"Lorca After Life" by Noel Valis

Lorca After Life Noel Valis

Publication date:
24 May 2022
Yale University Press
456 pages: 235 x 156mm
15 b-w illus.
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A reflection on Federico García Lorca’s life, his haunting death, and the fame that reinvigorated the marvelous in the modern world

There is something fundamentally unfinished about the life and work of Federico García Lorca (1898–1936), and not simply because his life ended abruptly. Noël Valis reveals how this quality gives shape to the ways in which he has been continuously re-imagined since his assassination. The specter of his violent death continues to haunt everything connected to Lorca, fueling the desire to fill in the gaps in the poet’s biography.

Lorca’s execution at the start of the Spanish Civil War was not only horrific but transformative, setting in motion many of the poet’s afterlives, including those related to his sexuality and gender identity. Lorca is intimately tied to both an individual and collective identity, as the people’s poet, a gay icon, and fabled member of a dead poets’ society. His fame is a reinvigorated expression of the marvelous in the modern world, with homosexuality as one of its most fascinating manifestations.

Noël Valis is professor and director of undergraduate studies for Spanish at Yale University. The author of Sacred Realism: Religion and the Imagination in Modern Spanish Narrative, Valis lives in New Haven, CT.

“A galaxy of critical insights into the cultural shock waves circling and crisscrossing Lorca’s execution and his unknown resting place, there is not a single book on Lorca like this one.”—Andrés Zamora, Vanderbilt University

“An example of cultural history at its best, Valis’s superbly written exploration of Lorca’s contested afterlives demonstrates once again why she is our leading scholar of modern Spanish letters.”—Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Columbia University

“Noël Valis elucidates the enduring appeal of the great Andalusian writer. Arguing that the bold nature of his gifts could not have been adequately appreciated in his brief life, she maintains that only the vastness of death can accommodate our growing understanding of Lorca’s innovative accomplishments.”—Jaime Manrique, author of Eminent Maricones