Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures


José Muñoz-Millanes

Committee Members

Isolina Ballesteros

Nuria Morgado

Rolando Pérez

Subject Categories

Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature


Juan Ramón Jiménez, melancholia, aggression, confession, Modern Psychoanalysis, induced feeling


This study addresses Juan Ramón Jiménez's melancholia, a defining feature of his life and work. I argue that melancholia both motivated and limited his writing.

In this thesis, my avowedly psychoanalytic critique attempts to add new ideas to the myriad studies of this significant writer and his work.

By employing techniques developed by the school of Modern Psychoanalysis, with its focus on bottled up aggression, believed to motivate attacks against the self, J.R.J.'s defenses will be studied.

In order to protect and strengthen fragile ego states, modern analysts respect defenses and use what they call joining and mirroring techniques. Herein I will do the same. The modern analyst comes to emotionally resemble, in certain ways, her patient.

In this study, I become more like the poet. Countertransference, the feelings induced in the analyst (or critic), may be used to help the patient (or the author) to reveal more. Cure evolves via tolerance and constructive use of emotions aroused in the analytic cum critic. Hence, the subtitle of this dissertation is "an emotive study".

The study is divided into three parts:

-Part one explores J.R.J.'s melancholia as it expresses itself in his compulsion to create and, a la Foucault, his compulsion to confess.

-The second part explores how the poet uses idealization, a key aspect of the melancholic mode and mien.

-The third part studies the course of his melancholia as represented by three different stages of his poetic transformation.