Dienstag, April 25, 2006


Frederico Garcia Lorca was one of the great Spanish writers, dramatists and artists of the 20th Century. In his short lifetime he produced a wide variety of novels, short stories, poetry as well as paintings, drawings and even musical compositions. He is also a martyr of the Spanish Civil War ...
He influenced such politically disparate artists as the poet Neruda and the painter Dali.

On August 19, 1936, at the age of 38, Lorca was beaten to death by Franco's falangists along with several other 'disappeared' political opponents of Franco.

While his homosexuality was known even then, his fascist assassins used this to make his assassination look like a bit of 'rough trade' gone wrong, the real reason for his death was his outspoken defense of the Republic and his criticisms of monarchism, Catholicism and Fascism.

The Franco regime placed a general ban on his work, which was not rescinded until 1953 when a (heavily censored) Obras completas was released. Even then, it was only after Franco's death in 1975 that Lorca's life and death could be openly discussed.

It took until the 1990s for his sexual orientation to be acknowledged, and then only by scholars and biographers ...

Here is one of his last poems, before he was murdered by the fascists:

Fare Well

If I die,
leave the balcony open.

The little boy is eating oranges.
(From my balcony I can see him.)

The reaper is harvesting the wheat.
(From my balcony I can hear him.)

If I die,
leave the balcony open!


Blogger Ryan said...

thats sad. he was really hot looking guy!

2:28 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Ryan:
Yes, Ryan, racial hatred and hatred towards gay people are always characteristics of fascism, and therefore the famous painter Salvador Dali tried to cover up that he has been Federico's lover when he was young, that means he disowned his love ... that's very sad too!

4:15 nachm.  
Blogger Will said...

Somehow, all the spanish manage to be mystics and slightly surreal in their art, whether it's painting or music, plays or prose. Even architecture.

I love Lorca and always assign "Blood Wedding" to my design students. They're invariably excited and challenged by it. We always have a good session analyzing the white room that is the final scene of the play, where all the women take part in a great ritual of death, pain and life.

"Yearma" also begins in the real world and ends up on a mountain top, in the remains of some pre-Christian shrine where Yerma finally murders the man who will not impregnate her in some undefined, primitive rite.

An amazing playwright.

7:02 nachm.  
Blogger Brad said...

wow. I also felt quite sad after having read this piece. I am hoping though that your weekend went extremely well with your visitors Hans?

2:41 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Will:
Thank you for your detailed and very interesting comment!
"Blood Wedding" was the first of Lorca's playwrights I've seen in TV when I was 15, and I brimmed over with enthusiasm for him and a few years ago I've seen it here in Vienna by an original Gipsy company and that was the best what I've ever seen by him!
It's a pity that he had to die so early ...

9:29 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Brad:
Yes the meeting with my friends was great :-)

Why has Lorca's biography such a terrible end?
This belongs to the bloody political history of our Global Village:

In the summer of 1936 twenty Nazi transport planes ferried Franco's forces from Morocco to Saville, and he began what everyone thought would be a rapid victory march on Madrid. He was joined by troops from Fascist Portugal, Mussolini provided upwards of 50,000 soldiers fresh from Ethiopia, and Hitler supplied troops, technical assistance, including his Gestapo. The Nazi Luftwaffe provided Franco air cover. Though this was the opening gun of World War II—the moment to stop fascism in its tracks—the western democracies did nothing. Many politicians in England, France and the United States were sympathetic to Hitlerism. France closed its borders to the Republican Spain, cutting if off from foreign aid. U.S. oil companies supplied Franco with most of his oil, and three fourths of his trucks came from General Motors, Studebaker and Ford.

And so on .... and so on ... It's a shame! Isn't it?

10:20 nachm.  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

and before we all start thinking that those dark and distant days are gone and that man has evolved a little from then...
not so. homphobia, although shrinking, is still there.

4:07 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Cocaine Jesus:
And it's always up to the artists to raise their voices against injustice, dishonesty and war.
The terra of our now already very sensitive planet is saturated enough with blood of innocent children, women and men ... but blood is no oil!

8:05 nachm.  
Blogger X. Dell said...

Forgive me if my response is a bit rattled, but intolerance for anyone infuriates me.

While I can understand--loathe, but understand--that Franco's minions might take down someone they see as subversive (as you rightly point out, that's a tactic of fascism), what's worse is the somewhat slower acceptance (apparently) of a national treasure by the Spanish hegemony.

Of course, work cited here might have been heavily censored for ideological reasons, and not the author's sexual orientation (once again, the totalitarian state).

Cocaine Jesus, I would like to think that what you say is true.

5:28 nachm.  

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