Lorca: a boom and cultural business around the Spanish genius | The Extra Hour

An irregular year is ending for the cultural sector. Cinemas have registered a record number of viewers, thanks to the premiere of SpiderMan (No Way Home), the most watched film of all of 2021. But theaters are still not full. Museums are also having a hard time recovering the entire public. Yes, the bookstores are in luck, celebrating a historic increase in sales of over 20%. And the performing arts. Many theaters have hung the sold-out sign throughout this year. And we go to the theater and we do it hand in hand with one of the best chroniclers in our history: Federico García Lorca.

We are about to finish 2021, a positive year for the performing arts, considering how the cultural landscape is. The theaters have recovered their audiences, offering a varied offer, although there are many works that have invited us to look back, to remember our past. And it has been a very Lorca year. We have seen a cultural explosion around one of the most universal Spanish writers, along with Miguel de Cervantes. Federico García Lorca.

An inflation of theatrical works around Lorca

The fingers of our hands cannot reach us to count the number of plays about Federico: his figure and his work. Around with Lorca, played by Carmelo Gómez. Marta Pazos directed Untitled comedy, that social drama that Lorca left unfinished. We have also seen various representations of Bernarda Alba’s house, one of Lorca’s most acclaimed works. Although the palm has been taken this year by A Night Without the Moon, with the extraordinary Juan Diego Botto, National Theater Award. Botto was awarded, among other things, “for the enormous validity that Lorca’s discourse has today.” And that is one of the factors that cause Lorca’s work to continue to be exploited today.

The historian Guillermo de Osma has an art gallery in Madrid where he exhibits a sample of drawings by Lorca and Benjamín Prado. “Lorca is very youthful, he has an enormous freshness, both in his poetry and in his play – Guillermo explains – and I see that he plays young, I see it in my children and in my children’s friends. He is one of the poets. of this generation that really comes. It has a very direct language, with very beautiful metaphors that are understood quite well. Besides the character is fascinating, captivating. And I don’t want to get involved with the ideological issue, but I had friends from all walks of life. ideologies and characteristics and that is very beautiful in the Spain of a few years before the war “.

These reasons for the validity of Lorca’s work are shared by Emilio Peral, Professor of Spanish Literature, researcher and Doctor of Hispanic Philology. Just published The ignored truth: male homoeroticism and literature in Spain, from Ediciones Cátedra. “Lorca is very modern, not only because of the presentation of rebellious women who take their desire above any social obstacle, but also because of many rebellious men. Men who speak of the difficulty of loving differently. And in this time of incessant search and necessary for equality and social justice, Lorca is especially significant. Like the correction of political radicalisms. There is the untitled Lorca de Comedia, criticizing the bourgeois who go to the theaters without worrying about the external reality “, adds Peral .

However, Emilio is concerned that this revival of Lorca is to see the character from the critical positions of each one, taking possession of him. Peral speaks of a popularization of the character due to this inflation of works. “Everyone has the ability to comment on Lorca today, but more than on his work, on the conditions for which he was murdered. In Lorca there is a business opportunity, everything that carries the FGL brand sells,” he laments . Emilio Peral says that out of every 20 works by Lorca that he has seen, up to 19 are a repetition of the same formula, which instead of creating a troubled and turbulent character, they paint him as a politically correct Lorca. They use their interviews and fragments of works used very intentionally, “he says.

Lorca in literature: another business route

Theater, drawings, comics and books too. This year, for example, Lumen Gráfica has published Life of Federico García Lorca. An Illustrated Biography of Ilu Ros. The Lunwerg publishing house Federico’s womenby Ana Bernal-Triviño and Lady Desidia. And we stop now in another book: Lorca Based on a true story. The events that inspired his works, edited by Carpenoctem. Its author is Miguel Caballero, whom we have interviewed and who tells us the high price that the poet from Granada had to pay for telling the truth.

Caballero reviews the main works of Lorca, inspired by real events in his environment. Strikes by day laborers, repression of landowners, civil guards, inbreeding between families … a lot of facts and characters that determined the murder of its author.

2021: a year to remember, look back

Not only Lorca has helped us this year to remember where we come from and who we are. There are many other plays that have looked back this year. , but we do not stop remembering, which is what it is about. To remember what happened to us and what may be happening to us. Yellow rain, adaptation of the work of Julio Llamazares. Alfonso the African, about Alfonso XIII as a forerunner of porn cinema in Spain. Rif (from lice and mustard gas), about the Annual disaster.

And we stop at The Extra Hour in a theatrical premiere that will take place this week at the Spanish Theater: From some time to this part … failure? The adaptation of a monologue by Max Aub directed by Maite Pérez Astorga, starring María Pujalte and Ana Rujas.

A reflection on the fears and lack of freedom in Europe during Nazism and the same anguish and depression that we suffered more than 80 years later. What is freedom? Are we free after so many struggles? These are the questions that this play tries to answer.

And we ended up making memory uploaded to a motorhome. Camper is one of the words of the year, according to the Fundéu, the Foundation for Urgent Spanish. Camper vans are one of the most in-demand forms of sightseeing this year. We end up with more memory, in this case photographic. Eli Garmendia and Carlos Pericás are a couple of photographers who 3 years ago decided to leave everything behind and go live in a caravan.

Since then his life has been spent aboard The Bitxa. With it, they travel through small towns in Spain, that empty, emptied or faltering Spain, towns with less than 500 inhabitants of Navarra, Huesca, Guipúzcoa, Córdoba … to portray its inhabitants. The objective is to create a large photographic and ethnographic archive, which will show in the future how the people of these small towns live today. What they were like, what they dressed, how they combed their hair, what relationships and stories they keep.

They have an exhibition at the Huesca Provincial Council and we have talked with them about memory.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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