Staunton, May 25 – Yevgeniya Nekrasova, a Moscow writer whose prose increasingly is informed by magical realism, says that that literary trend is spreading in the Russian Federation for the same reasons it did earlier among Latin American writers, the absence of a civil society and the sense people have that they cannot by themselves affect outcomes.
Magical realism arises, she says, “precisely where there is no civil society or where it is only beginning to be formed, where the state doesn’t fulfill its intended role and engages in repression instead (semnasem.org/articles/2023/05/25/magicheskij-realizm-voznikaet-tam-gde-net-grazhdanskogo-obshestva-intervyu-s-pisatelnicej-evgeniej-nekrasovoj).
It is “common in Latin America, India, and quite obviously, Russia,” places where “simple realism doesn’t work very well.” There magical realism can not only give people hope that things can change but that they are not as powerless relative to the powers that be as they assume.
Nekrasova gives as an example a TV episode in which a good cop is fighting with a thug who is holding someone captive. Suddenly, a flying saucer appears, the thug is distracted, the captive escapes, and the policeman can do his job as he is supposed to – “a good example” of how something good can happen when nothing good seems possible.
For a discussion of the emergence of Nekrasova’s magic realism in the second half of the Putin era, see cyberleninka.ru/article/n/magicheskiy-realizm-v-sbornike-evgenii-nekrasovoy-sestromam-kak-sposob-osmysleniya-bytovoy-deystvitelnosti/viewer.