Francis Cairns Publications

Liverpool Monographs in Hispanic Studies 10

Lorca's Late Poetry. A Critical Study

A.A. Anderson

LMHS 10. ISBN 978-0-905205-78-6. Cloth. xiv+462pp. 1990.

Federico García Lorca (1898-1938), is often thought of as a fine lyric poet of the 1920s who then developed into one of Spain's greatest playwrights (1931-36). But other aspects of Lorca's literary career are equally significant: the earlier theatrical pieces, which he had started writing by 1918, the bold, experimental, expressionist plays of 1930-31, and (the subject of this volume) the later poetry written as his powers as a dramatist matured in the 1930s.

Professor Anderson's book is the first in any language to focus specifically on Lorca's poetic output from 1931 to 1936. It offers extensive, detailed analyses of all the poetry composed during that period: Diván del Tamarit with its Arab-Andalusian flavour and stylization, the Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, a sustained lament on the death of a bullfighter friend, Seis poemas galegos, and Sonetos, love poetry echoing Petrarch, Shakespeare and Góngora – four collections equal or superior in quality, power and suggestiveness to Lorca's canonic poetical works. Adopting a literary-critical approach based on the close reading of individual texts, with relevant background information, Professor Anderson elaborates on the themes and techniques, imagery and symbolism, strengths and weaknesses, of each poem in the four collections. Thereby he can relate this corpus to the whole of Lorca's work, showing that it cannot be neatly categorized under any of the avant-garde "-isms" prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s. His arguments for a revised appraisal of Lorca's creative development lead to a compelling case for a re-evaluation of his "late poetry".

An Appendix gives English translations of all the poems under discussion (other Spanish quotations are translated in the text), and there is a fifteen-page bibliography of primary and secondary material.

While Lorca's Late Poetry will be of particular value to specialists in Lorca and in Hispanic literature, it also makes these important collections accessible to a more general audience.

ANDREW A. ANDERSON is a Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has published numerous academic papers on all aspects of Lorca's life and work and is responsible for the critical edition of Lorca's late poetry in Clásicos Castellanos (1988) and an Antología poética published in 1986 by the Comisión Nacional del Cincuentenaria to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Lorca's death.  


Modern Language Notes 111 (1996) 426-8 (John C. Wilcox): "Anderson's scholarship is impressive. He displays his intimacy with the vast lorquian bibliography in the reasoned footnotes that appear on every page. Linked to this is his extensive knowledge of the European sonnet, the entire corpus of Spanish poetry, classical mythology, the Bible, Christian myths, and his intimacy with all things Andalusian. ... This book is a tour-de-force of close reading. Anderson is patiently persuasive and rigorously logical without being dogmatic ... He avoids reductive and simplistic readings; it is his goal to show that these texts work on several levels."

Anales de la literatura española contemporánea 18 (1993) 429-31 (Carlos Feal)

Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos 17 (1992) 389-91 (Biruté Ciplijauskaité): "Con Lorca's Late Poetry, Anderson ofrece una ayuda inestimable tanto al lector aficionado a la poesía como al catedrático más riguroso o al alumno más ávido de descubrimientos. El volumen, provisto de una amplia bibliografía y casi limpio de erratas, será desde ahora una herramienta sine qua non para entender a Lorca."

Hispania 74 (1991) 671-2 (esp. 672) (Francesca Colecchia): "a meticulously researched, carefully wrought assessment of Lorca's later poetry"

Hispanic Review 60 (1992) 377-9 (K.M. Sibbald): "Anderson has arrived at a realistic evaluation through careful analysis and synthesis that is unspoilt by the usual excesses of empty praise. His prose translations or transliterations read well and provide a good idea of the original Spanish. This is not a study to be tossed off at a single reading; instead the canny student of literature will return again and again to learn, to quote from, and occasionally to disagree. What more can be asked from the continuum of criticism?"

Modern Language Review 88 (1993) 499-50 (Elizabeth Matthews)

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 70 (1993) 281 (Derek Harris): "this outstanding book should bring about an accommodation in the focus of Lorca studies to include the full breadth of the perspective now revealed."

Iberoromania 38 (1993) 128-9 (Heinrich Merkl)

Forum for Modern Language Studies 27 (1991) 382-3: "This carefully written and fully documented book is indispensable for a full appreciation of the often baffling complexities of the poetry written by Lorca between 1931 and 1936."