Books on reserve: Maurer’s translation of Poet in New York

MaurertOur course will focus on Lorca’s most avant-garde work and his lecture / manifestos. Although not all students will have read the texts most typically taught already, I have decided this may not be a bad thing. Must we present the “folkloric” Lorca first?

I am reading editions and translations of Lorca I had not examined before. The 1998 translation of Poeta en Nueva York (Greg Simon and Steven White, edited and with an introduction and notes by Maurer; Noonday Press) is very interesting. It includes Maurer’s translation of Lorca’s lecture presenting Poeta en Nueva York, which was not published in his lifetime, and of his letters home, which have a great deal to say about the New York of 1929-1930 as Lorca experienced it.

I learned that there are more difficulties with Lorca editions than I was realized, partly because he died unexpectedly, without putting his papers in order or publishing all that he had in manuscript, and partly because he was very careless, both with his originals and with the typographical errors he allowed to be published. Lorca deeply believed in the poem as event (hecho poético) and oral performance, and the written text mattered less to him.

The New York Public Library had an exhibit on Poet in New York in 2013, that I wanted to see and still wish I had seen.  And the image in this post is of the cover of the 2013 revision of the book I have just discussed. I am glad we have independent research funding for this course, because our library cannot always buy books that might seem redundant to some. I look forward to seeing the new edition.

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