4 Pages


WithMartin Harrison

The narrator in the fantastic, for example, must be reliable in order to produce the desired effect on the reader. The narrator must be reliable if the reader is to identify with him, and identification is considered by several critics as a necessary condition for the existence of the fantastic. In most examples of the fantastic, the narrator maintains a certain distance with regard to the disconcerting events he is describing. In magical realism, both reader identification and the reliability of the narrator acquire different dimensions. The magico-realist narrator is not seen as reliable in presenting our conventional world view, but he does appear to give an accurate portrayal of a different mentality. The gradual introduction of the supernatural in a realistic setting, the effect of an unexpected ending, and the suggestion of various explanations of an event, are all relevant areas of investigation.