Federico García Lorca Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

It may be argued with some justification that Federico García Lorca is best remembered as a poet. Although recognition for his poetry came first, García Lorca did divide his creative energies almost equally between the two genres, concentrating on poetry during the 1920’s and devoting himself more single-mindedly in the 1930’s to the theater. His first collection, Libro de poemas, appeared in 1921, and between 1921 and 1924 García Lorca continued work on Poema del cante jondo (1931; Poem of the Gypsy Seguidilla, 1967), Primeras canciones (1936), and Canciones, 1921-1924 (1927; Songs, 1976)—all of which attest his considerable knowledge of Andalusian folklore and a genuine musical flair. García Lorca’s reputation soared, however, with the publication in 1928 of Romancero gitano, 1924-1927 (The Gypsy Ballads of García Lorca, 1951, 1953), an ambitious attempt at recapturing tradition to express it in a modern idiom. The Gypsy is cast as a contemporary victim, a natural being at odds with an inflexible, repressive society, in powerful and compelling images of frustration, loss, and death. García Lorca’s fusion of personal and universal symbolism was almost too successful; critics disseminated rather too freely the facile “myth of the Gypsy” with García Lorca as its poet. This brought the angry riposte that the Gypsy was only one manifestation of the persecution of minorities;...

(The entire section is 499 words.)


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

In the decades since his death, Federico García Lorca has become something of a cult figure (particularly outside his native country, where the stylized image of Spain found in his poetry and plays has romantic appeal). His work has been widely translated, inspiring writers, composers, choreographers, painters, and filmmakers; critical studies, moreover, abound, and as a result, García Lorca’s name is now probably as familiar as that of Miguel de Cervantes. Much of this fame comes from a personal myth inspired equally by memories of García Lorca’s undeniably charismatic presence and the tragic circumstances of his untimely death. Proper assessment is therefore not easy.

At odds with the myth of García Lorca’s quintessential Spanishness is the degree to which his stagecraft, both as dramatist and as director, belongs to broader European cultural currents. His constantly reiterated goal of the renovation of the Spanish theater was a vision entirely harmonious with the technical advances of luminaries such as Edward Gordon Craig, Max Reinhardt, and Konstantin Stanislavsky. Unlike them, he undertook the enterprise at a time when his national theater was sunk in the stagnation of unrelieved superficiality, and his achievement of a modern style is all the more creditable. In collaboration with stage-director Rivas Cherif and actress Margarita Xirgu, García Lorca brought new techniques from Paris to the staging of his own plays. Not content with...

(The entire section is 458 words.)

Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Show how music serves as metaphor in the poetry of Federico García Lorca.

Examine García Lorca’s thesis that New York in the late 1920’s was an effective symbol of the Western world.

Compare García Lorca’s conception of the ballad with the conception that governed the folk ballads of England and Scotland.

To what extent does Blood Wedding depend on a concept of honor that is difficult for an American audience to understand?

Consider the subject of frustrated love in García Lorca’s plays.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Allen, Rupert C. The Symbolic World of Federico García Lorca. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1972. Allen focuses on García Lorca’s work from the point of view of relationships to modern (particularly Jungian) psychological theory and symbology.

Anderson, Reed. Federico García Lorca. London: Macmillan, 1984. Anderson’s study focuses on García Lorca’s dramatic art. The book has a fine overview of García Lorca’s relationship to Spanish literature in general as well as insightful discussions of the early as well as the mature dramas.

Binding, Paul. Lorca: The Gay Imagination. London: GMP Publishers, 1985. Binding’s is a fine study focusing on García Lorca’s work as it is an outgrowth of the poet’s homosexuality. Binding has a sympathetic sense of the modern temperament, and his readings, particularly of García Lorca’s mature works, are excellent.

Bonaddio, Federico, ed. A Companion to Federico García Lorca. Woodbridge, England: Tamesis, 2007. A critical look at García Lorca’s works, including his poetry, novels, screenplays, music, and drawings. The essays in this collection offer discussions on gender, religion, sexuality, and politics, as well as a study of the critical perceptions of García Lorca.

Campbell, Roy. Lorca: An Appreciation of the Poetry. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1952. Campbell’s study concisely traces the growth of García Lorca’s poetic genius from his early regional works to his final publications. The book is replete with long passages of the poetry (in translation), making it useful to the beginning student of García Lorca’s work.

Cobb, Carl W. Federico García Lorca. New York: Twayne, 1967. Cobb’s is a fine basic chronological study of the poetry and drama containing not only good readings of the poetry and drama but also discussions of biographical and personal matters that influenced García Lorca’s work and career. Of interest, too, is a summary chapter highlighting García Lorca’s influence on other writers.

Cueto, Ronald. Souls in Anguish: Religion and...

(The entire section is 940 words.)