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Federico García Lorca
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Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca Federico García Lorca[1†]

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca, known as Federico García Lorca[1†], was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director[1†]. Born on June 5, 1898, in Fuente Vaqueros, Granada province, Spain[1†][2†][1†], he is recognized as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27[1†]. This group, consisting mostly of poets, introduced the tenets of European movements such as symbolism, futurism, and surrealism into Spanish literature[1†].

Early Years and Education

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca was born on June 5, 1898, in Fuente Vaqueros, a small town 17 km west of Granada, southern Spain[1†]. He was the eldest of four children born to a wealthy landowner, Federico García Rodríguez, and his schoolteacher wife, Vicenta Lorca Romero[1†][2†][3†]. The family moved to the nearby town of Valderrubio in 1905 when Federico was seven[1†].

García Lorca’s early education was heavily influenced by music. His mother, a pianist, likely instilled in him a love for music and the arts[1†][4†][5†]. At age 10, the family moved to Granada, where he attended a private, secular institute and a Roman Catholic public school[1†][3†]. Despite his academic struggles, García Lorca was known for his extraordinary talents as a pianist[1†][2†].

He enrolled in the University of Granada to study law but was more renowned for his musical abilities than his academic performance[1†][2†][4†]. It took him nine years to complete a bachelor’s degree[1†][2†]. Despite initial plans to become a musician and composer, he turned to writing in his late teens[1†][2†]. His early works reveal an intense spiritual and sexual malaise, along with an adolescent devotion to authors such as Shakespeare, Goethe, the Spanish poet Antonio Machado, and the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío[1†][2†].

In 1919, García Lorca relocated to Madrid to focus on his writing[1†][4†]. This decision marked the end of his formal education and the beginning of his literary career[1†][4†].

Career Development and Achievements

Federico García Lorca’s professional career began as a prose writer[6†]. His first book, “Impresiones y paisajes” (Impressions and Landscapes), was published in 1918 and describes his travels through Spain[6†]. However, he is best known as a poet and playwright[6†][2†][1†].

In 1928, García Lorca achieved international recognition with the publication of “Romancero gitano” (Gypsy Ballads)[6†][2†][1†]. This collection of poems, which depicted life in his native Andalusia, incorporated traditional Andalusian motifs and avant-garde styles[6†][1†]. His other successful poetry collection is “Canciones” (Songs)[6†].

After spending time in New York City from 1929 to 1930, García Lorca returned to Spain and wrote his best-known plays[6†][2†][1†]. These include “Bodas de sangre” (Blood Wedding, 1932), “Yerma” (1934), and “La casa de Bernarda Alba” (The House of Bernarda Alba, 1936)[6†][2†][1†]. His experiences in New York were documented posthumously in “Poeta en Nueva York” (Poet in New York, 1942)[6†][1†].

In the early 1930s, García Lorca helped inaugurate a second Golden Age of the Spanish theatre[6†][2†][1†]. He was a founder, director, and musician for La Barraca, a theatrical company that brought classical drama to rural audiences[6†][7†]. His work resurrected and revitalized the most basic strains of Spanish poetry and theatre[6†][2†].

Tragically, García Lorca’s career spanned just 19 years[6†][2†]. He was executed by a Nationalist firing squad in the first months of the Spanish Civil War[6†][2†][1†]. His remains have never been found, and the motive for his assassination remains in dispute[6†][1†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Federico García Lorca’s literary career was marked by a series of notable publications that showcased his unique poetic and dramatic style[2†][1†].

Each of these works contributed to García Lorca’s reputation as a leading figure in 20th-century Spanish literature[2†][1†]. His ability to blend traditional and avant-garde elements in his poetry and plays set him apart from his contemporaries and continues to influence writers today[2†][1†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Federico García Lorca’s work is characterized by a unique blend of folklore, surrealism, and social commentary[10†]. His poetry and plays are known for their ability to capture the essence of human experiences and emotions, transporting readers into his imaginative world[10†].

García Lorca is best remembered as a poet, although he divided his creative energies almost equally between poetry and theater[10†][11†]. He concentrated on poetry during the 1920s and devoted himself more single-mindedly to the theater in the 1930s[10†][11†]. His work often reveals a strong sense of compassion for those less fortunate, a moral sense that was especially evident in “Poeta en Nueva York” as he witnessed the plight of the blacks and the poor in New York[10†][12†].

His first collection, “Libro de poemas”, appeared in 1921, and his reputation soared with the publication of “Romancero gitano” in 1928[10†][11†]. This collection was an ambitious attempt at recapturing tradition to express it in a modern idiom[10†][11†]. The Gypsy is cast as a contemporary victim, a natural being at odds with an inflexible, repressive society, in powerful and compelling images of frustration, loss, and death[10†][11†].

García Lorca’s fusion of personal and universal symbolism was almost too successful; critics disseminated rather too freely the facile “myth of the Gypsy” with García Lorca as its poet[10†][11†]. This brought the angry riposte that the Gypsy was only one manifestation of the persecution of minorities; other victims included the black and the homosexual, and both figured prominently in García Lorca’s next collection, "Poeta en Nueva York"[10†][11†].

His denunciations of the alienation, pain, and spiritual desolation inflicted by the ruthless inhumanity of modern technology found expression in nightmarish, surrealistic images of the entrapment and destruction of natural forces[10†][11†]. If García Lorca wrote less poetry after “Poet in New York”, anguish and inner torment characterize the difficult and often obscure metaphors of the poems of “Diván del Tamarit”, posthumously collected and published in 1940[10†][11†].

A notable exception is the elegy of 1935, “Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías”, which, classical in form, moves in four parts from shock and horror by way of ritualized lament and tranquil meditation to a philosophical funeral oration[10†][11†].

Personal Life

Federico García Lorca was known to be homosexual[13†][9†]. He suffered from depression after the end of his relationship with sculptor Emilio Aladrén Perojo[13†][9†]. Lorca also had a close emotional relationship for a time with Salvador Dalí, who said he rejected Lorca’s sexual advances[13†][1†][13†]. His personal life was marked by his struggle with his sexual orientation, which was a source of inner turmoil[13†][9†].

Despite these challenges, Lorca had a vibrant social life and was known for his charismatic personality[13†][1†]. He was deeply involved in Spain’s cultural and artistic scene, and his friends included many of the country’s leading artists and intellectuals[13†][1†].

Lorca’s personal life, like his work, was deeply influenced by his Andalusian roots. He was known for his love of Andalusian culture, including its music, folklore, and traditional customs[13†][1†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Federico García Lorca’s life is closely associated with the struggle between the liberal and conservative segments of society, a tragic opposition that led Spain into a bloody civil war from 1936 to 1939[14†]. At the age of 38, during the Civil War, García Lorca was arrested by conservative troops, accused of espionage and immorality[14†]. His murder and disappearance in August 1936 made Lorca arguably the most famous martyr of the Spanish civil war and a symbol of the rampant anti-intellectualism and intolerance that characterized Francoism[14†][15†].

Lorca’s legacy extends far beyond his tragic death. He resurrected and revitalized the most basic strains of Spanish poetry and theatre[14†][2†]. His work, particularly his Andalusian works, continues to be celebrated for its emotional depth and its synthesis of traditional and avant-garde styles[14†][2†][16†]. His efforts to break down cultural and class barriers have earned him enduring admiration[14†][16†].

Eighty years after his death, artists continue to evoke Federico García Lorca’s spirit in new works that celebrate his impact on literature worldwide[14†][17†]. His life and works remain a source of inspiration and a testament to the power of art to challenge societal norms and express deep emotional truths[14†][16†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Federico García Lorca [website] - link
  2. Britannica - Federico Garcia Lorca: Spanish writer [website] - link
  3. Britannica - What was Federico García Lorca’s childhood like? [website] - link
  4. Poetry Foundation - Federico García Lorca [website] - link
  5. Britannica Kids - Federico García Lorca [website] - link
  6. SpanishDictionary.com - Biography of Federico García Lorca [website] - link
  7. Britannica - Federico García Lorca summary [website] - link
  8. Biography - Federico García Lorca [website] - link
  9. eNotes - Federico García Lorca Biography [website] - link
  10. Poem Analysis - 5+ Federico Garcia Lorca Poems [website] - link
  11. eNotes - Federico García Lorca Analysis [website] - link
  12. eNotes - Federico García Lorca World Literature Analysis [website] - link
  13. Wikiwand - Federico García Lorca - Wikiwand [website] - link
  14. Enciclopedia Humanidades - Federico García Lorca: personal life, works and tragic death [website] - link
  15. The Guardian - The revolutionary life, loves, and tragic death of Lorca [website] - link
  16. Detroit Opera - The Life and Legacy of Federico García Lorca [website] - link
  17. Poetry Foundation - Federico García Lorca's Legacy Explored at the… [website] - link
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