Alberto Cardín, yo mismo: transatlantic essayism and psychoanalysis in Como si nada (1981)

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Spanish cultural history has relegated Alberto Cardín to oblivion due to his uncomfortable intellectual stance. Cardín’s marginal placement illuminates and delineates the Transition’s cultural conflicts: champions of transitional dissent faced being either excluded entirely or incorporated into the hegemonic logics of consensus. In Como si nada (1981), Cardín crafts an intransigent and polemical essay that openly challenges the Transition’s political and cultural institutionalization. His intellectual ties with Argentine writer Oscar Masotta allow us to explore the transatlantic links between psychoanalysis and literature during the Transition. Like Masotta’s essay “Roberto Arlt, yo mismo” (1965), Como si nada turns Lacanian psychoanalysis into a self-reflexive interrogation of Spanish intellectuals’ conditions of enunciation. On the one hand, Cardín stresses how the cultural field has been institutionalized and reconfigured. On the other, he critiques the textual forms that were consolidating media intellectuals’ prestige. Como si nada translates the essay form into a poetics and politics of differences, creating a discursive stronghold capable of confronting any consensual imperative. Cardín’s theoretical standpoint questions which intellectual models come with democracy, which public figures and textual forms obtain recognition and what the cost of cultural institutionalization may be.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-163
JournalJournal of Spanish Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2022


  • Cardin
  • Masotta
  • pyschoanalysis
  • essayism
  • transition


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