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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

March 31st, 2008 (02:04 pm)

I am rereading Federico Garcia Lorca for the first time since high school. (In English this time, which is doubtless contributing significantly to my comprehension.) I remember from high school that he had a very complex and idiosyncratic system of symbolism in his work, full of striking images presented in unusual and Highly Meaningful ways. Unfortunately I didn't remember much of anything about it after a decade's break from his stuff.

I am happy to say that in the process of reading my way through Federico Garcia Lorca: Three Tragedies (containing Blood Wedding, Yerma, and The House of Bernarda Alba -- all of which, I believe, are subtitled Hoo Boy But These Women Are Crazy), I have managed to reassemble what I believe is a reasonably full decoding of Lorca's symbolism:

Black = Death
Green = Death
Silver = Death
Red = Passion? ...nah Death
Still water = Death
Running water = Death
Sea water = Death
Moon = Death
Horses = The simultaneous inevitability and futility of perseverance in the face of Death
Flowers (all) = Death
Anything Else That Happens to Come Up in the Course of a Work by Federico Garcia Lorca = Death

I don't worry about that last one too much, though, since you almost never encounter it.

Srsly. I like Lorca's stuff, find it completely and weirdly compelling, but... yeah. Death death death death death.


P.S. I miss my high school Spanish teacher. Death got a hold of her too. Last year, I guess, and I hadn't seen her in eight or nine years... but it still makes me sad. I hope death has been kinder to her than it is to the characters in Lorca's plays and poems.


Posted by: Instruction-free poison (redsnake05)
Posted at: March 31st, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)

Just think, one day people could deconstruct your books, and pick out the symbols and analyse them. I think it's really interesting, even though I'm pretty crap at actually doing it. I must get better and read more actively. I'm sure it would improve my writing.

I can just imagine what someone would make of my fanfic: "And here we see the first use of dust, a symbol that haunts redsnake's later works. The author claims she just likes the aesthetic, but a closer reading shows the association of dust with pensive longing rising passion disregard for physical characteristics death." Lol.

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