Lesson 2 Lorcas Life And Leanings

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Lesson 2 Lorcas Life And Leanings

  1. 1. Lorca: His Life and Leanings By S Abeyawardene
  2. 2. <ul><li>LORCA lived in Granada (last capital of Moorish Spain) in Andalucia from Age 9 </li></ul><ul><li>He once wrote that his Granadine origin &quot; gives me a sympathetic understanding of those who are persecuted &quot;, as the 500,000 Moors had been when they were expelled in 1492 as the culmination of the Spanish kings' centuries-long reconquest of the country from Muslim rule. </li></ul><ul><li>LORCA was homosexual, and perhaps identified the treatment the Moors suffered with the hostility he suffered in a culture that valued virility . </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Born 1898 </li></ul><ul><li>LORCA was born in a traumatic year for Spain, at the time of the Spanish-American War in which she lost her colonies in Cuba and the Philippines . </li></ul><ul><li>The Desastre , or Disaster, as it was widely known in Spain, made many Spaniards reflect on how far their country had declined since the supposed Golden Age in the sixteenth century, and liberals and right-wingers both proposed schemes to regenerate Spain. </li></ul><ul><li>However, views were truly divided as to… </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>How this regeneration would take place. </li></ul><ul><li>Liberals such as Manuel Azaña hoped that Spain would approach the republican, secular model suggested by the French Revolution . </li></ul><ul><li>The reactionary right, however, denounced such a programme as contrary to the Catholic traditions which had made Spain great in the first place, and overly reminiscent of the old French enemy. </li></ul><ul><li>In this face-off, Azana was triumphant, much to the dismay of the church and right-wing traditionalists. So, on whose side was LORCA? </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>LORCA was no politician </li></ul><ul><li>However, he still associated himself with the liberalism and socialism of this Second Republic , which was proclaimed in 1931. </li></ul><ul><li>He belonged to the Generación del 27 , a loose group of pro-European intellectuals; and the 1921 visit he paid to New York , inspiring his volume Poet in New York , was made with his old friend Fernando de los Ríos , a moderate socialist who became Azana’s minister of education and presided over the exclusion of priests, monks and nuns from Spanish primary schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine, the response of the Catholic church to this turn of events! </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>In November 1933 , Azana’s republican-socialist coalition had disintegrated sufficiently for the elections to be won by a right-wing alliance which proceeded to reverse most of his work as triumphantly as Azaña had attacked the vested interests of the Church and army in the preceding years. </li></ul><ul><li>The tables were turned against liberals like LORCA. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The political pendulum swung back in February 1936 </li></ul><ul><li>The so-called Popular Front - essentially a revival of Azana’s old republican-socialist coalition, plus Spain's minuscule Communist Party - shaded electoral victory and a springtime of public disorder broke out, extremist socialists and fascist Falangist s engaging in a spiral of revenge attacks. </li></ul><ul><li>Spain was descending into imminent civil war . </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Civil War </li></ul><ul><li>When the monarchist leader José Calvo Sotelo was shot dead by socialist policemen in July 1936 , the attack triggered a Nationalist military rebellion which had been in preparation for some time and civil war indeed ensued. </li></ul><ul><li>General Franco took over as t he leader of the Nationalist forces and LORCA’s Andalucía quickly became a theatre of war with Granada rapidly placed under martial law. </li></ul><ul><li>Franco had promised &quot; exemplary punishment (castigo ejemplar)... to strangle any rebel movements &quot; in one of his first radio broadcasts on 21 July. </li></ul><ul><li>Liberals like LORCA now had a real fight on their hands, simply to stay alive. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Franco’s Nationalist repression took a similar course in Granada to the other areas taken by the Nationalists over the course of the war. Local politicians and trade union leaders were always among the first to be killed. </li></ul><ul><li>Typically, the targets were arrested late at night and driven to a secluded location where they would be shot - euphemistically known as a paseo , or being taken for a walk. </li></ul><ul><li>Franco preferred not to comment on such deaths, but when challenged would attribute them to 'uncontrollable elements‘. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Final Days <ul><li>Lorca's brother-in-law, who worked at the town hall , was arrested on 20 July, and the family villa was visited by uniformed men a few days later </li></ul><ul><li>Lorca thought it prudent to keep a low profile, and contacted a fellow poet, Luis Rosales , who sheltered him at his family's house </li></ul><ul><li>On 16 August, Lorca was arrested at the Casa Rosales and taken to the Civil Government building where he spent the next two and a half days. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Paseo <ul><li>On the night of 19 August, the Black Squad drove Lorca to the nearby village of Viznar , where he was shot and buried in an olive grove close to a spring known as the Fuente Grande which had been praised by Granada's Islamic poets. </li></ul><ul><li>The news reached the Republican press on 30 August, but met with such disbelief that the Nationalists' chief paper, the Diario de Burgos , was able to spread the misinformation that he had been assassinated by Communists. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Franco’s Spain <ul><li>Franco saw himself as the one designated to save Spain from the chaos and instability visited upon the country by the evils of multi-party parliamentary democracy. </li></ul><ul><li>His conception of society was, therefore, along military lines and his goal, to keep what he termed the &quot;anti-Spain&quot; forces from destroying tradition. </li></ul><ul><li>His aligned his Nationalist military regime with the Catholic Church and bourgeoisie: the three pillars of a right-wing dictatorship. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Key Issues <ul><li>LORCA was alive to witness the dawn of this new authoritarianism spearheaded by Generalísimo Franco . </li></ul><ul><li>His socialist ideals helped him to identify with the working classes and the oppressed as opposed to the elite . </li></ul><ul><li>His liberalism and homosexuality placed him in direct opposition with the Catholic Church ; he embodied the ‘chaos’ they feared. </li></ul><ul><li>He was, to the above triumvirate, all things “anti-Spain”. </li></ul><ul><li>So, what was his attitude towards them and how is it revealed in The House of Bernarda Alba, still unpublished at his death? </li></ul>

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