Gypsy King

Garcia Lorca, Who Was
Shot 75 Years Ago Today

A trench, dug by someone seeking water, near a farm called Cortijo de Gazpacho in Granada, between the villages of Viznar and Alfacar.
That’s where one of Spain’s greatest poets, Federico Garcia Lorca, is believed to have been buried 75 years ago today, after being shot by a right-wing firing squad.
That’s what historian Miguel Caballero Pérez has been able to piece together, after years sifting through the Spanish police and military archives.
It was early in the country’s civil war and future dictator Francisco Franco had just started his bloody cavalcade towards power, with help along the way from Hitler and other European right wing elites.
Pérez claims to have identified the half-dozen career policemen and volunteers who formed the squad that shot Lorca and three other prisoners, as well as the burial site.
He blames the playwright’s death on the long-running political and business rivalry among some of Granada’s wealthiest families – including his father’s own García clan.
His book, “The Last 13 Hours of García Lorca,” details his research and the testimonies he collected from survivors and relatives of the shooters, most of them didn’t even know at the time who Lorca was. Among the people Pérez interviewed, was journalist Eduardo Molina Fajardo, a member of the far-right Fascist Falange that supported Franco.
According to the book, the spot where Lorca’s body may lay is within a mile of the one that historian Ian Gibson identified in 1971, which was controversially dug up in 2009, but where no bones were found. No plans for yet another search.
Lorca, who was born on June 5, 1898, is best known today as the author of the Andalusia-infused poems of Romancero Gitano (Gypsy Ballads, 1928), and Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias (Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter, 1931), and for his “folk tragedies,” Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding, 1935), Yerma, 1937, and La Casa de Bernarda Alba (The House of Bernarda Alba, 1940).
He lived at a Columbia University dorm, in New York City, between 1929 and 1930, and the experience of living in a big metropolis without speaking the language resulted in Poeta en Nueva York, published in 1940.
Having been assassinated by the fascisti of the Spanish Revolution, and the international fame that came right after, may have obscured for a long while his talents as a poet and dramatist, but time has restored his artistic credibility and right place as one of Spain’s greatest voices.
It also helped that, dying at 38, Lorca justified the myth of the tragic genius who dies young, even before he could affirm his much-speculated sexual identity without ambiguity. In death, he also seemed to have underlined one of his most famous quotes: “In Spain the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world.

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