Counter-Rational Reason: Goya's Instrumental Negotiations of Flesh and World

Lázaro-Reboll, Antonio (2004) Counter-Rational Reason: Goya's Instrumental Negotiations of Flesh and World. History of European Ideas, 30 (1). pp. 109-119. ISSN 0191-6599. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not available from this repository. (Contact us about this Publication)


How do Goya's representations of the body disrupt the Enlightenment's configurations of the corporeal? If for eighteenth-century aesthetics the body is both the site of ideal beauty and the limit of what can and may be represented, then Goya's panoply of monsters provides a way of understanding other modes of reason(ing), other ways of representing the body and its functions within culture. In his work there is a recuperation of those elements that seem to lie outside the ken of the Enlightenment project: physicality, animality, hybridity, the grotesque, the popular; a recognition of the animal nature of the body and the products of bodily impulses and forces. A rethinking of the body would incorporate an understanding of its role as a physical and social phenomenon in the constitution of the subject. Following on from Paul Ilie's concept of counter-rational Reason, which he defines as the opposite of a uniform centre of rationality in representative thought, the first half of my paper will consider Goya's problematization of representation. My analysis of a selection of drawings from the collection Los Caprichos (1799) will focus not just on the representation of bodies in the painter's work but on his exploration of bodies in their material variety—configurations of modes of constructing the body. This examination of Goya's prolific pictorial negotiations and adaptations of flesh and world will draw upon contemporary approaches to theorizing the body, namely the theories of Julia Kristeva and Elizabeth Grosz.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Hispanic Studies
Depositing User: Antonio Lazaro-Reboll
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:53
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 14:34
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):