Experience & Objectivity in the Writings of Rafael SÁnchez Ferlosio

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This study analyses the work of a spanish writer who in the 1950s was considered to be one of the foremost peninsular novelists of his generation. Known principally for his two early novels, Industrias y andanzas de Alfanhuí and El Jarama, Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio is often thought to have fallen silent since his second novel won the prestigious Nadal Prize in 1955, even though he has continued to write and publish just as extensively as before, albeit with less emphasis on the composition of fiction. This book provides, for the first time, an exposition of his philosophical writings – those on learning and cognition (as they emerge from his discussion, in the Comentarios (1973) of Jean Itard’s largely unsuccessful attempts to educate the wild boy of Aveyron) as well as those on reading, writing, and the nature of creativity in his quasi-Cervantine work, Las Semanas del jardín (1974). A consideration of these ‘forgotten’ works entails a reassessment both of Sánchez Ferlosio’s novels, particularly El Jarama, and a critique of some of the critical orthodoxies which have grown up around the objetivista movement of the 1950s.


"The focus implies effectively a reconsideration of his novels but also raises a critical understanding of [his] essays." -- Prof. Jesús Pérez-Magallón, McGill University

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
1. A Cognitive Bildungsroman : Empirical Magic - Literal Poetry; Growing Up - Cognitive Metamorphoses; Some Ferlosian Epistemology; Conclusion
2. The Comentarios: Piagetian Musings: An Epistemological Position; Language as a Gestalt; Masters and Apprentices; Towards a Definition of Human Nature
3. El Jarama as Necrography: Objetivismo, Behaviorismo and the Novela Social; Behaviorismo; Subjectivism; Objectivity; Making Sense of El Jarama; Against Mythologies of Suffering
4. Sánchez Ferlosio, Autor de Las Semanas del jardín: Writing – A Model of Creativity - ‘Genitum, non Factum’; Writing – Uncreativity – Factum, non Genitum; Narrative Pre-Requisites; Reading; Conclusion
Conclusion, Bibliography, Index

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