On Lorca and Historical Memory


Here is a New Yorker article about a visit to the place Lorca was killed and the project of finding and exhuming his body. And below is the English abstract of Andrés Soria Olmedo’s “Vida cotidiana y memoria histórica: el caso Lorca” (Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies:19 [2015]: 231-245, in Project Muse, a database at our library. The author is married to Lorca’s niece, and the article sums up the family’s position on the project of finding and exhuming Lorca’s body — something biographer Ian Gibson, and some of those interested in recovering the historical memory of the Civil War of 1936-1939, consider important in a way the family does not.

Abstract: Federico García Lorca was executed by the Francoist rebels in August 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, along with three other men, Dióscoro Galindo, Francisco Galadí and Joaquín Arcollas, and with more than a thousand other victims, in a place near the city of Granada. His body was never recovered, nor those of the other victims. The purpose of this paper is to follow the official decisions taken about how to commemorate these victims, especially when implicating an intervention onto a physical space, e.g. building a park (1986) and a theatre of sorts (2002). These interventions are related to the different approaches to historical memory. Between 1976 and 2015, the emphasis has shifted from the collective, public, and political point of view to the individual and private perspective, thus promoting the exhumation of single corpses instead of keeping a space of symbolic value. After the enforcement of the Law for Historical Memory (2007), the attempt of exhumating the bodies of Galindo and Galadí at the request of their relatives (Lorca’s heirs not wishing their relative to be removed) didn’t succeed (2009). From then on, the opinions are divided between supporters of continuing with the search and supporters of preserving the place as a graveyard. But it is still to be [note from me: i.e., it should be] consolidated as a lieu de mémoire, fusing historical memory and daily life.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/hcs.2016.0022

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