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Lorca: A Dream of Life Paperback – 20 Oct 1999

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Lorca: A Dream of Life + Selected Poems: with parallel Spanish text (Oxford World's Classics) + Federico Garcia Lorca: A Life
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (20 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074754445X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747544456
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 4.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 764,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

"Today's Spain is called Federico." These words, from right-wing Spanish premier Jose Maria Aznar in 1998 upon the centenary of his birth, highlight the degree to which Federico Garcia Lorca has become a symbol for post-Franco Spain. His untimely death in 1936 at the hands of the insurgent Granada authorities ensured his immortality as only early death can and gave his image as a metaphor for creative vibrancy brutally cut down. Lorca's appeal in his lifetime had much to do with his personality. Impulsive and swaggeringly confident, he built a reputation based on recitals of his poems, many of which he never wrote down. He became, in Luis Bunuel's words, "his own living masterpiece". He played the piano magnificently, his surrealist drawings could stand comparison with those of Miro or Dali, and his mind was constantly conceiving projects, of which he would realise "four at the most". This maelstrom yielded lyrical poetry, difficult experimental drama and the more naturalistic rural trilogy for which he is most famous: Blood Wedding, Yerma, and The House of Bernardo Alba. His work contemplated nature, fertility and almost always death; today he is the most produced Spanish dramatist in the English-speaking world.

Leslie Stainton's is a sensitive appraisal and though the prose may not share the subject's joie de vivre, in the context that may not be a bad thing. Lorca emerges as a great artist with even greater potential, who sparkled with the promise of art, and for whom Spain is right to be still grieving. --David Vincent


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Simpson VINE VOICE on 10 Oct. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This vast book (for a sadly short life) manages a remarkable degree of clarity and readability and - oddly - never seems to be over-burdened with its accumulated detail. Meticulously organised and well illustrated, it deals faultlessly with the factual side of biography, backed up with rigorous scholarship. Leslie Stainton's fair-minded account also summons up with equal success the self-centred posturing and the wide-ranging genius of Lorca. As someone knowing only 2 or 3 of his plays and a handful of poems and (mistakenly) believing him to be a hero of the Civil War, I found my irritation with him as a person matched only by my astonishment at the range of his work - as artist and pianist as well as poet and playwright.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 7 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
To understand a play one needs to know something of the playwright and Leslie Stainton does that so well in this book.

This biography is anything but a collection of dry statistics. However the dry statistics are "fascinantes." I find myself taking the book off the shelf periodically just to peruse it again and again.

Not that you need them but there are a couple of picture sections with stills of Lorca and family and memorabilia.

I learned about Lorca backward by attending a play version of his lyric poem "The Butterfly's Evil Spell". I was hooked. However be ware that also floating around out there is some sort of distorted Kabuki version.

Since then I have read a few other of his plays.

I will not rehash his fascinating life or the detail of his demise is as that is why you are going to purchase this book.

Thank you for taking the time to read this review.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By VfR on 28 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is so very well written it's worth reading as an example of how to write a book, even if the life of Federico Garcia Lorca doesn't interested you. It is, however a little long. But a good read
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. S. Valina on 30 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
fast delivery, but when I was reading it noticed a reference page was missing I presume a printing error. Not very important since it is only a reference page.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Lorca: An authoritative biography 14 May 2000
By Sunil Govinnage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The editor, Leslie Stainton must be given due credit for taking such painful details to record García Lorca's life in this full-scale authoritative biography. It provides very intimate details of Lorca's life from his childhood to tragic death. It contains detailed accounts of his life, travels, writing and other intimate details which have been craftily captured by Stainton.
The bonus of the book is pictures of Lorca, his family and friends. It includes very rare pictures from Lorca's childhood to his adult life. One picture taken in 1899 shows Lorca when he was just one year old. Another picture shows Lorca in Arab dress taken in 1918. In this context it records rare pictures of this poet-playwright who electrified his audiences until a Fascist firing squad killed him in 1936. Leslie Stainton captures this sad but fascinating life of Lorca whose life itself is like a drama he wrote. The book places Lorca in a cultural and historical context providing unusual insights into his life and major works.
A must read for anyone interested in Lorca's life and work.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A thorough if exhausting academic surveillance 19 Jun. 2002
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Don't let the title of LORCA: A DREAM OF LIFE fool you into thinking that this book is about the fantasies that wove the character of the great Spanish writer/artist. This is a well researched document that should be an essential volume in all libraries. There is much to be learned here: how many Americans understand the magnitude of the Spanish American War which resulted in skeletonizing the empire of Spain, annexing the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico to the US? It is this era of defeat into which Lorca was born - author Stainton begins her book this way and continues the entire biography uniting the changes in Lorca's development as an artist with the political upheavals of WWI and WWII. This history in context technique at times absorbs too many pages, giving us less information about the soul of the subject than about the country of the subject.
Given this direction as her modus operandi, Stainton still manages to illuminate the works of Lorca and even has the courage to tackle his sexuality and the consequent influences on his work. While other biographers have given us a more fleshed out image of one of the truly great writers of the 20th century, LORCA: A DREAM LIFE is written with consummate attention to detail and enlightens us as to the milieu which contributed to the intensity of experiences tha shaped Lorca's output. This is definitely a good read and recommended to round out your understanding of Lorca's Spain and Spirit.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
compelling and thorough 5 Jan. 2001
By Judah Adashi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Stainton's biography of Lorca is meticulously researched and well-conceived. Her style is compelling but unobtrusive, and, as her vast bibliography and acknowledgements attest, she has done her homework, giving an account of the enigmatic poet that draws on an extremely wide variety of sources.
Stainton's attention to Lorca's oeuvre is consistently thoughtful and concise: she offers explication and analysis of the poetry to support her depiction of Lorca's nature and aesthetic philosophy, and introduces us to the dramatic works, always with a detailed account of their origins, performance history and context.
Stainton also offers key connections between works, and, as such, generates a clear chronological sense of Lorca's artistic development.
I have not read the highly-acclaimed Ian Gibson biography of Lorca, and as such cannot offer a comparison. However, all in all, Stainton provides a complete and rewarding picture of the great poet that will surely endure as one of the finest of its kind.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Really Well-Written; Kept My Attention Throughout 22 Jun. 2011
By L.M. Gil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I tend to find biographies boring. Even when it comes to biographies of famous people who interest me, I tend to be picky. If I find text to be plain, or if the writer does not engage me, I won't bother continuing the book. But this biography is very well-written. Why? The writer seems to be aware that her readers are most likely generally familiar with Lorca's basic timeline, his influences, his writings, etc. And her chapters focus on the interesting details about these things. There's a chapter on Falla, another on Dali, and she's scattered thoughtful details about his writings throughout the book. I've enjoyed reading the biography, and if you have an interest in the life of Garica Lorca, I recommend reading this biography. I promise it will capture and keep your attention.
Dream a little dream of me - lyrics by Gus Kahn 4 May 2013
By bernie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
To understand a play one needs to know something of the playwright and Leslie Stainton does that so well in this book.

This biography is anything but a collection of dry statistics. However the dry statistics are "fascinantes." I find myself taking the book off the shelf periodically just to peruse it again and again.

Not that you need them but there are a couple of picture sections with stills of Lorca and family and memorabilia.

I learned about Lorca backward by attending a play version of his lyric poem "The Butterfly's Evil Spell". I was hooked. However be ware that also floating around out there is some sort of distorted Kabuki version.

Since then I have read a few other of his plays.

I will not rehash his fascinating life or the detail of his demise is as that is why you are going to purchase this book.

Thank you for taking the time to read this review.
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