El sueno de la razon produce monstruos

El sueno de la razon produce monstruos

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about this particular painting of Goya. The famous debate regarding the english translation of “el sueno”, that is, whether we should understand it to mean “sleep” or “dream”, has only recently entered my purview. I can’t write too much at the moment, given that I’m currently relegated to my phone, however there’s certainly plenty say about this piece. I’m not sure whether I’m inclined to translate it “sleep” and tack with thinkers like Blackburn who interpret it in a more orthodox Enlightenment manner; Or, should I tack with the postmoderns and view it as claiming something like the following: “The dream of reason produces its own monsters”. I’m inclined to favor the former; however, my skeptical comportment and Hegelian sentiments seek something more nuanced than these standard readings.

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One response to “El sueno de la razon produce monstruos

  1. I agree. It seems very hard to believe Goya would be so orthodox in his espousal of Enlightenment values; but even harder that he would be quite so inclined as the bog-standard postmodernist to see their dream-state as fully nightmarish. It seems to me that painting is a reflection on Goya’s sense of isolation & even failure — he’s deaf at this point in his life, right — of what happens when “reason” is in some way denied you, or perhaps when it grows weary. Inopportune sleep — alone, not even in bed. So it’s not merely the absence of reason that produces the monsters, it’s the “absenting” (the loss itself, not the effect of the losing) that is monstrous.

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