Abstract. Navigating Emotions in Rosalía de Castro’s Fiction

With renewed interest in the theory of emotion, critics have begun to take a second look at Rosalía de Castro’s fiction, long regarded as taking second place to her poetry.  Using recent emotion theory, this talk looks at the way characters in Castro’s novel Flavio navigate their emotions.  Focusing on the instability of emotions and the ambivalence of emotional response, Rosalía de Castro’s novel dramatizes the roles of imagination, reason, passion, and judgment and thus explores the complexities of human emotional life.  At the center of the novel is the main characters’ conflict between high-priority goals that result in acute emotional distress.  In this the novelist validates Reddy’s theory of emotion as a set of competing goals and codes that are constantly navigated in attentive thought.  My paper will discuss the degree to which the novel successfully explores the dialectical problem of emotion versus reason and the clash between self-interest and life-goals which in the nineteenth century came to have such thematic dominance in the novel.