"Postmodern Lorca: Motherwell, Strayhorn, García Montero", By Jonathan Mayhew
In his talk, Mayhew will analyze three case studies that might have been included in his acclaimed book Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Parody, Kitsch (University of Chicago Press, 2009). Robert Motherwell’s series of paintings “Elegy for the Spanish Republic” is a serial repetition of a single motif derived from Lorca’s “Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías.” Billy Strayhorn, best known for his collaborations with Duke Ellington, set some texts for a production of Lorca’s Los amores de don Perlimplín y Belisa en su jardín. Finally, the contemporary Spanish poet Luis García Montero positions himself as a Lorquian poet while rejecting Lorca’s modernism. Mayhew’s point is not that these re-visionings of Lorca are kitsch in the negative sense of the term, but that they rely on the possibility of a repetition that reframes Lorca for the postmodern age in which the only way to be Lorquian is through parodic repetition or displacement.