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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2005


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45810 F
12:00 PM-3:00 PM

Course Description

18th century witnessed the consolidation of the Cartesian subject based on the categories of rationality, order and measure. These ideas, which were at the base of the Enlightenment project, seemed to build, regulate and stabilize the relationship between the world and the human being in order to apprehend, understand and deal with reality. Nevertheless, even before the advent of Romanticism, art began to establish a breach between the seer and the seen leading to different projections of the subject onto the object and vice versa.

Consequently, the ethical and aesthetic ideal postulated by the Neoclassic work of art entered in a state of crisis. The Romantic ethic was not anymore social, but individual, exceptional and dissonant. Aesthetically speaking, the absolute of the Neoclassicism is attainable, while the absolute of Romanticism is better expressed in a quest doomed to failure and anguish. Late 19th century tried to react against this view. Now the positivist goal was the search for an universal and objective perception, while attempting to obliterate the presence (or influence) of the subject. In fact, Realism can be seen and studied as a return to the object per se or as a way to present an answer to the dilemmas of modernity that Romanticism had foreseen. An answer, as we are going to argue in this seminar, doomed to failure.

Grading Policy

10% Attendance 10% Participation 20% Mid semester paper 20% Presentation 40% Research paper


All the primary texts are available on the web on: José Cadalso. Selecciones de Cartas Marruecas y de Noches lúgubres Leandro Fernández de Moratín. El sí de las niñas. Selección de poesía romántica. Mariano José de Larra. Selecciones de Artículos. Ángel de Saavedra (Duque de Rivas). Don Álvaro o la fuerza del sino. Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. Rimas Rosalía de Castro. En las orillas del Sar. Juan Valera. Pepita Jiménez. Emilia Pardo Bazán. Selección de cuentos. Benito Pérez Galdós. Selección de cuentos y Realidad. Secondary text: Bürger, Christa y Peter Bürger. La desaparición del sujeto. Madrid: Akal, 2001.


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