Cover image for García Lorca at the edge of surrealism  the aesthetics of anguish
García Lorca at the edge of surrealism the aesthetics of anguish
Publication Information:
Lewisburg, [Pennsylvania] : Bucknell University Press, 2014.


Physical Description:
1 online resource (313 pages) : illustrations
Local Note:
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, MI : ProQuest, 2015. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest affiliated libraries.


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On Order



Garc a Lorca at the Edge of Surrealism: The Aesthetics of Anguish examines the variations of surrealism and surrealist theories in the Spanish context, studied through the poetry, drama, and drawings of Federico Garc a Lorca (1898-1936). In contrast to the idealist and subconscious tenets espoused by surrealist leader Andr Breton, which focus on the marvelous, automatic creative processes, and sublimated depictions of reality, Lorca's surrealist impulse follows a trajectory more in line with the theories of French intellectuals such as Georges Bataille (1897-1962), who was expelled from Breton's authoritative group. Bataille critiques the lofty goals and ideals of Bretonian surrealism in the pages of the cultural and anthropological review Documents (1929-1930) in terms of a dissident surrealist ethno-poetics. This brand of the surreal underscores the prevalence of the bleak or darker aspects of reality: crisis, primitive sacrifice, the death drive, and the violent representation of existence portrayed through formless base matter such as blood, excrement, and fragmented bodies. The present study demonstrates that Bataille's theoretical and poetic expositions, including those dealing with l'informe (the formless) and the somber emptiness of the void, engage the trauma and anxiety of surrealist expression in Spain, particularly with reference to the anguish, desire, and death that figure so prominently in Spanish texts of the 1920s and 1930s often qualified as "surrealist." Drawing extensively on the theoretical, cultural, and poetic texts of the period, Garc a Lorca at the Edge of Surrealism offers the first book-length consideration of Bataille's thinking within the Spanish context, examined through the work of Lorca, a singular proponent of what is here referred to as a dissident Spanish surrealism. By reading Lorca's "surrealist" texts (including Poeta en Nueva York, Viaje a la luna, and El p blico) through the Bataillean lens, this volume both amplifies our understanding of the poetry and drama of one of the most important Spanish writers of the twentieth century and expands our perspective of what surrealism in Spain means.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The title of this meticulous endeavor reveals Richter's intent to consider Spanish surrealism via comparative analyses of García Lorca's artistic works. Richter (Utah State Univ.) references a plethora of acknowledged Lorcan scholars who attest to García Lorca's impact on the evolution of Spanish culture and art. The book reflects the current tendency to combine study of literature with study of science or of creative arts such as music and painting. (Recent examples of this include work by Cecilia Cavanaugh, Nelson Orringer, Gala, and Gwynne Edwards.) Richter illustrates the volume with six of García Lorca's drawings. Richter's detailed history underscores the unorthodoxy of Spanish surrealism. García Lorca's filmscript for Viaje a la luna and play El público classified as surreal and illustrate the eclecticism of García Lorca's artistic efforts. Abundant notes elucidate the evolution and variations of surrealism from its initial appearance to more recent times. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, professionals. --Francesca Colecchia, Duquesne University

Table of Contents

Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Permissionsp. xiii
Abbreviationsp. xvii
Note on Translationsp. xix
Introduction: Foundations for a Dissident Surrealismp. 1
1 Spanish Surrealism's Absent Father: Sub-Realism from Juan Larrea to Federico García Lorcap. 23
2 Burning in the Void: An Aesthetics of Informe in Lorca's New Yorkp. 69
3 Truth, Mutation, and the Closure of Representation: Sovereign Identity in Lorca's Retablillo and El públicop. 125
4 Rotten Roses and Other Botanical Bereavements: Vanguardist Floral (Dis)arrangements and Lorca's Doña Rositap. 173
5 Lorca and Bataille beyond Surrealism: Sonetos del amor oscuro and the Erotic Imperativep. 219
Conclusion: An Ethics of Informep. 257
Bibliographyp. 269
Indexp. 281
About the Authorp. 291