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Lecture Series

Four emotions

3, 8, 10, 15 November 2011
Image of the Lecture

The participants summarise their talks

  • Stories of pain
    Javier Moscoso
    The pain, which in most occasions lacks any justification, holds nevertheless a history. In these "histories of pain" Javier Moscoso will present us with the gestures of the virgin martyrs, of the penances that took place, hidden, inside the monasteries, of the small comedies of sexual masochism, of the anatomical theatre of the Modern World, of the faces of patients anesthetized of the wary pain caused by nervous disorder or the unawareness of the mental illness. Halfway between history and philosophy, his presentation will deal about the artistic, law and scientific modalities that have allowed since Renaissance and until our days to culturally comprehend the human suffering. The representation, the sympathy, the imitation, but also the coherence, confidence or the narrativity are some of the rhetoric resources and arguments that men and women have used, and still use, to feel our pain, and also to express it providing it of collective meaning and social value.
  • Courtly love or the most literary of loves
    José Enrique Ruiz-Doménec

    What is courtly love, that fascinating literary storm that began in the last third of the 12th century? A rebellion of modern sensibility against past ways of life; it is clear that it was the invention of some great writers of that time period, but it is also clear that since then it has become a European cultural and social referent until our days. It found a privileged expression in the poetry of the troubadours and even in Dante, and above all, in the novels linked to knighthood, its preferred tales.

    The creation of the exemplary figures to explain the world of emotions allowed that some genius, the most original, got interested in describing and deciphering love as the most privileged realm of human behavior, of the most durable heartbreaks, of the illusions, of the hopes. All of them careful with the value of each word, seduced by the imagination of their own characters, they attempted to overcome the frontiers of reality distinguishing fiction from pretense. All of them conceived literature as way to understand an emotion that has not abandoned us since the time it was discovered.

  • Contemporary love
    Jimena Canales

    Einstein and the long distance relationships

    Between 1897 and 1903 the physic Albert Einstein and his girlfriend exchanged almost fifty love letters while they maintained a long distance relationship. Traveling and living in several places -Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Hungary, Serbia-, they wrote letters where he lovingly signed as "Johnnie" and she was "Dollie". Along these same years, Einstein developed his famous Theory of Relativity, and his love letters describe this work.

    When his theory was published in 1905, many of his colleagues thought that Einstein had written an article on long distance communications, although we now consider this text as the one that revolutionized modern physics and changed the common notions about space and time. These two ways of seeing Einstein's work has sense because the text deals precisely on how much time it take a light sign to reach an observer. In this way, he inaugurated an unprecedented change in physics that had not been experienced since the times of Newton.

    Einstein's love letters, passionate and picaresque -"I am going to give a few pats on the back" Johnnie warned Dollie-, contained a great number of observations in regards to the possibilities and limitations of long distance communications. Particularly, they regretted the deficient postal service. At the same time that postal mail began competing with the telegraph, the telephone, and later the radio, Einstein's Theory of Relativity began to be accepted as the best theoretical framework for the new electromagnetic age.

    When exploring the most private issues of this personal correspondence, we find very tight bonds between the Einstein's new science of distance communication and the contemporary emotion of love.

  • Resentment, a revolutionary emotion
    Manuel Lucena Giraldo

    The emotions express both, physiologic and cultural realities. They posses the schizophrenic capacity  of that in our existence which seem stable, combined with what is transformed and changes every instant. This explains the existence of emotions "of time", or the fact that we talk about centuries "of lights" in opposition to other "dark" or "genocidal" centuries. The resentment has always existed, but only along recent times it has become an instrument of socialization and a motor of political change. The emergence of revolutions along the end of the 18th century as tales of the radically new, and perfect excuse for the elimination of "expired" traditions and elites, gave it a new value that has been on a non-stop rise since then.

Fundación Juan March
Castelló, 77 – 28006 MADRID – Spain
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