De la reducción fenomenológica a la transfiguración expresionistaLa estética de la alucinación en Valle-Inclán y Roberto Arl

  1. Ledesma Urruti, María Vanesa
Supervised by:
  1. Jorge Checa Director
  2. Leo Cabranes-Grant Director

Defence university: University of California, Santa Barbara

Fecha de defensa: 01 September 2011

  1. Suzanne Jill Levine Committee member
  2. Jorge Luis Castillo Committee member

Type: Thesis


Through the aesthetics of hallucination, many avant-garde artists threw light upon the most urgent preoccupations felt in Europe during the interwar period. This period was also lived by many intellectuals and philosophers as an acute crisis of Reason affecting all the fields of culture. In his attempt to restore European Rationalism, Edmund Husserl put forward a new approach to the world, the phenomenological reduction, based on the recuperation of the image (eidos) as the ultimate foundation of reality. Deeply rooted upon Plato’s optics, Husserl’s theory of consciousness not only regards essences as images that can be seen, but also as visions or hallucinations which may be lived. These visions have a clear ethical implication inasmuch as they imbue the subject or visionary with the responsibility of what is seen. In this sense, hallucinations become very concrete actions and modifications of reality. From an art history perspective, the Expressionists of Central Europe would particularly adopt Husserl’s conception of consciousness and explore the aesthetics of hallucination, looking deep into its ethical and philosophical implications. In the Hispanic world, we find an identical constellation of problems and reoccupations in the works of the Argentine Roberto Arlt and the Spaniard Ramón del Valle-Inclán. Both in their dramatic mis-en-scène as well as narrative imagery, their works reflect an aesthetic and philosophical journey from the phenomenological reduction to the expressionist transfiguration or deformation. The constant hallucinations, visionaries, lucid and “luciferic” figures that fill the works of both authors resort to light as a key aesthetic figure to illuminate an old philosophical preoccupation that reinvigorates in the sociopolitical context of the interwar period.