Friday, 29 April 2011

Not Even: Federico García Lorca: A Life

Usually I have two classifications for books, Finished (in which case I write a review) or Abandoned (in which case I explain why I didn’t finish the book). Today I have come across a new type of classification that I shall name

Not Even - meaning that I didn’t even try to read the book.

It’s unfortunate that the first book of the year to make me feel this way is about my obsession; Federico Garcá Lorca. I’ve been obsessed with him since I watched Little Ashes and then started devouring his poetry. So I wanted to read about his life, or more accurately, his relationship with Salvador Dalí.

The movie’s depiction of it broke my heart.

Anywhos, the library only had the Swedish translation of the book Federico García Lorca: Ett Liv by Ian Gibson (the English version being called Federico García Lorca: A Life). I don’t know what I was expecting, since I don’t really read biographies, because I generally tend to differentiate the art from the artist. But one of the reasons why I did fall in love obsession with Lorca was because of his love, and the way he translated that into poetry.

See, to me, a poet is a different entity to an author, because I think it demands a lot more of oneself to write poetry than fiction. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s just how I feel about it.

So anyways, the book is extremely detailed and just full of everything Lorca. I barely managed to finish the first paragraph, and since that pretty much sets the scene for the book; I couldn’t even finish the first page. I skimmed through to when he went to university and then when he met Dalí, which is pretty much all I wanted to know anyways, about 100 or so pages.

What little I read, I enjoyed.

It was nice to read the explanations to some of Dalí’s paintings as well as Lorca’s poetry, and of course about their relationship. I think the main problem for me is that this book is in Swedish and I have problems reading poetry in Swedish – it all just felt, sounded, looked and tasted wrong to me.

There’s a very big probability that I’ll buy this in English and then read it in instalments, even though I’m not sure I really want to know that much about Lorca. I’m just so ridiculously intrigued by his fear/anxiety about death, and I want to know more about how that (and his homosexuality) affected his work.


  1. Lorca does sound quite interesting and it also sounds like maybe your biography in question was written by an historian, they like to give all of the facts all of the time (think David McCulloch and his epics), but they do make for interesting reads in 'installments', as you say. :D

  2. Yeah, Gibson is a historian and somewhat of an expert on Lorca, that's why I chose this one. I just didn't exect that much info. Gibson also wrote about Dalí, but I just can't with Dalí right now. I love him to death for all of his crazy antics, which is why his relationship with Lorca is so surprising (and interesting); they were such opposites.