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Contextualising the text - Yerma.

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Throughout his adult life, Garcia Lorca spoke frequently and with great pleasure about the profound importance he attributed to his early childhood in the small villages in the countryside near Granada, and later, in the provincial capital itself. Lorca's father, Federico Garcia Rodriguez was a wealthy landowner with several substantial holdings in the rich alluvial plain called La Vega de Granada. Having been widowed in his first marriage and left without children, Don Federico's second marriage (of which his family disapproved because of the inferior social and economic background of his bride) was to a school teacher from Granada, Vincenta Lorca Romero. The mere fact that she had a profession and a job is an indication of her independence and strength of character. The influence of her personality was to be of the utmost importance for Federico Garcia Lorca, her eldest son, born in June of 1898. The experience of the first ten years in that fertile region of slow rivers and poplar groves, with the snow-capped Sierra Nevada in the distance, seems to have provided Lorca with an inexhaustible well-spring of inspiration and feeling for Spain's rural people and their world. ...read more.


With the exception of summer vacations spent in Granada, Garc�a Lorca would stay in the Residencia until 1928, by which time he had become Spain's most highly respected younger poet. In the period of his greatest fame, Lorca drifted into a depressive, disillusioned state of mind. He described himself to a friend as suffering "one of the saddest and most unpleasant moments of my life." He abandoned the gypsy ballad poetry that was making him famous. He even stopped reading his poetry to friends. He was rescued from this melancholy mood by his mentor, Fernando de los R�os, who took him from Madrid through France and England to New York City. In his plays, the pivotal characters are women. Women are the ones who suffer from desire and pass through conflict to tragic or comic resolution. Most of the scenes take place in women's spaces, the domestic interiors which they rule and from which men are estranged (or, as in The House of Bernarda Alba, completely prohibited). ...read more.


The first and third tragedies are Blood Wedding (1933) and The House Bernada Alba, which was never performed during Garc�a Lorca's lifetime. At the start of the Spanish Civil War, he went to Granada, which he regarded as relatively safe. Although he had no political affiliations, he was known to be a friend of left-wing intellectuals and an advocate of liberty. Apparently this was enough of an indictment for the Falangists who arrested him on the orders of the Nationalist Civil Governor on August 16, 1936. He was held for two days, tortured and shot. Garc�a Lorca was homosexual, and he suffered greatly because of the strict, conservative nature of Spain at that time. His writings were outlawed in Granada's Plaza del Carmen. Even speaking his name was forbidden. The young poet quickly became a martyr, an international symbol of the politically oppressed, but his plays were not revived until the 1940s, and certain bans on his work remained in place until as late as 1971. Today, Garc�a Lorca is considered the greatest Spanish poet and dramatist of the 20th Century. ...read more.

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