Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca

Synopsis

This study offers a fresh examination of one of the Spanish language's most resonant voices; exploring how the factors which led to his emergence as a cultural icon also shaped his dramatic output.

The works themselves are awarded the space that they deserve, combining performance histories with textual analysis to frame Lorca as a playwright of extraordinary vision."

Excerpt

He [Lorca] was his own masterpiece…. He himself, as an
individual, far surpassed his work.

(Buñuel 1985: 158, 102)

The problems of mapping Lorca’s life are as fraught as those of writing the historiography of his productions – in both cases the ‘performance’ or signified is resolutely absent. If as Joseph Roach reminds us, theatre history is a discipline fraught with a sense of ‘irretrievable loss’, then we should remain alert to the ‘desolating inadequacy’ of piecing together a narrative account where so much remains subject to ‘the hallucinationary images of fiction’ (Roach 1992: 293, 297). The problems inherent in attempting any kind of ‘objective’ reconstruction of a chronological survey of Lorca’s life when the empirical evidence is anything but neutral, have been noted by prevous critics (Fernández Cifuentes 1988; Smith 1998: 2). This chapter does not seek to provide an exhaustive account of his life, rather it draws on historical documents – existent biographies, testimonies from friends and relatives, correspondence, interviews and lectures – to examine selective episodes that illustrate the mythification of Lorca in life and death.

The myth of Lorca

Any discussion of Lorca the playwright and theatremaker is habitually prefixed by the construction, in death, of a larger-thanlife persona, a ‘staggering one-man show’ (Gibson 1989: xx) – . . .

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