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The Caprices by James Byrne


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The Caprices is a sequence of poems written in response to Goya's Los Caprichos, a series of aquatints in the Prado Museum in Madrid. Each of the 80 poems is illustrated by the etching to which it responds, and shares its title. As James Byrne writes in his introduction: "Goya's Los Caprichos are a series of real-life nightmares that haunt the twenty-first century. [...] Arguably, the world we live in today is more terrifying than Goya's Spain because - in over two hundred years since he created Los Caprichos - we have become more cool about human inhumanity. The echo grows louder, the world becomes more absurd, more criminal and yet, perversely, our collective response all too often verges on the whimsical. Goya, echoing in his deafness, hears our own, capturing all these elements variously throughout his masterwork."

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