Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Ways than One to be Buried

Over at Adrian McKinty's always excellent The Psychopathology of Everyday Life blog (, they, or I suppose I should say we, have been discussing the recent exhumation of the bones of Garcia Lorca from the mass grave in which he was buried with many more of his compatriots.

It's interesting in this connection that I have just read recently of another Spanish literary light of that era in the latest issue of Tin House, which has the theme of "The Political Future". (Great issue, by the way--full of essays and reflections from all the current literati you'd care to read.) Mark Statman writes of the erasure of the work of poet Jose Maria Hinojosa, a member of the Franco faction who was murdered in prison only days after Lorca himself was killed. Statman himself finds himself at odds with Hinojosa's politics, but is disturbed that the literary work of this man, which was not political, has vanished from our view. You can read his full if brief essay on the subject here:

It's not so easy, see?


  1. Seanag

    Its also forgotten that on the other side of the conflict were Evelyn Waugh and Kim Philby both writing for the English papers. Philby of course was doing it under the orders of Moscow to establish his right wing credentials. Waugh had no such excuse.

    My favourite Spanish Civil War works of art: Louis MacNeice's Autumn Journal, Hemingway's For Whom The Bell Tolls and Orwell's damning Homage to Catalonia.

    All on the Republican side, but it's interesting to hear the pro Franco angle.

  2. Hey, Adrian, thanks for stopping by. I didn't want to write about this on your blog in case it might be offensive to some in relation to Lorca's recent exhumation.

    I don't know that much about the Spanish Civil War, except for the kinds of things you pick up through all the literary references. Seems like a good time to start correcting that lapse. My father was a big Orwell fan, by the way--his nonfiction more than his fiction. Down and Out in London and Paris was a sort of latter day gospel to him. Of course that means I've never read it. Kids! You'll have to be prepared for that resistance to paternal pedagogy.

    I think for some reason it really bothered me that this guy was not only murdered, but that his literary works would just be blotted out. I mean, Ezra Pound is still held in high esteem for heaven's sake, and people wade around his fascism as best they can.

    Thanks for the reading recs. You would be appalled that as American--and bookseller--I have read so little Hemingway. A little dissuaded from that path at an impressionable age by a guy who was maybe a bit too taken with him.

  3. While the overall point is well worth making,it should be noted that Hinojosa disappeared from view during the years of the Franco dictatorship.
    In fact the first edition of his complete works has been published in 1983,fifty years after his last collection of poems,but only one year after the win of the Socialist Party in the first free elections.


    My v-word,lotate,is almost lottate (second person plural indicative/imperative of fight)

  4. marco, I of course defer to you in this as I am relying on one small article about an author of whom I previously knew nothing. I do think it's always worth thinking about the people who, for whatever reasons chose the non-winning side. If only to remedy my own sometimes black and white thinking. I found that this little article made me think more about how people sometimes, or maybe quite often, choose a side based on family loyalties and traditions that may say very little about who they are as a person--or a poet.

  5. I'll double post to add that 'lotate' or lottate may be more apropos than you know as I have just had an all out war of words with my property manager and the upstairs tenant. "Imperative of to fight" indeed. It actually makes me feel quite liberated to have finally drawn a line with these people. However, I should probably start looking for new housing ASAP.