Crisis de imaginación: la ambivalencia de lo fantástico en Bécquer, Todorov y Blanchot

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Tropelías. Revista de Teoría de la Literatura y Literatura Comparada


In philosophy, as in everyday life, we consider imagination most frequently as an enabling power, essential to perception, memory, and understanding. This essay examines theories and a literary example that define literature as a particular kind of failure of imagination. A sustained look at the concept of imagination shows that its history contains unexpected ambiguities and contradictions, such that it often appears to be a more a mystery than a method. In a reading of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s well-known, fantastical legend “La cruz del diablo” (The Devil’s Cross), I elaborate the idea of a “wounded imagination,” relating the production of a literary text to the process of healing a wounded psyche. I then examine Tzvetan Todorov’s contention that fantastic literature provides a privileged place to observe the essence of literature, characterizing his ideas as an application of Maurice Blanchot’s profound meditations on literature.