FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA AND THE PUBLIC: A Study of an Unfinished Play and of Love and Death in Lorca's Work by Rafael Martinez Nadal

FEDERICO GARCIA LORCA AND THE PUBLIC: A Study of an Unfinished Play and of Love and Death in Lorca's Work

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One month before his assassination in 1936, Lorca entrusted his unfinished play The Public to friend and translator Nadal. Though it was written about the same time as Poet in New York, it was never produced and this formal study marks its debut. The Public is a difficult, highly symbolic drama of ideas -- the key, writes Nadal, to Lorca's surrealist writings. One concludes that if it can be understood at all (Nadal's guiding explication is vital) it is just as significant to the body of his conventional poetry and plays. The controversial theme is homosexual love, or ""the normality in abnormal relations."" A parallel reading on this Eros theme is A Midsummer Night's Dream, specifically the love play between Titania and Bottom the ass -- a scene that according to Lorca should be played straight, without irony. Nadal fills out his analysis by tracing themes of frustrated love in women and men, homosexual love, death, religion and social conscience; and by highlighting common motifs, concentrating on the polyvalent horse-symbol. He discusses what theater meant to the poet, and his relationship through that medium to the public. Critical work on Lorca, a bold brilliant writer with a substantial popularity despite his often obscure logic, is in short supply, and Nadal has many virtues: he is knowledgeable about the man, the working artist, the obra, surrealism and the theater. This incisive, balanced and readable assessment of an unknown masterful work cannot help but prick the imagination.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1974
Publisher: Schocken