With a rare blend of grace, warmth, and scholarship, Leslie Stainton raises the stakes of our appreciation for the greatest of Spain s modern poets, Federico Garcia Lorca Drawing on fourteen years of research than a hundred letters unknown to prior biographers exclusive interviews with Lorca s friends, family, and acquaintances and dozens of newly discovered archival material, Stainton has brought her subject to Life as few writers can She describes his carefree childhood in rural Andalusia his residencies in Madrid and Granada, then in New York, Havana, and Buenos Aires his potent interaction with other Spanish artists, such as Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, and the composer Manuel de Falla and, finally, Stainton shows how Lorca s marginal political activity during the Spanish Civil War still cost him his lifeThroughout, Stainton meticulously but unobtrusively relates the oeuvre to the life Her biography is quickly becoming the standard one volume work on the poet


10 thoughts on “Lorca: A Dream of Life

  1. Ειρήνη Βαρδάκη Ειρήνη Βαρδάκη says:

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  2. Zane Zane says:

    Orion bought me this book for my birthday four years ago It is in a box in Marshall, but by coincidence, I picked it up at the library the other day I was mostly interested in this for a few specific years of his work, but it is a well written of this Spanish playwright and poet To be crass, he was queer, a Spanish Republican through the war, and executed by fascists He lived a really interesting life beyond those things, though maybe they are enough If you are looking for a good biography Orion bought me this book for my birthday four years ago It is in a box in Marshall, but by coincidence, I picked it up at the library the other day I was mostly interested in this for a few specific years of his work, but it is a well written of this Spanish playwright and poet To be crass, he was queer, a Spanish Republican through the war, and executed by fascists He lived a really interesting life beyond those things, though maybe they are enough If you are looking for a good biography to read, pick this up


  3. Doria Doria says:

    Wonderful, very complete and in depth biography of the great and tragically murdered poet and dramatist, Federico Garcia Lorca Stitched together in large part out of quotes from FGL and his friends and family and colleagues, there is very little authorial embroidery Stainton respects the fact that the poet explicated his own life and state of mind with elaborate clarity, and adds factual details and connective tissue only where necessary She makes no assumptions and is respectful of her sourc Wonderful, very complete and in depth biography of the great and tragically murdered poet and dramatist, Federico Garcia Lorca Stitched together in large part out of quotes from FGL and his friends and family and colleagues, there is very little authorial embroidery Stainton respects the fact that the poet explicated his own life and state of mind with elaborate clarity, and adds factual details and connective tissue only where necessary She makes no assumptions and is respectful of her sources.Although the book is long, it reads well and moves along at a rapid clip, reaching its end almost before we are ready, much as did its subject The enormity of loss sustained through this brutal and callous murder committed by Franco s fascist henchmen is brought home with deliberate simplicity There are no punches pulled, and his death was like a poem inscrutable and sudden, raw and impactful The story of FGL s life and murder is vital and needs to be known far and wide There is much of beauty intertwined with the sadness and looming menace of death


  4. Romain Romain says:

    Such a journey going through the poet s life, chapter by chapter in this enormous book His abrupt assassination in the final chapter, though I knew it was coming, had me in tears.


  5. John Healey John Healey says:

    It is not what I would call a definitive biography but it is an improvement over Ian Gibson s.


  6. Steven Steven says:

    FascinatingRequired reading for anyone interested in Spanish culture Lorca was a giant, Stanton gives you a sense of his greatness, his uniqueness.


  7. Jennifer Sarha Jennifer Sarha says:

    Interesting, and informative about Lorca s life I was initially bothered by the author s speculations about Lorca s responses and feelings what did he feel when he saw Granada for the first time , but these were presumably based on her research about what, say, Granada looked like at the time, and it became less noticeable with time I would have liked to have hadinformation about the events surrounding Lorca s death, but I appreciate that at the time of writing less was available That Interesting, and informative about Lorca s life I was initially bothered by the author s speculations about Lorca s responses and feelings what did he feel when he saw Granada for the first time , but these were presumably based on her research about what, say, Granada looked like at the time, and it became less noticeable with time I would have liked to have hadinformation about the events surrounding Lorca s death, but I appreciate that at the time of writing less was available That said, somespace given to the event, to its context within the civil war, would have been nice I also would have liked to readabout Lorca s posthumous reputation the book ended somewhat abruptly Still, this is currently the best biography available in English, and worth reading for that


  8. Ben Ben says:

    I got turned on to Lorca through the work of Jack Spicer, and had this bio sitting on my shelf for a long time before cracking it open The size of the tome was definitely a little bit intimidating, but once I got into it, it was pretty breezy reading As the back cover touts, Stainton does do a good job of weaving together Lorca s life with his oevre, and her exploration of his relationship to other artists, especially Dali and Neruda, is spectacular That having been said, the writing itself c I got turned on to Lorca through the work of Jack Spicer, and had this bio sitting on my shelf for a long time before cracking it open The size of the tome was definitely a little bit intimidating, but once I got into it, it was pretty breezy reading As the back cover touts, Stainton does do a good job of weaving together Lorca s life with his oevre, and her exploration of his relationship to other artists, especially Dali and Neruda, is spectacular That having been said, the writing itself can be a little telegraphed, and a number of times she ll introduce someone late in Lorca s life as an important old friend who had had an enormous impact on him since his childhood without ever having mentioned them before Oh well Definitely still worth a read


  9. James Hunyar James Hunyar says:

    My sole complaint in regards to this work is one that echoes many other readers here, the speculations made by the author about a wide array of things Lorca felt or experienced privately There are many observations that can be backed up by letters and other writings by Lorca, but some, most notably the final moments of his life, are so certainly unknowable that the author s speculations felt domineering and showy I value the perspective of the author nonetheless as they had access to such a we My sole complaint in regards to this work is one that echoes many other readers here, the speculations made by the author about a wide array of things Lorca felt or experienced privately There are many observations that can be backed up by letters and other writings by Lorca, but some, most notably the final moments of his life, are so certainly unknowable that the author s speculations felt domineering and showy I value the perspective of the author nonetheless as they had access to such a wealth of information about his life.The quality of writing is excellent throughout the book and the spirit of Lorca haunts nearly every page


  10. Janet Sola Janet Sola says:

    I ve always thought Lorca was a thrilling poet with lines like The dark archers approach Seville I thought of him as solemn and serious and kind of old So traveling in Spain this summer, I downloaded his bio onto my Kindle, and was amazed to discover that he was a cutup, a hedonist, a pampered boy, a creative genius, and openly gay among his loves was Salvador Dali He was also a victim of one of the very dark periods in Spain s history the rise of Franco the other being the Inquisi I ve always thought Lorca was a thrilling poet with lines like The dark archers approach Seville I thought of him as solemn and serious and kind of old So traveling in Spain this summer, I downloaded his bio onto my Kindle, and was amazed to discover that he was a cutup, a hedonist, a pampered boy, a creative genius, and openly gay among his loves was Salvador Dali He was also a victim of one of the very dark periods in Spain s history the rise of Franco the other being the Inquisition His life ended tragically, but his words will live on forever, this well researched bio examines both his life and his poems with refreshing honesty A worthwhile read