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SPAIN: Lorca, Alberti and Guillen

Stephen Schwartz says: "In my view García Lorca was a good poet, but is grossly overrated, rather like Dylan Thomas in English. Indeed, I have considered writing an essay comparing the two and how each of them was turned into an icon by a foreign public, mainly in the U.S., that knew nothing of the background. Alberti sold his soul to the Stalinists in a manner so wretched he makes Buñuel look like a neoconservative. I consider Jorge Guillén by far the greatest of the Generation of 1927. I know a lot of Spaniards who agree with me about this. Followed by Cernuda and Aleixandre. It’s interesting to imagine how the work of García Lorca and Alberti would have developed had the first not been murdered and the second committed moral suicide".

RH: This warms my heart. I viewed Lorca and co as phonies, whereas I had a genuine liking for Guillén, who was one of my teachers at Oxford. Indeed I felt close to all my Spanish teachers there: Salvador de Madariaga, Damaso Alonso, Moreno Baez and others.

Ronald Hilton - 6/30/03