Fernández Almagro, Melchor


Spanish literary critic, historian and journalist. He was one of the regulars at the El Rinconcillo tertulia and one of the main confidants of young Lorca, with whom he exchanged an important collection of over 60 letters from all periods of the author’s life. He was a leading figure in the group, an authority on the subject of Granada and, as documented in Federico and his World Francisco García Lorca, had a great memory that made him an endless source of anecdotes.

The extensive correspondence exchanged with Federico García Lorca shows us the respect he had for him in literary matters. He was always one of the first to know about his projects.

He studied Law at the University of Granada. He prepared for a competitive examination for the Post Office, began to collaborate in the press and, until 1918, the year in which he went to Madrid, he frequented to the tertulia at the Café Alameda, El Rinconcillo, which also included other artists and intellectuals of the time such as Francisco Soriano Lapresa, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Francisco and Federico García Lorca, Antonio Gallego Burín, José Mora Guarnido, Constantino Ruiz Carnero, Manuel Pizarro, José and Manuel Fernández-Montesinos, Hermenegildo Lanz, Ángel Barrios, Ismael González de la Serna, etc. He was an active member of Granada’s cultural life and co-director of the special issue on Zorrilla published by the Centro Artístico in 1917, in which Federico collaborated. He was also a member of the editorial staff of the magazine gallo.

In 1918, he moved to Madrid, where he once again became acquainted with the intellectuals and artists of the Spanish capital. He soon became known for his contributions to the press, frequented the Scientific, Literary and Artistic Athenaeum of Madrid and attended several Madrid tertulias where he met the bullfighter and playwright Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, among others. He always maintained close relations with his city, which named him “consul general of El Rinconcillo” in Madrid. He was one of the critics who wrote most accurately about Lorca’s work.

His extensive correspondence with Federico García Lorca shows the respect he had for him in literary matters. He was always one of the first to know about his projects and, thanks to these letters, we know about many of Federico’s creative processes, allowing us to date some of his compositions.

He lived through the Civil War in Burgos and Salamanca, working on Francoist press and propaganda. In the post-war period he continued to contribute to ABC and La Vanguardia and was a member of the first General Theater Council of the Franco regime. In 1951, he joined the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language with a speech on the presence of Granada in Romantic literature, which was answered by the Arabist and friend of García Lorca, Emilio García Gómez. Some of his substantial literary works, Life and Works of Ángel Ganivet (1925) and Traveling to the 20th Century (1960) are worthy of mention.

He died in February 1966 in Madrid.


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