Something completely different: Jonathan Mayhew, Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Parody, Kitsch, Chicago u.P., 222 pp., is, in fact, not about G.L. at all but is, instead, a thought-provoking exploration of G.L.’s apocryphal afterlife in the poetic culture of the united States, specifically how G.L. became an American poet adapted to the clearly ideological and cultural needs of uS poets during the 1950s and 1960s. after a brief chapter setting up ‘a charismatic, protean, and enigmatic authorial figure’ (xiv), there follow separate chapters on how G.L. was defined according to a new uS cultural nationalism in opposition to Cold War politics in which both black and white, male gay poets played a significant role in the midst of a more generic romantic Lorquismo; on the strategies of ‘domestication’ in a great number of translations from Langston Hughes to Paul Blackburn; on the rather misleading concept of deep image; and then, best of all, the individual studies on specific apocryphal paradigms such as those of robert Creely and Jack Spicer, or Frank O’Hara’s ‘Lorcaescas’, or Kenneth Koch’s parodic poetic pedagogy, or Jerome rothenberg’s variations.
J. Mayhew, ‘Guillen, Cernuda, and the Vicissitudes of Spanish Modernism’ (17–33), exploring a provocative point of view that critiques without mercy the later poetry of the touted modernists of their generation, Guillén and Cernuda, rejects any facile conflation of post-coloniality and postmodernism, and suggests that José Ángel Valente and Antonio Gamoneda are better post-WWII exponents of a movement that still awaits its final realization; to be read together,