The Bullfighter and the Lament (1934)

Federico García Lorca returned to Spain from Argentina at the age of 36, in full creative maturity and backed by international recognition. On his return he receives a tribute from La Barraca and, shortly after, from the Spanish University Federation at the Hotel Florida in Madrid where the Puppet Show of Don Cristóbal is performed. In July he returns to the Huerta de San Vicente (San Vicente Farmhouse) for Saint Federico’s Day and during the following months he finishes Yerma and Divan del Tamarit. The publication of this last collection of poems at the University of Granada, with a prolog by Emilio García Gómez, which is preserved, was truncated by time and war.

Federico García Lorca strolling through the Alpujarra.
Federico García Lorca strolling through the Alpujarra. / Photo: FGL Foundation

In the intense summer of 1934, on August 11, his friend the bullfighter Ignacio Sánchez Mejías was gored in the Plaza de Manzanares, from which he died shortly after. Lorca dedicated to him one of the top lay elegies of Spanish lyric poetry, the Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías which was published a year later in the magazine Cruz y Raya with illustrations by José Caballero.

Before his return to Madrid, in September, his friends Antonio Gallego Burín, Constantino Ruiz Carnero, Luis Rosales and Manuel Fernández-Montesinos offer him a dinner at the Último Ventorrillo, on the outskirts of Granada.

He begins writing Doña Rosita the Spinster or the Language of the Flowers and premieres Yerma at the Spanish Theater in Madrid by Margarita Xirgu on December 29.