running through all the articles is a sense of personal response from their authors. Perhaps, this more than anything links and defines ‘magic realism’ and ‘magical reality’ enabling them to work – the personal response of both the creator and the audience.
Elizabeth Byrne delves into the work of David Almond.
Ian Dodds examines the work of Anthony Browne.
Piers Torday delves into the magic of reality.
Penny Thomas explores how magic is entwined with storytelling.
From a Child’s Perspective: Magical Reality in Narratives by Virginia Woolf, Frances Hodgson Burnett and Philippa Pearce
June Hopper Swain investigates magical reality in ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’.
Roger Mello studies magical realism in illustration.