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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strikingly Ignorant

Wow. Albee gets so much wrong in this short statement it beggars belief. He said he "did his research." *&^$!

*Albee says that Lorca was killed when he was 37. He was 38.

*He strongly implies that Lorca was killed toward the end of the war. He was killed in August of 36, and the war began in July of that year. How was the war "reaching its terrible climax" after just one month?

*He says that all Lorca's friends told him to leave Spain. Not true. Albee constructs a narrative in which Lorca stayed in Spain when other intellectuals "had left," out of love for the country. But, really, a lot of intellectuals remained in Spain in the Republican zone for the entire course of the war.

*He has Lorca's friends telling him to leave Spain because "you're gay." Never happened. I don't believe he was with Buñuel and Dalí on the eve of his return to Granada.

*He says that Lorca went to Granada during the war. Not true: he went there shortly before the war began. What has Albee confused is that his friends thought it a bad idea to go to Granada from Madrid, where he would have been safer. It makes zero sense for Lorca to go from Republican controlled Madrid to Nationslist controlled Granada during the war! Of course it was spectacularly bad timing for him to go there the day before the war started.

That's not an exhaustive list of errors in Albee's 5-minute statement, just the beginning.


el curioso impertinente said...

Lorca left Madrid on the night of Monday, July 13, arriving in Granada the following morning. The coup was launched overnight from Friday, July 17 to Saturday, July 18. He went because July 18 was his--and his father's--saint's day, San Federico, obispo y mártir de Utrecht, probably one of the most important dates in the family's calendar. In all likelihood, Lorca thought of it as a "viaje relámpago", and might well have returned to Madrid the following week, had not the coup been set in motion exactly then.

Jonathan said...

Curioso: Would you like to listen to Albee and see if there are other mistakes that I might have missed.

el curioso impertinente said...

Nothing major. But here are a few details.

If you mention the Germans, you should also mention the Italians, whose aid, if anything, was greater.

I wouldn't describe FGL as "very far to the left", and certainly not in his writings.

In 1936, he was not in contact with either Buñuel or Dalí. One would have to check biographies to see where they were, but it never happened, so their whereabouts are moot.

He was shot not with 10 or 12 others, but with 3: a primary school teacher and two banderilleros.

The story about the soldier and the rifle is pure hearsay, based on one anecdote, and very likely apocryphal.

I agree that the picture EA paints is extraordinarily inaccurate. For me, what stands out in particular is this idea of FGL clinging on to staying in Spain, while just about every other left-leaning intellectual has already packed their bags and headed abroad. A crazy notion, given both the chronology concerning FGL and the broad intellectual support of the Republic from Madrid to Valencia and Barcelona.

Jonathan said...

How about his family going from prison to prison? That's exaggerated. How about conceiving of Franco as head of the Fascists rather than a military man, of royalist convictions, who later co-opted one of the many right-wing groups in Spain (the Falange), folding it into his "movimiento."

el curioso impertinente said...

Yes, those are wrong too. I don't think the family went anywhere; if memory serves (I'd have to check back) an emissary or emissaries were sent to the Gobierno Civil, and were possibly told that he wasn't there when he was. He was then moved from the GC to La Colonia, the main building of a children's summer camp, near Víznar. So technically he was held in two places.

I gave EA the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was using "fascists" very loosely, as many do. Although he was aligned with Hitler and Mussolini, their programs were hardly identical.