Magical Realism and the History of the Emotions in Latin America makes a valuable contribution to a crowded area of research by approaching magical realism through affect studies, the history of the emotions, and new materialist studies (Jane Bennett, Bill Brown). Jerónimo Arellano’s opposing perspectives elicit surprising new insights about works that have been analyzed extensively, such as Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) and Alejo Carpentier’s Los pasos perdidos (The Lost Steps).

Arellano identifies wonder as the key emotion in magical realism, which he then traces back to European chronicles of discovery and exploration of the New World. A new kind of “wonder discourse” (xix), unlike earlier medieval texts, placed the marvelous squarely within the realm of the unfamiliar empirical reality of the New World. Building on Stephen Greenblatt’s notion of...

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