Federico García Lorca: Commentary


Federico García Lorca is the leading Spanish playwright and poet of the twentieth century. His twelve major works for the theatre have been produced around the world. They are El maleficio de la mariposa (The Butterfly's Evil Spell), 1919, Mariana Pineda, 1925, Los títeres de cachiporra (The Billyclub Puppets), 1928, La zapatera prodigiosa (The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife), 1930, Amor de Don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín (Don Perlimplín), 1931, Así que pasen cinco años (Once Five Years Pass), 1931, El público (The Audience), 1933, Bodas de sangre (Blood Wedding), 1933, Yerma, 1934, Doña Rosita the Spinster), 1935, and La casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba), 1936.

Lorca's poetry and plays combine "elements of Andalusion folklore with sophisticated and often surrealistic poetic techniques, which cut across all social and educational barriers". He is said to have succeeded in the creation of a viable poetic idiom for the stage, superior to the works of his contemporaries, Yeats, Eliot and Claudel.

"Lorca's reconquest of the Spanish public, and his growing prestige among scholars is a relatively recent phenomenon. When his works began to recirculate freely, many people who knew only the 'Gypsy Ballads' and two or three of the more popular plays considered Lorca a poet of limited interest and local color.

"When his later poetry and experimental plays such as 'The Public' came to be better known and understood, attitudes changed. 'Today,' observed Jose Luis Cano, a literary critic and biographer of Lorca, 'Lorca's reputation and popularity have soared, and they are based primarily on 'Poet in New York', Lorca's harrowing account of the year he spent in America. It is now recognized as one of the great monuments of 20th-century poetry'."

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