Disección anatómica de la imaginación y de la moda en el sueño satírico 54 de El Censor

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ana M. Hontanilla, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: This article analyzes the way in which a wide range of social prototypes, as portrayed in El Censor's essay number 54 (1781-1783, 1787), embody one of the primary concerns of eighteenth-century intellectuals in Spain: the exposure of errors born from the disordered imagination of the common people, hastened in the process of searching for and constructing a social identity within the confines of urban life in Spain during this period. The experimental discourse offers the enlightened critic a valid and rational approach that warns against the weaknesses of social models in competition, which despite their irrationality, dominate the moment. From the vantage point of the empirical essayist, the observed subjects are characterized by their epistemological deficiencies. The perceived general clumsiness of common people to construct categories of thought, establish moral priorities and attribute the corresponding value to material objects are among the factors that lead to the creation of not simply erroneous social identities, but often detrimental ones. The epistemological aspirations of experimentation, however, are used in the context of a satirical-allegoric dream. The allegoric vision of the essayist transforms the human body into an absurd yet amusing spectacle, while utilizing it as the subject of an experimental study. The destabilization of the limits between the imagination and the experimental reason promote a perception of the sciences, of the subject as observer and of empirical knowledge as something both marvelous and strange.

Additional Information

Revista Hispánica Moderna 62.1 (2009): 57-76
Language: Spanish; Castilian
Date: 2009
allegory, anatomy, criticism, dream, eighteenth century, el censor, empiricism, enlightenment, fashion, good taste, identity, imagination, reason, satire, spain

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