The Great Spanish Writer; Federico Garcia Lorca Essay
The Great Spanish Writer; Federico Garcia Lorca
Federico was gifted in many areas. He was not only a playwright but also a poet, pianist, actor, artist, and a lecturer. Calling him just a mere writer will not be according him the respect that he deserves (Gibson 555). Federico was one of the Spanish 20th century most famous poets not only for the artistic works that he produced but also his death as a martyr during the Spanish Civil War (Jones & Jones, 9). This research paper will take us through the life of Federico Garcia Lorca, his work and achievements and his influence before he tragically met his death. Lorca’s Biography
Two years just before the 20th century was ushered in, a great writer was born. His name was Federico Garcia Lorca. Lorca was born on 5th June, 1898 in Feuntevaquerors village that nears Granada City. Don Federico Garcia, a then prosperous and respected landowner was his father. He passed on his passion to the young Federico. Vicenta Lorca was his mother. She was a schoolteacher by profession before marrying Federico Garcia as a second wife (Liukkonen & Pesonen, par. 2). Federico Garcia Lorca claimed that he had inherited intelligence and interest in art from his mother. He therefore idolized her and took her name Lorca.
According to the Spanish custom, the writer should have been called by the patronymic (his father’s name), Garcia. Lorca was born unfortunate with undiagnosed fever. He could not talk or walk until the age of three and four respectively. However, he recovered but was left with a minor limp (Jones & Jones 4). At a very young age, Garcia could sing popular songs, read classic literature, play piano and the guitar. He also ‘played’ the village priest with his powerful sermons. He could be overwhelmed by people who walked around the village with marionettes and he spent his time making toy theaters (Jones & Jones 5).
In the year 1909, his family relocated to Granada where Lorca attended Jesuit school. He graduated from high school in the year 1914 despite his retaking exams. He then joined Granada University where he studied law and philosophy for some time before he quit for Madrid University in 1919. Four years later, he went back to Madrid to finish the degree program in law (Jones and Jones, 5). At Madrid, he entered the then famous Residencia de Estudiantes and pursued his university education. The living quarters also known as the Residencia was the center that allowed liberal activities in the conservative Spain.
Lorca, who was then very young, joined the groups of radical young artists. Lorca remained in the Residencia until 1928 (Jones and Jones 5). It was in the famous Residencia that Lorca met the artists who would make a great impact to the then conservative Spanish culture. Among them were a film maker, Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, a painter who became a source of his inspiration in painting and afterwards a lover in a homosexual relationship (Jones & Jones, 5). Dali was also a university student by then. Lorca and Dali cultivated a strong artistic and personal attachment.
Dali found Lorca to have a strong physical personality, charming, dominating and magnetic. Dali confessed that the young Lorca had deeply impressed him. In an article, Federico Garcia Lorca (19898-1936) written by Amazon, Dali admitted, “The poetic phenomenon in its entirety and ‘in raw’ presented itself before me suddenly in flesh and bone, confused, blood-red, vicious and sublime, quivering with thousand fires of darkness and of subterranean biology, like all matter endowed with the originality of its own form. ” On the other hand, Lorca found Dali fascinating in looks and personality.
Unfortunately, their relationship did not last. Dali and Bunuel had made a short film that became famous, Un Chien Andalou in 1928 that offended Lorca to a great depth. He had a strong feeling that the whole film had issues to do with him. Their attachment was so intense but in 1929 things fell apart and Lorca, unable to endure the hurt, left Spain to New York (Liukkonen & Pesonen, par. 3). 1936 marked the start of Spanish Civil War. Lorca returned to his home in Granada to spend summer despite the warnings by his friends.
The soldiers were after his neck and however much he hid, he was caught by Nationalist Forces that were in control of the town and put in custody. It is not known what exactly lead to his arrest but it is thought to have been either personal connections or his Republican Sympathies (Jones & Jones 9). Lorca could also have been killed because of his hatred of politics. Some of his close friends were in Falange that was after Lorca but they could not save him. He was executed on one of the fateful days of August 1936. He was killed without trial and buried in the grave he himself dug out of an order from the Falange.
Lorca’s grave was unmarked but it is said to be in a certain groove of olive trees (Jones & Jones 9). The circumstances that lead to his death remains a complex riddle to be unraveled (Liukkonen & Pesonen, 11). Lorca died but his voice, as he admitted in his “Gacela of Dark” did not die (Jones & Jones 9). His Work Achievements and Influence Lorca’s artistic works started in the early 1920’s. The first publication in poetry that Lorca produced was Libro de poemas (Book of Poems) in 1921. One year afterwards; Lorca joined his friend, Manuel de Fallain in the preparations of Cante Jondo festival in Granada.
In the early years of 1920s, Lorca had been writing poems that were published later in his first famous book, Canciones (songs) in 1927. His Mariana Pineda was also a great success. Lorca not only succeeded in poetry writing, but also in his paintings. In that same year Lorca participated in a poetry conference whose venue was at Seville. It had been an organization of a bullfighter by the name, Ignacio Sanchez Mejias whose later death would inspire Lorca to write a poem (Jones and Jones 6). In the year 1928, a period when Lorca was going through a personal crisis, Romancero Gitano (Gypsy Ballads) was published.
It was a book that gave Lorca an international reputation. Lorca in this book argues that sexual instincts are omnipresent. They are always repressed but can break out and lead to death. The Gypsy Ballads had traditional ballads included. Lorca perfectly developed them in the dramatic context interplaying character and situation. His talents in creating metaphors that are memorable are revealed; his poems were memorized by many. He became the best of the Spanish poets. Lorca also became an active and a leading figure in ‘Generation 27’ (Liukkonen & Pesonen, 7).
During this year, Lorca read his poems that were, a year later, published as Gypsy Ballads. It was a great show that lead fans all wild with excitement. He was a real gypsy poet who had written in the voice of a real gypsy and eulogized their city Granada (Jones and Jones 6). During this time, the poet had reached at the top of his success ladder. It is during this peak of his success that he gave two lectures that remained in the minds of many for a long period of time. The first was delivered at the festival of Cante Jondo in Granada.
The second lecture was at a festival honoring Gongora’s Tercentenary (Jason, par. 7). To the touch of many, Lorca recited his own poetry. His poems were exchanged orally even before they were put in print (Liukkonen & Pesonen, par. 5). In the year 1929, Lorca moved to Columbia University in New York after their break with Dalla. He was still suffering emotionally from his lost love. It is at this time of his emotional depressions that he wrote Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York). The poems were so revolutionary and for this reason, he avoided the book’s publication.
It was a powerful book that was never published when he lived. The Poet in New York portrays two themes; his personal internal struggles and his struggle in the New York City. In New York, Lorca fought with his homosexuality, his loneliness and his suicidal moods. He finally recovered from this with the help of his mentor Fernado de los Rios. This book clearly depicts how dehumanizing mass living can be in any given city. Lorca also wrote Trip to the moon which was a film script (Jones & Jones 7). His works in drama commenced in the years of 1930. By then, he had moved back to Spain.
It was a time of increased cultural activities in the Spanish world. Lorca engaged himself in a theatrical group that traveled and presented a wide range of plays in provincial towns, La Barraca (The Hut). He became the director of the La Barraca. Lorca found La Barraca as a source of education and he used it to adjust his art work (Jones & Jones 8). Lorca was deeply involved in the La Barraca’s operation; adapting scripts, doing technical work and acting. La Barraca’s influence on Lorca was felt with the publication of Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding), a piece of drama that took Lorca one week to put into letters.
The play was another of Lorca’s hits. Its major themes were’ faithless love’ and ‘remorseless death. ’ This success crowned Lorca with fame. He later made a series of publications like The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife, Don Perlimplin, Xirgu, Yerma, and Mariana Pineda among others (Jones and Jones 8-9). Yerma was another of Lorca’s great success. In the year 1935, Garcia Lorca wrote The Puppet Play of Don Cristobal (El Retablillo de don Cristobal) together with Dona Rosita the Spinster (Dona Rosita la Soltera).
In 1936, just before Lorca was brutally executed, he had written The House of Bernada Alba (La Casa de Bernada Alba) that was published long after his death in 1945. He had also written The Destruction of Sodom (La Destruccion de Sodoma) and Sonnets of Dark Love (Sonetos del amor oscuro- homosexual love poems) which had been held by his family till 1980 perhaps because of their overt homosexual themes (Jones and Jones 8-9). Lorca’s major themes that play out in his artistic works are passion, love, pride and violence in death. All these themes also reflected his personal life right from birth to his death (Poem Hunter, 7).
The Spanish trait of Lorca’s poetry and plays, blended very well with rich lyrical expressions, are what made him an internationally recognized poet in the early 20th century (Jason, par. 4). Conclusion The nouns poet, playwright, guitarist, pianist, actor and lecturer can be used to describe who Federica Lorca had been. He rose to realize his dreams at an early age and indeed he became famous internationally for his poetic and dramatic achievements. He has also been a founder and an active member in various groups such as the La Barraca.
His good image however could have been tarnished by his homosexuality relationships. He died at the prime of his youth when he had successfully gained international recognition. Though he is long dead, his voice still speaks strongly. Work Cited Academy of American Poets. Federico Garcia Lorca. Poets, 2010. Web. 12 May, 2010, <http://www. poets. org/poet. php/prmPID/163>. Gibson, Ian. Federico Garcia Lorca: A life. New York: Pantheon Publishers, 1989 Jarson, Phillip. Critical survey of poetry, 2d Rev. Ed. Federico Garcia Lorca. Salem Press, Sep. 2002.
Web 16 May 2010 <http://salempress. com/Store/samples/critical_survey_poetry/critical_survey_poetry_lorca. htm>. Jones, Richard and Jones, Susan. Federico Garcia Lorca. Repertorio. Web 12 May, 2010, <http://www. repertorio. org/education/pdfs/lorca. pdf >. Liukkonen, Petri & Pesonen, Ari. Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1930). Penguin Classics, 2008. Web 12 May 2010 <http://www. penguinclassics. co. uk/nf/Author/AuthorPage/0,,1000019950,00. html>. PoemHunter. Biography of Federico Garcio Lorca, 2010. Web 12 May 2010 <http://www. poemhunter. com/federico-garc-a-lorca/biography>.