Thursday, September 30, 2010


Like any image that appears in Lorca's writing, the color verde is not a fixed symbol but rather a constellation of meanings, many of them anithetical, that help us to understand the complex images and ideas that are presented in his poetry and plays. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the various meanings of the color green in Lorca's writing or the only way to interpret this color symbol, but rather a way to begin thinking about the ways in which green holds symbolic, historical, psychological, archetypal and biographical significance in our play as we build a list of meanings and develop our own symbolic vocabulary.

Green as unrequited or illicit love

In his essay “The Symbolic Ambivalence of ‘Green’ in García Lorca and Dylan Thomas,” Robert G. Havard discusses Lorca's poem “Romance sonámbulo," paying particular interest to Lorca’s “verbal conflict,” in which multiple and antithetical meanings and images are contained within a single word that becomes a symbolic unit, such as green (811). Along with the more traditional associations of green with ripening, youth, fertility, and energy, consequently reminding us of age and mortality, Havard explains that in Lorca’s poem green also functions according to more traditional Spanish colloquial negative associations with the color. Havard cites Lorca's use of the term viejo verde to describe the "lascivious Pedrossa" in Lorca's play Mariana Pineda as a key example (814). Green is not simply “unripeness, immaturity and bitterness,” as it signifies when associated with fruit, but “in the context of love or sexuality…it will inevitably be negative in character, as in the cases of unrequited, perverse of illicit love” (814-815). Green is thus associated with both the “enticement and disillusionment” that occurs in the poem, and often goes hand in hand with amarga, bitterness, “which is generally presented in a negative nocturnal atmosphere” (818). Havard goes on to explain that this symbol must be understood within the context of the poem’s psychological realm that is created in part by the repetition of green rather than its immediate plot. For example, green is not only a physical attribute, but it is also representative of freedom in the poem, whether this is a physical or emotional release or freedom of expression. Havard relates these ambivalent meanings of the symbol green to the tragic plot of “Romance sonámbulo” by demonstrating how they contribute to the sense of deception, destruction and hopelessness felt by the man who satisfies his “violent and incurable passion” for the green girl who is the “impure object” of his desire (817).

Lorca, Costume for Leonarda

Along with the awareness that this essay builds of how and why Lorca uses the color green as a symbol, it also calls attention to the ways in which this symbol becomes problematic and allows us to challenge its meanings in a gender-conscious way. We might ask questions such as: why is the color green associated with women and femininity (both in Lorca's work and more broadly in our culture) and how does this create harmful images of women in accordance with traditional gender roles? How do the ambivalent meanings of the color symbol green relate to the virgin/whore dichotomy? Must green always have these negative connotations and can they ever become positive? How does green relate to the objectification of the young girl in the poem and her threatening, tragic role? Or how can the reader’s sympathy shift to align with the plight of the ‘elusive girl’ rather than the fate of man who plays her victim? By illuminating what green signifies in Lorca's poetry, this essay allows the reader to cast a critical eye on the problematic, often anti-feminist meanings of the color green and thus encourages the reader to consider how these meanings can be exposed and ultimately changed.

Green and Granada

In his essay “A Poet Crazy About Color,” Louis Parrot explores Lorca’s love of color and the way in which it was manifest in his poetry, tracing the evolution of color and its various symbols and associations throughout his work, including Gypsy Ballads, Poet in New York, and some of his later work. Parrot begins his essay by describing how Lorca was not only continuing a Spanish literary and artistic tradition that emphasized color, but also how he was interested in illustrating his poetry in sketches and paintings and came to see the two arts as inseparable, thanks in part to the influence of Dalí. Parrot asserts that Lorca’s gift was for “giving back colors their purest brilliance” so that they were “often truer than those we see,” and explains that how Lorca was continually influenced by the images and landscapes of his childhood and the “colors of the South” of Spain (58, 59). For Parrot, the symbolic significance of green has to do with Lorca's relationship to Granada, Fuente Vaqueros and the vega, the fertile plain that surrounded Lorca's village, helping him vividly evoke his homeland for the reader. For example, Parrot tells the reader that in Gypsy Ballads, the city is often painted with vermilions and “apple green” (58). He also suggests that the wind is typically “green-hued” in Lorca's poetry and that many of his landscapes are a “famous green” as well (59). Parrot even references a passage by Jean Camp about Lorca’s use of green when describing Granada, asking “is not green still today the sacred color of Islam, and did not Lorca wish by this device to underline the impact of [Islam?]” (59). Beyond nature and the landscape, Parrot sees the Moorish roots of Granada at the heart of Lorca's frequent use of green to recreate this world on the page.

The vega.

Green and Nationalism

One of the most terrifying groups organized in September of 1936 by the Civil Government in Granada after the outbreak of Civil War was the Defense Armada de Granada, known as the mangas verdes, or green sleeves because they wore green armbands. These were not trained soldiers from the local barracks but rather those men in town who had been labeled unfit for the military who were instead recruited as spies. These men not only spied on their neighbors and reported any "suspicious activity" or those who seemed potentially threatening to the new Nationalist Movement, but they were also responsible for many innocent deaths fueled by personal vendettas and desires for revenge (Gibson 71).

Works Cited

Gibson, Ian. The Death of Lorca. Chicago, IL: J. Philip O’Hara, Inc. 1973. Print.

Havard, Robert G. “The Symbolic Ambivalence of ‘Green’ in García Lorca and Dylan Thomas.” JSTOR. 1972. 6/10/2010. Web.

Parrot, Louis. “A Poet Crazy About Color.” Lorca: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Manuel Duran. NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1965. Print.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Federico and Salvador: The Legendary Friendship

Lorca and Dalí in Cadaqués, 1927

The “legendary friendship” of Lorca and Salvador Dalì began in 1923 when Dalí arrived at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid to study at the Special School of Drawing at the Academy of San Fernando (Maurer 3). The first time they met, Lorca was amazed by Dalí’s unconventional style of dress while Dalí “in turn, was captivated by Lorca” and his first impression of Lorca was of a “poetic phenomenon in its entirety and ‘in the raw’ appearing suddenly before me in flesh and blood” (Stainton 110-1). Despite their antithetical personalities (Dalí was very shy while Lorca was “a font of laughter and music”) and frequent disagreements about art and literature, Dalí and Lorca became fast friends and Lorca helped Dalí integrate into social life at the Resi (Stainton 111). Though Dalí was expelled for participating in a student protest, only to participate in yet another political demonstration at home where he spent a month in prison, the artist was back at the Resi in 1924 with a new “maniacal zeal” for the avant-garde that became infectious (Stainton 127).

Lorca and Dalí at a fair in Barcelona, mid-1920s

Luis Buñuel, c. 1920

Along with Luis Buñuel, the filmmaker studying science at the time, and other friends, they spent their time at the Resi together talking, drinking, smoking, reading to each other, and playing countless practical jokes and games. Lorca and Buñuel dressed up like nuns and harassed people on the trolly and they all joined Buñuel’s made-up fraternity of Toledo, which involved a trip to the city for a night of drunken antics. Lorca and Dalí made plans for a “book of putrefactions,” or anything they thought was “outmoded, sacred or anachronistic,” or as Dalí defined the term, “EMOTION” (Stainton 128-9). The “near-constant companions” developed a friendship of “mutual awe, but also, increasingly, of love” (Stainton 129).

Lorca, Portrait of Dalí, c. 1925.

Between 1925 and 1927 the relationship between Dalí and Lorca grew as their admiration for one another and their influence over each other’s work intensified. Lorca fell in love with Cadaqués, a coastal village just north of Barcelona, where he went to stay over Easter holiday in 1925 with Dalí and his family in their summer home there. There, they spent their time walking through town, laughing with Ana María, Dalí’s beautiful sister, wandering the beach and watching each other work (Stainton 130-132). Lorca became the family’s “second son” after reading his play Mariana Pineda, which Dalí for which would later design the set for its premier in Barcelona (Stainton 132). He traveled with the family back to their home in the town Figueres for a reading of his play and poetry, but soon went home to Granada and spent the next year moving between Granada and Madrid desperately missing his friend and keeping steady correspondence with Dalí as their work grew ever closer. While the two spent time together again in the summer of 1927 for the premier of Mariana Pineda in Barcelona and then went to Cadaqués, something happened that led Lorca to suddenly return to Granada. Dalí was soon drafted into the Spanish army for a year, separating the friends even further. Lorca returned to Madrid again to work and participate in the Luis de Gongóra festival then went home once again to Granada where he realized that his relationship with Dalí had irreversibly changed (Stainton 132-178). By 1928, they were both personally and artistically estranged from each other, moving in two different directions, only to meet briefly once more in 1935 (Maurer 4).

From a letter to Dalí, 1925

Dalí with his sister, Ana María Dalí in Cadaqués, 1927.

Lorca with Dalí in uniform, 1927

Despite each man having his own distinctive approach to art and poetry and the ways in which they eventually became increasingly critical of each other’s work, Lorca and Dalí both had considerable influence over how their work evolved between 1923 and 1928. Early on in their relationship at the Resi Dalí and Lorca were exposed together to the latest in art, literature and music, including American jazz and Buster Keaton films, and they fueled each other’s interest in modernism and the avant-garde developing in Europe (Stainton 128). Soon, they were showing up frequently in each other’s work. Lorca’s famous “Ode to Salvador Dalí,” written during his first long separation from Dalí in 1925, captured both Lorca’s deep feelings for the artist as well as his “cubist ideals” and “dispassionate, analytical approach to reality” captured in the poem’s “rigid, ordered, classical” style (Stainton 141). In Dalí’s paintings from the period it is not uncommon to spy Lorca’s head floating amidst torsos, severed limbs and “rotting animals,” as in his famous works “Little Ashes” and “Honey is Sweeter than Blood,” and he began to paint Lorca’s face overlapping with his (Stainton 165, 166).

Honey is Sweeter than Blood.

While Dalí began to write more, Lorca began to draw more and Dalí helped him to exhibit his paintings in Barcelona at the Dalmau Gallery in June 1927. Not only do his drawings from this show reflect the extent to which “[Lorca] had absorbed [Dalí’s] cubist aesthetic and…enthusiasm for surrealism,” but they also reveal the deep understanding of one another that these artists shared (Stainton 163). They developed their own “private vocabulary” of motifs and images in their letters to each other, such the meaning surrounding the figure of St. Sebastian, and experimented together with the same “surrealist techniques,” like “automatic writing and drawing” and with “dream images” (Stainton 168). Dalí was also a great source of encouragement to Lorca as he published his first poetry collections and praised his emerging plays and books (Stainton 151, 155).

Dalí, Little Ashes, 1928. Lorca's image can be seen towards the bottom just right of center.

However, by 1928, the two friends had a falling out reflected in their personal histories and in their divergent aesthetics. For Dalí, art became about objectivity, strange juxtapositions, “anti-art,” “the surface of things,” and must “let go of the anti-rot that is historical” while Lorca remained interested in discovering “inner life,” studying the “mystery” of art and recalling a pre-Castilian past rooted in his Andalusian homeland despite his admiration for the avant-garde and surrealism (Maurer 11, 87, 8). Lorca demonstrates this dichotomy between “surface and depths, clarity and mystery” that evolved between their artistic ideas in his prose poem written in 1927 called “St. Lucy and St. Lazarus,” each symbolizing a side of the debate (Maurer 10). At this time Dalí became increasingly critical of Lorca’s work, particularly his “Andalusian altarpiece,” Gypsy Ballads. In September 1928, Dalí sent Lorca a seven-page critique of his somewhat controversial collection of “tragic tale’s of life and death,” “sensual language and baroque delight to the human body” that he described as “stereotypical and conformist” as well as “fully within the traditional” (Stainton 192, Maurer 13). However, despite his negative reaction, Dalí also wrote to Lorca, “I love you for what your book reveals you to be” and his belief that Lorca would go on to “produce witty, horrifying…intense, poetic things such as no other poet could” (Stainton 192-3).

While there is little information about what caused this separation between Lorca and Dalí, it is clear that this rift had to do with their fear and discomfort around the homosexual feelings for one another they both struggled with. Lorca, who identified his homosexual love for the artist as early as summer 1925, suffered greatly due to his awareness of the attitude of Catholic society towards homosexuality which labeled his desires “perverse” as well as his own personal fear of sex (Stainton 138). Dalí too was “obsessed by Lorca, and troubled by his obsession” (Stainton 166). The letters between Lorca and Dalí written during this period reflect this intense passion as well as unease about their love for one another.

The mystery surrounding their homoerotically charged relationship is best illustrated by their discussion of the iconic St. Sebastian who came to symbolize the growing divide in their aesthetic views as well as a potentially homoerotic relationship and who appeared throughout their letters, drawings, and paintings. Though Dalí revered the passivity and serenity in St. Sebastian’s expression while Lorca was more interested in the saint’s depiction of vulnerability and martyrdom in relation to artistic creation, both artists “were keenly aware of the intensely erotic meaning of their saint, and of a ‘penetration’ both figurative and physical” (Maurer 20). Though Dalí makes reference to both himself and Lorca as a St. Sebastian throughout his letters, in one letter in particular he remarks, “Didn’t you ever think how strange it is that his ass doesn’t have a single wound?” before finishing with his usual, “I love you very much” (Maurer 62). Is this a slightly cruel, teasingly homoerotic reference to Lorca’s desire for his friend? Is there a more personal meaning to St. Sebastian’s martyrdom for these two artists? Dalí would in fact eventually claim that Lorca was openly homosexual and that he had ultimately “spurned Lorca’s sexual advances” (Stainton 165). Some also implicate Luis Buñuel in their estrangement, suggesting that he “was appalled by the intensity of Dalí’s attachment to Lorca” and had to do with Dalí disinterest in Lorca and decision to pursue his career and the Surrealist movement in Paris (Maurer 16). Whatever happened to distance these two dear friends, it is clear that both Dalí and Lorca were indeed “wounded” by each other’s friendship and love, each irreversibly marked by the life and work of the other in a way that was befittingly tragic and poetic.

Robert Pattinson as Dalí and Javier Beltrán as Lorca in the film dramatizing their relaitonship, Little Ashes (2008).

Works Cited:

Maurer, Christopher. Sebastian’s Arrows: Letters and Mementos of Salvador Dalì and Federico Garcìa Lorca. Swan Isle Press. 2005. Print.

Stainton, Leslie. Lorca: A Dream of Life. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1999. Print.

The Life of Federico García Lorca

It is befitting to our play that critic Maria M. Delgado presents Lorca himself as a performer of his own identity, his persona historically developing away from the man himself to become its own cultural symbol imbued with ever-changing meaning. In the introduction to her book Federico García Lorca, Delgado asserts that
Lorca is now a national trademark, a potent icon whose valuable wares are exported across the global cultural marketplace. More so than any other twentieth-century Spanish writer, he remains a paradoxical embodiment of the local, the national and the global. His life and work have become indelibly bound up in a process of mythification that has converted him first into the ultimate countercultural icon—the gay, martyred seer and a taboo topic in Franco’s Spain—and now the establishment face of the newly tolerant post-dictatorship Spain. (2)
Delgado’s reading of Lorca’s iconographic role in Western culture not only suggests why it is important to know about Lorca’s biography and who he is, but it also speaks to many of the questions at the heart of our play about the performative nature of identity and how this everyday experience is enacted and reified in the theatre, suggesting that Lorca’s interest in a dual identity was connected to his own personal experiences. In order to fully understand Lorca’s relationship to performance, myth and the dual identity, we must look to his life.


1898: Federico García Lorca is born 5 June in his Father’s hometown of Fuente Vaqueros, a small farming village in the province of Granada (Cuitiño 4). His father, Federico Lorca Rodrígez, was a wealthy landowner whose second wife, Vicenta Lorca Romero, was Lorca’s mother and a school teacher. Lorca was one of three siblings, Francisco (Paco), Concha and Isabel, and was very much brought up as “a rich little boy in the village,” which he later resented (Cuitiño 5, Stainton 15). As a child, Lorca was surrounded by influential role models of talent, creativity and intelligence, especially by relatives who were excellent musicians and singers. One of the most important was his great-uncle Baldomero García Rodriquez who sang in the cante jondo, or deep song, style of the Andalusian gypsies, about which Lorca would later theorize (Cuitiño 6).
Lorca with his family, c. 1912

Fuente Vaqueros in the Province of Granada in Spain.

He also showed an early fascination with drama and Catholic liturgy, delivering long sermons in imitation of the priest at mass or setting up elaborate pageants, and one of his first toys was a miniature puppet theatre (Cuitiño 8, Stainon 13). 1898 is also the same year that Spain lost the last of its overseas possessions, including Cuba, in the Spanish-American War, suggesting that this revolutionary poet was born in a year of great changes (Cuitiño 4). This year is also used to refer to a group of influential Spanish authors, including Basque Unamuno and Ramón del Valle-Inclán, known as the Generation of ’98 who sought to “restore Spain’s eminence…with the indomitable Spanish spirit” (Cobb 17). Lorca’s own Generation of ’27 is greatly influenced by this earlier group of writers.

Lorca, age six.

1909: Lorca moves to a house called Huerta de San Vicente in Granada with his family where he attends the private Sacred Heart of Jesus Academy and the General and Technical Institute as well. Lorca, however, was never a good student and for the rest of his student career, Lorca was constantly battling his parents who insisted he pass his exams and his stodgy professors who saw him as “a wayward dreamer” (Stainton 28). Despite his difficulties at school, Lorca “read avidly” and studied music, “his greatest love,” with Antonio Segura Mesa (Stainton 23, 26).

The Huerta de San Vicente, named after Lorca's mother.

Lorca's family outside the Huerta.

Reading to his youngest sister Isabel, 1914.

1915: Lorca attends the University of Granada where he studies philosophy, literature and law, despite his lack of interest in school. Soon, he begins “his first nocturnal scirbblings” of poetry and plays while studying the piano and attending lectures during the day (Cuitiño 11). He also joins El Rinconcillo, or “The Little Corner,” a group of students and artists that met at the back of the Alameda Café. While Lorca began to write and to collaborate with this tertulia, or literary group, he mostly spent his time on the café’s little piano. Nevertheless, Lorca fervently took up the Rinconcillo’s mission to “reform and revitalize Granada” and its culture that they saw as threatened by modernization, a passionate for his home that would bleed through all of Lorca’s work (Stainton 33, Gibson 4).

1918: Impressions and Landscapes is published based upon Lorca’s travels through Spain several years earlier with his beloved professor Martín Domínguez Berrueta. This book, however, was dedicated to Lorca’s music teacher, Antonio Segura Mesa. About this time Lorca also meets the composer Manuel de Falla, an important figure in his early career (Cuitiño 12). Although this year marks the end of the First World War, Lorca becomes eligible at age 20 for the draft and his parents pay a doctor to proclaim him “unfit” for the military, possibly changing the fate of his career (Stainton 55).

With other University og Granada students and faculty in the Alhambra

1920: Lorca moves into the Residencia des Estudiantes in Madrid after his father refuses to allow him to study music in Paris. Like his “pampered existence” at home in Granada, Lorca lives very comfortably at this elite, liberal-minded residence hall modeled after Oxbridge and designed for Spain’s brightest new thinkers (Stainton 62). Lorca flourished among the Resi students, “his daily life…a performance” with music and poetry recitals and attendance at the tertulias, or literary gatherings, at local cafés, where Lorca is exposed to modernismo, the avant-garde, cubism, futurism and Dada (Stainton 63). His first play, The Butterflies Evil Spell is produced. It was a huge flop (Cuitiño 16).

1921: Book of Poems, began in 1917, is published. Lorca also begins writing Poem of the Deep Song, already thinking about the cultural importance of the cante jondo music that embodies Lorca’s poetics.

1922: Lorca and Manuel de Falla organize a cante jondo festival in Granada to promote this traditional, popular, folk music associated with the gypsies and the Moors of Granada before flamenco became the dominant style (Maurer). This same year Salvador Dalí arrives at the Resi and Lorca works on his Billy Club Puppet plays, including The Tragicomedy of Don Cristobál and Miss Rosita.

The Festival de Cante Jondo in Granada

First edition cover for Poem of the Deep Song

1923-25: Lorca graduates (somehow) with a degree in law in 1923 and spends his time writing and goofing off with Dalí and Luis Buñuel in Madrid. In 1925, he visits Dalí’s family Cadaqués where he falls in love with Dalí’s family, the seaside and with Dalí himself. Lorca begins to work on Gypsy Ballads, Songs, and Mariana Pineda, of which he gives a memorable reading to Dalí’s family, during these years. During the summer of 1925 he returns home to Granada and spends a restless and melancholy time away from his friend, composing several short pieces including “Buster Keaton’s Stroll,” his “Ode to Salvador Dalí,” and “Dialogue with Luis Buñuel” (Stainton 126-136).

1926: Writes his essay, “The Poetic Image in Don Luis de Góngora,” the Golden Age symbolist poet so admired by his contemporaries, and the first version of The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife (Delgado 19). His “Ode to Salvador Dalí” is published (Cobb 15). He also meets the popular actress Margarita Xirgu, who helps him to produce Mariana Pineda in Barcelona at the Teatro Goya (Cuitiño 39).

1927: Lorca’s drawings are exhibited in Barcelona in June and Lorca again stays with Dalí and his family in Cadaqués. Mariana Pineda premiers in Madrid. Later that year Lorca travels to Seville with a group of writers representing the “new Spanish literature” for a three-day celebration of the tricentennial of Góngora’s death, and this group of writers became known as the Generation of ’27 (Stainton 173).

In Cadaqués while staying with Dalí and Ana María, his sister, in 1927

1928: Lorca releases his avant-garde magazine gallo, featuring Buster Keaton’s Stroll (written in 1925) in the second issue. In April, he published Gypsy Ballads, which Dalí harshly criticizes for its return to the traditional. By this time, Lorca and Dalí have fallen out. However, Lorca begins an affair with the young, exotic-looking artist, Emilio Aladrén (Stainton 181). Lorca delivers one of his only other lectures, “On Lullabies.” He also writes Don Perlimplín and Don Christóbal.

1929: In June, Lorca goes to New York City with one of his closest friends, Fernando de los Ríos, where he begins working on Once Five Years Pass and The Public, composes the first version of Yerma and writes the poems that will become perhaps his most famous collection, Poet in New York. Overwhelmed, speaking almost no English and homesick, Lorca enrolled at Columbia University and took a student dorm room. Lorca quickly made friends, but never really learned English, using bizarrely elaborate gestures, a small dictionary, and conversational French to get around and spending time with other Spanish-speakers. Though at first Lorca was in awe of “Dalí’s machine-age aesthetic come to life,” he would soon see the “rootlessness” city as “an alien metropolis where life has no value,” to which he would constantly compare his lost childhood in rural Spain (237). He witnessed death, poverty, cruelty and the Stock Market Crash. Even the greater freedom around homosexuality and his interest in Harlem jazz culture only reminded him of the isolation he felt because of his sexuality, expressed in many of his poems, and the discrimination faced by Blacks in America that reminded him of the persecuted Moors and gypsies in Granada. When he took a short trip to visit a friend in New English, Lorca declared “Ay! I’ve left the dungeon!” (226).
In New York outside Columbia University, 1929

Self Portrait in New York, 1929

First edition of Poet in New York, first bilingual edition published in 1940.

However, Lorca also thought that American theatre was “revolutionary” and wrote to his family that, “Everything that now exists in Spain is dead. Either the theatre changes radically or it dies away forever” (232). In 1930, Lorca joyously goes to Cuba before returning to Spain, describing his time in New York as “the mot useful experience of my life” (241). He embraced Havana with energy and warmth, “donned a white linen suit, turned his face towards the light, and settled into the relaxed rythms of island existence” (244, Stainton 214-244).

Lorca in Havana, Cuba on his way home to Spain.

With the Havana Yacht Club, 1930.

With his brother Francisco, 1930.

1931: Back in Spain, Lorca becomes the artistic director of La Barraca, a state-run traveling theatre troupe founded by students and faculty of the University of Madrid. As a part of the “Missiones Pedagógicas” program of the new Republic, the “socially engaged” theatre focused on making plays from the Golden Age canon accessible and relevant to a rural audience through simple staging, music, and new settings. This marked the start of battles with right-wing critics and the Catholic Church who abhorred Lorca’s socialist, “homosexual” company. As part of this popular movement for education and social consciousness, Lorca opens a library in his hometown Fuente Vaqueros (Delgado 28-31). Poet in New York is published.
Traveling with La Barraca.

With his co-director of La Barraca in their company uniforms.

With neice Tica, 1931

1933: Under the new conservative catholic majority in government, La Barraca is no longer subsidized by the state. Blood Wedding premiers in Madrid on 8 March, a play that revisits many of the themes and symbols from Gypsy Ballads and reflects Lorca’s view of “rural Spanish life…as innately tragic” (Cuitiño 82, Stainton 298). Lorca also travels to Argentina in October for productions of Blood Wedding, Mariana Pineda, and The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife. It is here in Latin America where Lorca first achieves real commercial success as a theatre artist and becomes known as a “pan-Hispanic” writer (Dalgado 18). In Buenos Aires, Lorca delivers his essay “Play the Theory of the Duende” to an enthusiastic audience (Maurer viii).

1934: He writes his "Lament for the Death of Ignacio Sánchez Mejías," a famous bullfighter and friend of Lorca’s whom he and the Generation ’27 greatly admired. Yerma premiers in Madrid at the end of the year, drawing great support from the “left liberal intelligentia” because its director and lead actress were associated with the Republicans and Lorca himself was increasingly seen as a leftist figure (Delgado 32, Cuitiño 107).

With Pablo Neruda and others at a party in Buenos Aires, 1934

One of Lorca's Sailor drawings

Montevideo, 1934.

1935: Lorca writes Doña Rosita the Spinster, or the Language of Flowers, also starring Xirgu, and the play is performed in Barcelona in December (Cuitiño 114). Lorca also meets Dalí one more time in Barcelona, abandoning a poetry and music recital in his honor to spend a few hours with his estranged friend in stead. Lorca later described this meeting as proof that they were “twin spirits” because after “seven years without seeing each other” they “still [agreed] on everything as if [they’d] never stopped talking” (Maurer 26).

Reading his latest script for Doña Rosita in Barcelona, 1935.

With Margarita Xirgu in Barcelona, 1935

At home in Granada at the piano, 1935.

1936: First Songs, written in 1922, is published. In July, Lorca returns home to Granada to escape the dangers of Madrid with outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. On 16 August Lorca is arrested by the Civil Government under the Nationalist Movement at the home of his friend, Luis Rosales. On the morning of 19 August he is executed outside the city (Gibson).

Works Cited:

Cobb, Carl W. Federico García Lorca. New York, NY: Twayne Publishers. 1967. Print.

Cuitiño, Luis Martínez. García Lorca For Beginners. New York, NY: Writes and Readers Publishers, Inc. 2000. Print.

Delgado, Maria M. Federico García Lorca. New York, NY: Routledge. 2008. Print.

Gibson, Ian. The Death of Lorca An Investigation Establishing the Guilt for One of the Great Crimes of the Spanish Civil War. Chicago, IL: J. Philip O’Hara, Inc. 1973. Print.

Maurer, Christopher. "Introduction." In Search of Duende. Federico García Lorca. New Directions. 2010. Print.

Sawyer-Lauçanno, Christopher. “Introduction.” Barbarous nights: legends and plays from the Little theater/Federico Garcia Lorca, Trans. Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno. San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books. 1991. Print.

Stainton, Leslie. Lorca: A Dream of Life. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1999. Print.