García Lorca, Federico

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

García Lorca, Federico

Federico García Lorca (fāŧħārē´kō gärthē´ä lôr´kä), 1898–1936, Spanish poet and dramatist, b. Fuente Vaqueros. The poetry, passion, and violence of his work and his own tragic and bloody death brought him enduring international acclaim. A joyous, versatile person, he was an accomplished musician and had an enormously original theatrical imagination. García Lorca's works combine the spirit and folklore of his native Andalusia with his very personal understanding of life. His first book, in prose, Impresiones y paisajes [impressions and landscapes] (1918), was followed by Libro de poemas (1921), written in the year he went to Madrid. Romancero gitano (1928; tr. Gypsy Ballads, 1953) made him the most popular Spanish poet of his generation. His celebrated Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (1935; tr. Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter, 1937) and Poeta en Nueva York (1940; tr. The Poet in New York, 1955) are among his later poetry. Between 1927 and 1931 he wrote the plays La zapatera prodigiosa [the shoemaker's wonderful wife], Amor de don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín [love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in his garden], and Retablillo de don Cristóbal [portrait of Don Cristóbal]. Under the Republic he directed and wrote for several theatrical groups. Doña Rosita la soltera [Doña Rosita the spinster] was staged in 1935. His plays, continually produced internationally, are Bodas de sangre (1938; tr. Blood Wedding, 1939), about a reluctant bride who elopes with her lover; Yerma (1934), the story of a woman who cannot bear being childless and kills her indifferent husband, and La Casa de Bernardo Alba (1936), in which a mother orders her frustrated daughter to mourn eight years for her dead father before marrying. García Lorca was shot by Franco's soldiers at the outbreak of the Spanish civil war.

See D. Gershator, ed., Selected Letters (1983), C. Maurer, ed., Sebastian's Arrows: Letters and Momentos of Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca (2004); biographies by E. Honig (rev. ed. 1969) and L. Stainton (1999); studies by R. C. Rupert (1972), F. Londre (1985), and I. Gibson (1989).

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