The Translations: Federico García Lorca, Nicolás Guillén, and Jacques Roumain

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University of Missouri Press, 2003 - African Americans - 285 pages
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Contents

Introduction
1
A Note on the Text
17
Blood Wedding
19
Cuba Libre
69
Masters of the Dew
127
Notes
261
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Langston Hughes, February 1, 1902 - May 22, 1967 Langston Hughes, one of the foremost black writers to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance, was born on February 1, 1902, in Joplin, Mo. Hughes briefly attended Columbia University before working numerous jobs including busboy, cook, and steward. While working as a busboy, he showed his poems to American poet Vachel Lindsay, who helped launch his career. He soon obtained a scholarship to Lincoln University and had several works published. Hughes is noted for his depictions of the black experience. In addition to the black dialect, he incorporated the rhythms of jazz and the blues into his poetry. While many recognized his talent, many blacks disapproved of his unflattering portrayal of black life. His numerous published volumes include, "The Weary Blues," "Fine Clothes to the Jew," and "Montage of a Dream Deferred." Hughes earned several awards during his lifetime including: a Guggenheim fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Grant, and a Spingarn Medal from the NAACP. Langston Hughes died of heart failure on May 22, 1967.

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.

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