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Last message:Alexandros, Monday, 9.2.2015 / 20:02

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Posted: Monday, 9.2.2015 / 20:02 Edited: Monday, 9.2.2015 / 20:03

Topic: Gay writers

Lorca and the Gay World

"When Federico García Lorca was executed by Spanish Fascists in 1936, one of the men on the death squad reportedly said that he had “fired two bullets into his ass for being a queer.” Although rumors of Lorca’s sexuality have persisted for decades, the historical interest in Spain’s most celebrated poet and dramatist has dealt mostly with the political significance of his murder. Known for his leftist politics and religious iconoclasm, he’s become the symbol of the crimes of the Spanish Civil War. Little is mentioned about Lorca’s sexuality beyond his romanticized love for Salvador Dalí. (Apparently, Lorca was “obsessed” with him; Dalí didn’t like to be touched.)

Earlier this month in Spain, Ian Gibson, Lorca’s biographer, published “Lorca y el mundo Gay,” his fourth book about the poet he’s studied for more than forty years. The book is divided into five sections, each of which examines a specific era in Lorca’s life and the lovers that took part in it. According to early reviews, Gibson makes a strong case that the poet’s tortured relationship to his homosexuality is an overlooked cornerstone of his work. But what seems most remarkable about the book is not the revelation that’s made headlines in Spanish newspapers—that Lorca had a girlfriend. (Gibson writes that Lorca “tried” to love a young adolescent named Maria Luisa Natera when he was eighteen, but “couldn’t.”) Rather, it’s that Lorca’s sexual life hasn’t been the focus of any books before. Lorca’s writing, considered deeply homoerotic, was banned until 1954 and censored until 1975. His family rarely spoke of it. Even as late as the nineteen-eighties, when “Sonnets of a Dark Love” was posthumously published, it was retitled “Love Sonnets.”

Gibson, an Irish historian and authority on anything Lorca-related, has a reputation for exhaustive research. His first book about the poet, ”The Assassination of Federico García Lorca,” solved the mystery of Lorca’s murder, won the Prix International de la Presse in 1971, and was banned in Spain until Franco’s death. He is also known for documenting the period in which his subjects lived; here he delves into Spain’s history of homophobia. He says that “Lorca y el mundo gay” is his final book, and with it he comes full circle, returning to Lorca’s execution and arguing that it was motivated by sexuality as well as politics. In a recent interview, Gibson said,

Spain couldn’t accept that the greatest Spanish poet of all time was homosexual. Homophobia existed on both sides in the Civil War and afterwards; it was a national problem. Now Spain permits same-sex marriage. That taboo must be broken."

From: "The New Yorker"

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