We use cookies to improve the user experience of our website. Cookie Get More Information

Home » Culture » Spain » Literature » Federico García Lorca

Federico Garcia Lorca

Garcia Lorca

Federico Garcia Lorca. His contribution to Spanish literature and Spains's cultural history is one of the most important.

It is impossible to study Spanish literature without coming across Federico Garcia Lorca, arguably one of the most important characters to emerge in Spain's cultural history. This is not merely due to the splendor of his famous surrealist masterpieces such as Bodas de sangre ('Blood Wedding'), Yerma, and La Casa de Bernada Alba ('The House of Bernarda Alba'), but also due to the interesting period in which he was writing, when many important cultural figures emerged in Spain, such as Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí, with whom Lorca was even rumored to be romantically involved.

This group came to be known as the Generation of '27 ("Generación del 27"), made up of poets such as Rafael Alberti, Jorge Guillén, Gerardo Diego or Luis Cernuda. This poetic period is marked by important Lorca publications such as Romancero Gitano ('The Gypsy Ballads') or the Poema del Cante Jondo ('Poem of the Deep Song'), among others.

However, the movement was crippled by the Spanish Civil War. Lorca was murdered by a group of people suspected to be Nationalists, and a general ban was placed on his works, not to be removed until 1953. It is perhaps for this reason that Lorca's works have become so treasured, as they not only represent masterful writing, but also play an important role in the nation's history.

Lorca was born in a village outside Granada in 1898, and although the family moved to Granada when he was 11, they continued to spend summers in the countryside where Lorca did much of his writing. Lorca emphasized the importance of his rural background, emphasizing that without this experience he would have never been able to write the trilogy of Bodas de Sangre ('Blood Weddings').

Federico Garcia Lorca moved to Madrid in 1919, but it was not until 1927 that he started to become truly respected as a dramatist when his play Mariana Pineda opened to great acclaim in Barcelona. By 1928 he was beginning to feel unhappy in Spain, mainly due to the fact that he was begining to feel estranged from his friends Buñuel and Dalí when they collaborated on the film An Andalusian Dog without inviting him to join. His family arranged for him to go to New York, where he wrote Poeta en Nueva York, in which he used a variety of original poetic techniques to express his feelings of isolation in the city.

In 1930 Lorca returned to Spain and in 1931 he became the director of a university theatre company. It was while touring with this company that he wrote his famous works Bodas de Sangre ('Blood Weddings'), Yerma and La Casa de Bernada Alba.

In July 1936 he returned to Granada. A month later whe would be arrested and shot, leaving behind a number of unfinished manuscripts. There are still questions surrounding Lorca's murder; many say he was apolitical and had friends on both sides of the conflict in Spain, suggesting that the motives of his killer were not political. It has also been proposed that his sexual orientation could have played a role in his murder, but no one can be totally sure.

One thing that is clear, however, is that Lorca was a master at his craft, something that people still enjoy and study today. His contribution to Spanish literature is one of the most important and it is unlikely that his plays will ever be absent from the theatre.