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Lorca: A Dream of Life Paperback – 20 Oct 1999
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"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
Drawing on more than 100 previously unstudied letters and interviews this biography provides a portrait of a man whose life was deeply entangled with that of his country. Lorca's birth in 1898 coincided with Spain's defeat in the Spanish-American War and his death in 1936 with its undoing in the Spanish Civil War. Originally published in 1998.See all Product description
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For this reason alone this book suffers in comparison with any Lorca biography by Ian Gibson, who cites his sources meticulously. Nevertheless, this book is a good read.
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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