Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Ideology, Affect and the Body in Alberto Méndez’s Los girasoles ciegos

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2017), 94, (8), 847–861.

Abstract

This article explores the possibility of reading literary texts through affect, taking as samples extracts from the poetry of Miguel Hernández and Alberto Méndez’s Los girasoles ciegos. The argument draws on the ideas of Raymond Williams, Julia Kristeva and Judith Butler and on recent work on affect and mirror neurons. It proposes that an affective reading of literary texts can support the claims of theorists, from John Dewey to Timothy O’Leary and Jenefer Robinson, that literary texts can have an impact on the reader as subject and that this process, in turn, can contribute to the development of the democratic subject.

Este artículo investiga la posibilidad de una lectura del texto literario a través del afecto, usando como ejemplos algunos pasajes de la poesía de Miguel Hernández y Los girasoles ciegos de Alberto Méndez. El argumento se basa en las ideas de Raymond Williams, Julia Kristeva y Judith Butler y en estudios recientes sobre el afecto y las neuronas espejo. Propone que una lectura afectiva del texto literario pueda servir para respaldar las afirmaciones de teóricos, desde John Dewey hasta Timothy O’Leary y Jenefer Robinson, que el texto literario puede surtir algún efecto sobre la lectora como sujeto y que este proceso, a su vez, pueda contribuir al desarrollo del sujeto democrático.

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Arendt, Hannah, 1970. On Violence (Orlando, FL: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). On Violence Google Scholar

Attridge, Derek, 2004. The Singularity of Literature (London: Routledge). The Singularity of Literature Google Scholar

Bassford, Christopher, 2016. ‘Clausewitz and His Works’. [Online version.] Available at: >http://www.clausewitz.com/readings/Bassford/Cworks/Works.htm> [accessed 13 June 2017]. Google Scholar

Butler, Judith, 2009. Frames of War. When is Life Grievable? (London: Verso). Frames of War. When is Life Grievable? Google Scholar

Cano Ballesta, Juan, 1996. La poesía española entre pureza y revolución (1920–1936) (Madrid: Siglo XXI de España Editores). La poesía española entre pureza y revolución (1920–1936) Google Scholar

Cano Ballesta, Juan, 1999. ‘Miguel Hernández, poeta del pueblo en guerra’, in Viento del pueblo, ed. Miguel Hernández (Madrid: Cátedra), pp. 11–47. Miguel Hernández, poeta del pueblo en guerra Viento del pueblo 11 47 Google Scholar

Caracciolo, Marco, 2014. ‘Embodied Cognition and the Grotesque in Calvino’s La giornata d’uno scrutatore and Sanguineti’s Capriccio italiano’, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 16.1, Article 9. Available at: >http://dx.doi.org/10.7771/1481-4374.2075> [accessed 8 June 2017]. Google Scholar

Carey, John, 2005. What Good Are the Arts? (London: Faber & Faber). What Good Are the Arts? Google Scholar

Demos, Virginia E., 1995. ‘An Affect Revolution: Silvan Tompkin’s Affect Theory’, in Exploring Affect: The Selected Writings of Silvan S. Tompkins, ed. Virginia E. Demos (Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press and Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme), pp. 17–26. An Affect Revolution: Silvan Tompkin’s Affect Theory Exploring Affect: The Selected Writings of Silvan S. Tompkins 17 26 Google Scholar

Di Giovanni, Lisa Renée, 2012. ‘Masculinity, Misogyny, and Mass in Los girasoles ciegos de Alberto Méndez’, Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea, 37. 1: 39–61. Masculinity, Misogyny, and Mass in Los girasoles ciegos de Alberto Méndez Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea 37. 1 39 61 Google Scholar

Docherty, Thomas, 2006. Aesthetic Democracy (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press). Aesthetic Democracy Google Scholar

Faber, Sebastiaan, 2014. ‘Actos afiliativos y postmemoria: suntos pendientes’, Pasavento: Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, 3: 137–55. Actos afiliativos y postmemoria: suntos pendientes Pasavento: Revista de Estudios Hispánicos 3 137 55 Google Scholar

Favret, Mary A., 2010. War at a Distance. Romanticism and the Making of Modern Wartime (Princeton, NJ, and Oxford: Princeton University Press). War at a Distance. Romanticism and the Making of Modern Wartime Google Scholar

Gallese, Vittorio, 2009. ‘Mirror Neurons, Embodied Simulation, and the Neural Basis of Social Identification’, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 19: 519–36. Mirror Neurons, Embodied Simulation, and the Neural Basis of Social Identification Psychoanalytic Dialogues 19 519 36 Google Scholar

Gómez-López Quiñones, Antonio, 2009. ‘El giro irónico de la violencia: la post-utopía de la Guerra Civil española en Los girasoles ciegos y Capital de la gloria’, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, 34.1. El giro irónico de la violencia: la post-utopía de la Guerra Civil española en Los girasoles ciegos y Capital de la gloria Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos 34.1 Google Scholar

Gregg, Melissa, and Gregory J. Seigworth, 2010. ‘An Inventory of Shimmers’, in The Affect Theory Reader, ed. Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth (Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press), pp. 1–25. An Inventory of Shimmers The Affect Theory Reader 1 25 Google Scholar

Hernández, Miguel, 1983. Poemas sociales de guerra y muerte (Madrid: Alianza). Poemas sociales de guerra y muerte Google Scholar

Hernández, Miguel, 1999. Viento del pueblo (Madrid: Cátedra). Viento del pueblo Google Scholar

Hirsch, Marianne, 1992. ‘Family Pictures: Maus, Mourning, and Post-Memory’, Discourse, 15: 3–29. Family Pictures: Maus, Mourning, and Post-Memory Discourse 15 3 29 Google Scholar

Kalyvas, Stathis N., 2006. The Logic of Violence in Civil War (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press). The Logic of Violence in Civil War Google Scholar

Koopman, Eva Maria, 2015. ‘Empathic Reactions after Reading: The Role of Genre, Personal Factors and Affective Responses’, Poetics Today, 50: 62–79. Empathic Reactions after Reading: The Role of Genre, Personal Factors and Affective Responses Poetics Today 50 62 79 Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia, 1982. Powers of Horror. An Essay on Abjection (New York: Columbia University Press). Powers of Horror. An Essay on Abjection Google Scholar

Larraz, Fernando, 2014. ‘La Guerra Civil en la última ficción narrativa española’, Studia Historica. Historia Contemporánea, 32: 345–56. La Guerra Civil en la última ficción narrativa española Studia Historica. Historia Contemporánea 32 345 56 Google Scholar

Leys, Ruth, 2011. ‘The Turn to Affect: A Critique’, Critical Inquiry, 37.3: 434–72. The Turn to Affect: A Critique Critical Inquiry 37.3 434 72 Google Scholar

Lough, Francis, 2012. ‘Aesthetics and the “Other” in Recent Novels of the Spanish Civil War’, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 89.2: 233–52. Aesthetics and the “Other” in Recent Novels of the Spanish Civil War Bulletin of Spanish Studies 89.2 233 52 Google Scholar

Lough, Francis, 2013. ‘Memory and the Cycle of Violence in José Antonio Labordeta’s En el remolino (2007)’, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 90.7: 1121–38. Memory and the Cycle of Violence in José Antonio Labordeta’s En el remolino (2007 Bulletin of Spanish Studies 90.7 1121 38 Google Scholar

Massumi, Brian, 1996. ‘The Autonomy of Affect’, Cultural Critique, 31: 83–109. The Autonomy of Affect Cultural Critique 31 83 109 Google Scholar

Méndez, Alberto, 2005. Los girasoles ciegos (Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama). Los girasoles ciegos Google Scholar

O’Leary, Timothy, 2009. Foucault and Fiction. The Experience Book (London and New York: Continuum). Foucault and Fiction. The Experience Book Google Scholar

Ovejero, José, 2012. La ética de la crueldad (Madrid: Anagrama). La ética de la crueldad Google Scholar

Rancière, Jacques, 2009. The Emancipated Spectator (London: Verso). The Emancipated Spectator Google Scholar

Robinson, Jenefer, 2013. Deeper Than Reason. Emotion and its Role in Literature, Music and Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Deeper Than Reason. Emotion and its Role in Literature, Music and Art Google Scholar

Ryan, Lorraine, 2014. ‘The Nullification of Domestic Space in Alberto Méndez’s Los girasoles ciegos’, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 91 [online]: 1–26. The Nullification of Domestic Space in Alberto Méndez’s Los girasoles ciegos Bulletin of Spanish Studies 91 1 26 Google Scholar

Scarry, Elaine, 1985. The Body in Pain. The Making and Unmaking of the World (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press). The Body in Pain. The Making and Unmaking of the World Google Scholar

Spinks, Lee, 2001. ‘Thinking the Post-human: Literature, Affect and the Politics of Style’, Textual Practice, 15.1: 23–46. Thinking the Post-human: Literature, Affect and the Politics of Style Textual Practice 15.1 23 46 Google Scholar

Williams, Raymond, 1977. Marxism and Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Marxism and Literature Google Scholar

Wojciehowski, Hannah Chapelle, 2011. ‘The Mirror Neuron Mechanism and Literary Studies: An Interview with Vittorio Gallese’, California Italian Studies, 2.1. The Mirror Neuron Mechanism and Literary Studies: An Interview with Vittorio Gallese California Italian Studies 2.1 Google Scholar

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Lough, Francis