García Lorca, Federico

García Lorca, Federico

(fāthārē`kō gärthē`ä lôr`kä), 1898–1936, Spanish poet and dramatist, b. Fuente Vaqueros. The poetry, passion, and violence of his work and his own tragic and bloody death brought him enduring international acclaim. A joyous, versatile person, he was an accomplished musician and had an enormously original theatrical imagination. García Lorca's works combine the spirit and folklore of his native Andalusia with his very personal understanding of life. His first book, in prose, Impresiones y paisajes [impressions and landscapes] (1918), was followed by Libro de poemas (1921), written in the year he went to Madrid. Romancero gitano (1928; tr. Gypsy Ballads, 1953) made him the most popular Spanish poet of his generation. His celebrated Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (1935; tr. Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter, 1937) and Poeta en Nueva York (1940; tr. The Poet in New York, 1955) are among his later poetry. Between 1927 and 1931 he wrote the plays La zapatera prodigiosa [the shoemaker's wonderful wife], Amor de don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín [love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in his garden], and Retablillo de don Cristóbal [portrait of Don Cristóbal]. Under the Republic he directed and wrote for several theatrical groups. Doña Rosita la soltera [Doña Rosita the spinster] was staged in 1935. His plays, continually produced internationally, are Bodas de sangre (1938; tr. Blood Wedding, 1939), about a reluctant bride who elopes with her lover; Yerma (1934), the story of a woman who cannot bear being childless and kills her indifferent husband, and La Casa de Bernardo Alba (1936), in which a mother orders her frustrated daughter to mourn eight years for her dead father before marrying. García Lorca was shot by Franco's soldiers at the outbreak of the Spanish civil war.


See D. Gershator, ed., Selected Letters (1983), C. Maurer, ed., Sebastian's Arrows: Letters and Momentos of Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca (2004); biographies by E. Honig (rev. ed. 1969) and L. Stainton (1999); studies by R. C. Rupert (1972), F. Londre (1985), and I. Gibson (1989).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

García Lorca, Federico


Born June 5, 1898, in Fuen-tevaqueros; died Aug. 19, 1936, near Granada. Spanish poet and dramatist. Graduated from the university in Granada.

García Lorca’s artistic works bear the influence of Andalusian folk songs. Overcoming the imitative nature of his first Book of Poems (1921), he enriched traditional forms with the achievements of modern poetry and expressed the folk sense of life in the collections El Poema del Cante jondo (1921-22, published in 1931), Songs (1927), and First Gypsy Romancero (1928), as well as the narrative poem Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (1935). The volume of poetry The Poet in New York (published 1940) was based on his trip to the USA and Cuba (1929-30). It is filled with a spirit of renouncement of the capitalist world.

García Lorca’s drama incorporates the main themes of his poetry: love, death, and a hatred of despotism. He wrote a romantic fairy tale (“The Butterfly’s Curse,” 1919), a heroic drama (Mariana Pineda, 1925; Russian translation, 1944), plays for puppet theater, and a popular folk farce (The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife, 1930; Russian translation, 1940). Some of García Lorca’s plays have become classics of poetic drama, including the tragedies Blood Wedding (1933; Russian translation, 1938) and Yerma (1934; Russian translation, 1944), the play Doña Rosita the Spinster, or The Language of Flowers (1935; Russian translation, 1957), and the drama The House of Bernarda Alba (1936, published 1945; Russian translation, 1957). The heroines of these works find themselves in a relentless struggle against their deadening environment.

After the Spanish republic had been declared in 1931, García Lorca joined the politically more progressive Spanish writers. From 1931 to 1933 he led La Barraca, a group of traveling student players that performed the classics of Spanish drama. It was in Granada that García Lorca was caught by surprise in the Franco storm and executed by the fascists.


Obras completas. [Madrid, 1966.]
In Russian translation:
Teatr. Introduction by F. Kel’in. Moscow, 1957.
Izbrannaia lirika. [Preface by E. Simorr. Moscow, 1960.]
Lirika. [Preface by A. Geleskul.] Moscow, 1965.


Ospovat, L. Garsia Lorka. Moscow, 1965.
Vazques Ocaña, F. García Lorca: Vida, cántico y muerte. Mexico City, 1957.
Cano, J. L. García Lorca: Biografía ilustrada. Barcelona [1962].
Auclair, M. Enfances et mort de Garcia Lorca. [Paris, 1968.] (Bibliography, pp. 473-74.)
Honig, E. García Lorca. London [1968]. (Bibliography, pp. 227-34).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.