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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Rescuing Lorca from the folkloric

There is one view of Lorca that I've found sometimes. The person will dismiss Lorca as a "folkloric poet." The more sophisticated version of this is to divide Lorca into two. The good Lorca is the surrealist, the avant-garde artist. The bad Lorca is ... the folkloric... and sometimes the musical Lorca.

(A third position is to like Lorca because he is folkloric.)

But studying Lorca and music, I can't exactly make that separation. Musicians gravitate toward him because of his investment in anonymous lyric traditions. So the sophistication of the approach is in the adaptation of folklore to something that, by definition, cannot be folklore any more. And that is precisely what Lorca himself did.

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