Verbal and Visual Poetry in
Lorca, Buñuel, and Dalí
University of Pompeu Fabra
THE title of one of Lorca's poems, “Fábula y rueda de los tres Tamigos,” from his book Poet in New York, immediately brings to mind the circuit of artistic exchange between these three most famous of friends, Lorca, Buñuel, and Dalí. I do not intend to suggest here that the poem should be interpreted as referring to these three “amigos.” I am not going to spend any time trying to defend that interpretation, because I am willing to admit that I am twisting the obscure meaning of the title of the poem to fit the not so obscure objectives of this essay. Just for the purpose of organizing my argument, by “Fábula” [fable] I mean the anecdotal evidence we have about the friendship between three of the most remarkable and universal artists born in Spain during this century. By “rueda” [round or wheel] I mean the circuit of exchange of aesthetic ideas among the three artists, their shifting between different art forms, and how their respective practices were affected by it.
The word fable does not imply that what we are dealing with is fiction. On the contrary, that part of their common biography has been extensively researched and documented by Ian Gibson, Mario Hernández, Rafael Santos Torroella, and Agustín Sánchez Vidal, who has called his book about the three artists The Endless Enigma, after the painting by Dalí.1 I am calling it a fable because their story is so fascinating and entertaining that, without any addition, it can already make a great novel. They met in the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid in the early twenties, and the beginning of their careers coincided with a crucial period of Spanish history and a turning point in the history of Western art, a revolution led by the avantgarde movements which reached Spain like a tidal wave. Their fates were different, but in each case determined by the Spanish Civil