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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Atxaga on the premodern

Atxaga notes, in an interview I played for my class the other day, that in premodern regions of the world like his mythical Obaba people do not use psychological metalanguage to describe themselves or each other. To talk about their feelings they use metaphors or natural images, or fantasmas, but don't analyze them as such, picking them apart or using psychological / psychiatric language. They are essentially pre-Hamlet in their interiority. I started to think about this once while teaching Unamuno's Abel Sánchez and Lorca's Bodas de sangre in the same semester. Unamuno is meta-psychological, in that characters analyze themselves and others without cease. Lorca is not. There are no abstract concepts in his work.

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