Flamenco Tradition in the Works of Federico Lorca and Carlos Saura: The Wounded Throat

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This study explores the meaning and importance of flamenco in the works of two of the most important and influential figures in twentieth-century Spanish culture, the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca and the film-maker Carlos Saura. Lorca and Saura shared a fascination for flamenco as a medium for the existential ideology of the marginalized and disenfranchised and this work evaluates the development of these themes through a close, contextual study of their works, which are linked explicitly by Saura’s film adaptation of Lorca’s Bodas de sangre and, more profoundly, by their use of flamenco to express ideas of sexual and political marginalization in pre- and post-Francoist Spain respectively. The study demonstrates that an understanding of the symbolism, visual style, characters, themes and performance system of flamenco is key to a greater understanding of the social, sexual, political and existential themes in the works of Lorca and Saura, and that this in turn allows for an original and revealing analysis of the evolution of flamenco and the development of modern Spain.


“Beyond appreciation of the ingenuity and vitality of form, Rob Stone’s analysis reveals the enduring significance of their eternal themes: the construction of individual and collective identity, the body, desire, politics, and much else besides. Stone convincingly argues not only that the work of Lorca remains as relevant now as for the audiences for which it was originally intended, but also that Saura’s films are indisputable milestones in the history of Spanish cinema.” – (From the Foreword) Professor Peter William Evans, Queen Mary, University of London

“While flamenco has proved a powerful idiom in the production and reception of Andalusian culture and a pervasive influence on a range of writers and filmmakers, the careful tracing of its codified ethics and performative languages have all too often been substituted by glib generalizations and a reinforcing of problematic stereotypes that equate the country’s cultures with sangria, bullfighting and this eponymous music and dance form. In this respect, Rob Stone’s groundbreaking study offers a valuable antidote to such simplified readings. Here is a sophisticated, detailed argument that presents both the roots and history of flamenco and delineates how the structure, motifs and symbolism of this extraordinary musical form are employed in the poetic and dramatic works of Federico García Lorca and the dazzling musicals of Carlos Saura. This is an immensely readable, lucid work that pries apart commonly held assumptions to reveal textual strategies that position flamenco both as a rich context for creativity and a defiant performative discourse that has far reaching consequences for the study of contemporary Spanish culture.” – Maria M. Dalgado, Reader in Drama & Theatre Arts & Head of Drama, Queen Mary, University of London; Co-editor, Contemporary Theatre Review

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations,
1. My Ancient Voice
2. Weeping Blood: Poema del cante jondo
3. The Moon and the Child: Romancero Gitano
4. Poeta de Ida y Vuelta: Poeta en Nueva York
5. The Dark Root of the Cry: Bodas de sangre, Yerma and La casa de Bernarda Alba
6. Murder on the Dancefloor: Bodas de sangre (1981)
7. Sing The Body:Carmen (1983)
8. El Desencanto: el amor brujo (1985)
9. Fiesta Among Equals: Sevillanas (1992) and Flamenco (1995)
10. The Wounded throat: Remate

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