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García Lorca, Federico (1898-1936)  
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Sonnets of Dark Love

Lorca's Sonnets of Dark Love, written in November 1935 and long suppressed by Lorca's family, were first published in a clandestine edition of 250 numbered copies in December 1983. As a result of this mysterious printing, Lorca's family was apparently pressured to finally officially publish the eleven sonnets in March 1984 in the Spanish newspaper ABC.

Curiously, what was most controversial were not the poems themselves, in which the beloved's sex or gender is never explicitly identified, but rather the title of the cycle of poems. The Lorca family wished to entitle the cycle Sonetos (Sonnets) or Sonetos de amor (Love Sonnets), the latter being the title under which they finally appeared in ABC and in the new 1986 Aguilar edition of Lorca's complete works.

Apparently, the title Sonetos del amor oscuro (Sonnets of Dark Love) had obvious homosexual overtones that had to be suppressed. Although it is true that Lorca left no document corroborating the title Sonetos del amor oscuro, a number of individuals who knew the poet well claim that this was the title he used to refer to them.

Lorca's Achievement

As a poet and dramatist, Lorca demonstrated an enormous thematic breadth and technical virtuosity. Although there is no denying that his early childhood in Andalusia left a mark on his artistic sensibility, perhaps his greatest achievement was his ability to avoid the trappings of a superficial folksy style by skillfully combining traditional popular motifs (Andalusian gypsies, flamenco music, bullfighters, the Guardia Civil, among others) with a brilliant modern sensibility that stylized and elevated the motifs onto a universal plane.

Lorca's account of gypsies persecuted by the sinister Guardia Civil (Gypsy Ballads and Poem of the Deep Song), the oppression of blacks in Harlem (section II of Poet in New York), and the sexual repression of Andalusian women (Blood Wedding and The House of Bernarda Alba) portray marginalized figures who, like the homosexual, are persecuted by a dominant morality hostile to the open expression of difference.

Francisco Soto

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Anderson, Andrew. Lorca's Late Poetry: A Critical Study. Leeds: Francis Cairns Publications, 1990.

Binding, Paul. Lorca: The Gay Imagination. London: Gay Men's Press, 1985.

Eisenberg, Daniel. "Reaction to the Publication of the Sonetos de amor oscuro." Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 65 (1988): 261-271.

Gibson, Ian. Federico García Lorca: A Life. New York: Pantheon Books, 1989.

Harris, Derek. García Lorca: Poeta en Nueva York. London: Grant and Cutler, 1978.

Londré, Felicia Hardison. Federico García Lorca. New York: Ungar, 1984.

Sahuquillo, Angel. Federico García Lorca y la cultura de la homosexualidad masculina. Alicante: Instituto de Cultura "Juan Gil-Albert," 1991.


    Citation Information
    Author: Soto, Francisco  
    Entry Title: García Lorca, Federico  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated June 9, 2005  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  


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