Deep Song

The Life and Work of Federico García Lorca

Stephen Roberts

Deep Song

Stephen Roberts

Distributed for Reaktion Books

288 pages | 38 halftones | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Cloth $35.00 ISBN: 9781789142372 Will Publish September 2020 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9781789142464 Published July 2020 For sale in North and South America only
Federico García Lorca (1898–1936) is perhaps Spain’s most famous writer and cultural icon. By the age of thirty, he had become the most successful member of a brilliant generation of poets, winning critical and popular acclaim by fusing traditional and avant-garde themes and techniques. He would go on to reinvent Spanish theater too, writing bold, experimental, and often shocking plays that dared openly to explore both female and homosexual desire. A vibrant and mercurial personality, by the time Lorca visited Argentina in late 1933, he had become the most celebrated writer and cultural figure in the Spanish-speaking world.
 
But Lorca’s fame could not survive politics: his identification with the splendor of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–36) was one of the reasons behind Lorca’s murder in August 1936 at the hands of right-wing insurgents at the start of the Spanish Civil War. In this biography, Stephen Roberts seeks out the roots of the man and his work in the places in which Lorca lived and died: the Granadan countryside where he spent his childhood; the Granada and Madrid of the 1910s, ’20s, and ’30s where he received his education and achieved success as a writer; his influential visits to Catalonia, New York, Cuba, and Argentina; and the mountains outside Granada where his body still lies in an undiscovered grave. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of a complex and brilliant man as well as new insight into the works that helped to make his name.
Review Quotes
Irish Times
Deep Song is rich with Lorca’s words and makes one eager to revisit them. . . . Lorca is an intensely mythologized figure, and Roberts is careful not to tell the story of this life in teleological terms, unfolding towards the tragedy of Lorca’s assassination of the hands of nationalist militia. Roberts deals with sexuality, class, religion, and politics, but not in such a way that sees these things as inevitable precursors to Lorca’s later life. Rather, we get a vision of Lorca as joyous, complex, and experimental, trying his hand at different forms, obsessions, and the possibilities of his art. . . . Deep Song [is] richly textured with Lorca’s own words, and makes for a flowing, thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the life as a lived and passionate thing.”
Sunday Independent (Ireland)
"There is a swift, sharp style that gives the concise biography major appeal. It's a good entry point to Lorca's work. Roberts also provides a nice mix of analytical theory on Lorca's poems and plays alongside colorful kiss-and-tell gossip from Lorca's adventurous, libidinous pursuits. Some caused more heartache and stress than others. An obsessional crush on Salvador Dali went on for many years, but Lorca could never quite sweet-talk the surrealist painter into bed."
Federico Bonaddio, King's College London, editor of "A Companion to Federico García Lorca"
"In a relatively short volume, Roberts is able to provide a concise yet comprehensive account of both Lorca and his work, along with a clear sense of the historical context which shaped them."
Nelson Orringer, University of Connecticut, author of "Lorca in Tune with Falla"
"Roberts skillfully fashions the biography of García Lorca's short life into a seamless continuum, divided into eight brief periods with vivid attention to geographic settings. As distinguished from other biographies, Roberts's take a close-up, intimate view of this poet-playwright, portraying him as a kind of Lorca from within. At this same time, this intimate vision does not eschew the broader social picture with rarely considered economic tensions that help account for Lorca's ignominious liquidation."
Sarah Wright, Royal Holloway, University of London
"In this beautifully written, sensitive book, Roberts moves fluidly and intelligently from biography to oeuvre through a keen sense of the evocations of place. In this way, we are immersed into the worlds occupied by Lorca in such a way as to capture a sensual and intimate understanding of the enduring significance of Lorca’s life and work."
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