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As part of the acd_holmesfest exchange, I ended up writing a pinch-hit piece for someone who'd requested a story involving magical realism. This wasn't something I'd ever encountered beyond a basic awareness that it was a thing in some kinds of literature that some people found quite interesting, so I had to do a bit of research into what it was. To be clear, by research I mean I read the Wikipedia article and a few other websites. It gave me enough of the bare rudiments to put a story together that was well-accepted, but it was really just the most passing of introductions. Still, it was enough of a taste that I wanted to read more.

methylviolet10b's story "Written in the Blood" is like creme broulee to my graham crackers. It's magical realism elevated to an artform, and magical realism with real limitations worked into it; this is fantasy at its best, I think, where the magic and fantastical elements are tools that make a story possible that we couldn't tell any other way, but at the same time don't provide a deus ex machina. And there's gore (Holmes is shot quite badly, and Watson must heal him), and friendship, and character building, and just... I'm not quite sure how to do it justice, honestly. It seems to be a fine example of the magical realism genre, based on what I've been able to learn about it, but more than that it's just a really well-told story about Holmes and Watson finding their footing around each other, and also what a soldier's war-wounds and psychological trauma might cost him in that department. If you' all drawn to the genre, I heartily recommend it.

http://archiveofourown.org/works/1768048

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
fractalwolf
Jun. 13th, 2014 11:43 am (UTC)
Magical realism?
...oh, is that the proper term for it? I was calling it "fantasy with mud spattered boots, kinda like Discworld except without the political commentary."

Come to think of it, you might enjoy some of Ursula Vernon's art/writing. I put them together because she'll often paint/draw something, look at it, and realize it has a story just begging to be told. For example, "Sings-To-Trees", the elven veterinarian. His story starts with playing midwife to a unicorn, continues with giving a troll first aid, and then he re-appears in the novella "Nine goblins". The novella has some rather grim events, but the characters are trying to fix things. I think part of why I like it is the main character's general stubborn attitude of "okay, I'm not the best, or the brightest, and certainly not the one most perfectly suited, but I'm the one who's here and I intend to find a way to both fix the problem AND survive."
shadowfireflame
Jun. 13th, 2014 03:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for this awesome rec! I really enjoyed the story.
lindahoyland
Jun. 14th, 2014 12:28 am (UTC)
Watson reminds me a little bit of Aragorn in this story with his special healing powers.
methylviolet10b
Jun. 15th, 2014 04:50 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much! You're far too kind. I'm so glad you liked the story!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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