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Luiz Costa Lima and the Control of the Imaginary

Luiz Costa Lima and the Control of the Imaginary
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the English translation and publication of Control of the Imaginary: reason and imagination in modern times (1988), a groundbreaking work by Brazilian intellectual, Luiz Costa Lima. To celebrate this event Crossroads has published a selection of work from Costa Lima covering the period 1980-2008, this including excerpts from his books, articles and seminar papers. Half of this selection has never appeared in English before.
The publication of this Special Issue includes also a call for papers for scholars – from such fields as comparative literature, philosophy, sociology, historiography and classics, among others – to respond to the work of Costa Lima and the control of the imaginary. Our usual submission guidelines apply (see website). Scholarly papers (refereed) of up to 6000 words, and shorter discussion pieces of up to 3000 words (non-refereed), must be submitted by January 2009 to be considered for a follow up issue to be published later that year.

“What should we do when, in the course of life, a problem transfixes us, envelops us, obsesses us? A healthy constitution, one making its life between irony and irritation, would say: “Make it into a good steak and enjoy.” But what if, because of either ambition on the one hand or laxity on the other, such a metamorphosis is not found to be a viable course of action—and if long walks, polite conversation, or the blue of the sea prove equally unproductive? And if the obsessed person, caught up in the web, is unable to transform the internal wolf into lambs and the problem into productive projects? Then that person simply has to live with it, like the patient with his bile, the gambler with his mania, or the dwarf with his stigma.
  “Some years ago a problem began to perplex me…”

                  (Luiz Costa Lima, Control of the Imaginary, 1988)