What We Talk about When We Talk about Ideology: a critical approach to Juan Carlos Rodríguez's theory of Ideological Unconscious

Chiara Giordano


The purpose of this article is to reflect on the notion of “ideological unconscious” as a way to analyse literary texts and, more generally, the artistic praxis considered in its inextricable relationship with the ideological context. At the basis of Juan Carlos Rodríguez’ critical thinking – currently one of the most relevant figures in Spanish Marxist literary theory –, the notion of ‘ideological unconscious’ derives from his reading of Louis Althusser and it is present throughout all his works. With the aim of offering an analytical approach to the concept of “ideological unconscious”, the theoretical horizon of Juan Carlos Rodríguez will be compared with some related concepts (Althusser’s notion of ideology, Terry Eagleton’ ideological imaginary and Fredric Jameson’s political unconscious) that will help us in positioning it within ideological criticism. As we will try to show, Juan Carlos Rodríguez recovers and deepens the encounter between Marxism and psychoanalysis inaugurated in 1964 by Althusser and responds with originality to the new challenges of Marxist literary criticism.


Ideology; Marxism; Literary criticism; Ideological unconscious; Psychoanalytic criticism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1485

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-16899

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