Exploring the natural and the supernatural in literature - EXPeditions

Exploring the natural and the supernatural in literature

by Chris Warnes
  • Key point 1
    The notion of what’s natural and what’s unnatural arises in Europe in the 17th century, as people start to focus on the senses and think about empirical measures for what they then come to call “reality”.
  • Key point 2
    In the 20th century, writers made extensive use of the supernatural: magical realism emerges as a genre which takes elements of the fantastic and incorporates them into a realistic narrative frame.
  • Key point 3
    Ben Okri takes a common myth in West Africa and makes it the central motif of his novel The Famished Road. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez uses magical realism to explore the question of what is true and what is not, which is profoundly bound up with the question of who has power.