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Monday, February 19, 2018

An Interesting Ruse

Lorca, in a book of interviews I have recently purchased, talks about his success, and says that he, personally doesn't care about his triumphs.  He only cares for the sake of his friends. They will be disappointed if he doesn't have great success in his plays, and he can please them if he does.

(Now Lorca is not exactly a modest man, and he had to play the role of a celebrity.  As Christopher Maurer points out, very astutely, in his preface to this book (Palabra de Lorca), the celebrity interview during this period was a new journalistic genre, and Lorca had to figure out how to present himself to the public. He was gregarious and could do this, but you can also see the toll it must have taken on him. If you read all the interviews straight through, you see he has to repeat himself, and present a fairly consistent image, even though Lorca himself was mercurial and had a private side. They mostly want to interview him about theater, not poetry, which is understandable because theater is more public, and because during the years Lorca became famous, it was more for the theater, and he wasn't writing as much poetry [the 30s rather than the 20, and not as much in the early 30s before Bodas de sangre].)

So, of course, the adulation of a smaller group of friends and admirers is more meaningful than the adulation of thousands of strangers. That much is easy to see, and probably sincere. But it turns out that this adulation of Lorca's friends depends on his adulation by the larger group. His friends need him to succeed with the larger group. So the result is that the claim that he doesn't care about success for himself, but only for his friends, is transparently spurious. Of course it for himself, even if it needs to go through his friends as well.    

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