A season in Granada: uncollected poems & prose

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Anvil Press Poetry, Apr 1, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 127 pages
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Any time one can present new, previously unpublished poetry by Federico Garcia Lorca, one of the great masters of twentieth century poetry, it's a literary event. And that is just what A Season in Granada is -- something truly special for poetry lovers.Edited and translated by the distinguished Lorca scholar, Christopher Maurer, this book contains twenty poems which have only recently come to light, and which are now published in English and in their entirety for the first time. Included as well are previously uncollected poems, essays, and letters. The writings form a poignant and dazzling celebration of the magical city of Granada, near where Lorca grew up, where he studied, and to which he returned frequently in his life and in his imagination. And where he would die, too, at the hands of Nationalist Partisans on the eve of the Spanish Civil War. "Every day", Lorca wrote in a letter to a friend, "I am more convinced of how marvelous this country is. If you were here with me, you'd be spinning like a top to see all four points of the compass at once".In Christopher Maurer's words, the twenty poems in the two previously unpublished Suites -- "Fairs" and "Summer Hours" -- draw on the "structural ideas and whimsical tone of one of Lorca's favorite composers, Claude Debussy The idea was to capture some phenomenon -- the moon, the hours of evening, the ocean, wheatfields, flamenco -- in a series of stylized estampas (prints) or 'moments".' They are remarkable for their freshness and vitality and represent an important addition to the Lorca canon. Also worth noting is Lorca's essay, "Granada: Paradise Closed to Many" published here in English for the first time.

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A season in Granada: uncollected poems & prose

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For the centenary of Garcia Lorca's birth, Maurer (Spanish, Vanderbilt Univ.) has translated these 20 newly discovered poems and an essay, "Granada: Paradise Closed to Many." They celebrate the ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
9
Summer Hours
29
Palimpsests
37
Little Tales of the Wind
45
Water Jets
51
Meditations and Allegories of the Water
57
Paradise Closed to Many
63
August
71
St Michael Granada
77
Holy Week in Granada
85
Casida of One Wounded by Water
91
How a City Sings from November to November
97
Notes
116
El Cafe de Chinitas
126
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Garcia Lorca is perhaps the best known of modern Spanish writers, partly because of his brutal execution outside Granada by Franco's army at the beginning of the civil war, but primarily because of his genius for poetry and drama. In 1928 Lorca published Gypsy Ballads, which won him immediate success and is considered one of the most important volumes of poetry of the century. Attracted to the gypsies for their exotic folklore, sexual vitality, and their status as a group on the fringe of Spanish society, Lorca enlarged the gypsy people and their traditions to mythical proportions. Nature takes on human form while reality acquires a dreamlike quality in this powerful transformation of the world into a myth. The verse is colorful, rhythmic, dramatic, symbolic, and suggestive. Lorca visited New York in 1929, experiencing a deep despair about a mechanical and dehumanized society; he saw in blacks the only hope for revitalization of that world. The volume Poet in New York (1929) shows the influence of Negro spirituals and the poets Walt Whitman and T. S. Eliot. Although Garcia Lorca was interested in drama throughout his life, he did not produce much of significance until the 1930s. Most important is his trilogy of Spanish rural life, Blood Wedding (1933), Yerma (1934), and The House of Bernarda Alba (1936), all tragedies with women as protagonists. In each play, the fall of the heroine, and of those around her whom she pulls down, is caused by frustrations produced by society. Blood Wedding demonstrates the sterility of the traditional code of honor. Yerma reveals the emptiness of a traditional marriage in which the woman must bear her husband children to prove her fidelity, and The House of Bernarda Alba dramatizes the destructive nature of Bernarda's dictatorial rule over her house, a microcosm of Spain. The Butterfly's Evil Spell (1919) is Lorca's first play; The Shoemaker's Prodigious Wife (1931) and Don Perlimplin (1931) are farces; The Billy-Club Puppets (1931) is a puppet play.

Christopher Maurer is head of the Department of Spanish, French, Italian, & Portuguese at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

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