Mora Guarnido, José

Jose-Mora-Guarnido

Spanish writer and journalist. He was one of the founders of the El Rinconcillo at the Café Alameda in Granada. He was a friend of Federico García Lorca and the rest of the members of the tertulia that marked a silver era in the culture of Granada in the twenties. The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera induced him to leave Spain in 1923 and settle in Montevideo, where he met Lorca again in 1934. In 1958, he published one of the fundamental books on the early stage of the poet from Granada, Federico García Lorca and his World.

He studied Arts and Law. He began writing in Granada newspapers in 1913. He was a combative journalist, above all, when it came to contesting “the Poets of the Alhambra”, Alhambrism and some writers of the Performing Arts Center who represented nineteenth-century traditionalism. Along with the other young Rinconcillists he thought it was necessary to renew the artistic and literary scene. These young people, tired of the Performing Arts Center, began to meet in a tertulia at the Café Alameda, in Granada, which was called El Rinconcillo because of the place it occupied in the premises. This desire for renewal was reflected in the publication of two magazines, Andalucía. A Regional review and Granada. A fortnightly review. Both from 1915, directed by Ruiz Carnero and Mora Guarnido. Lorca was still young to collaborate in them and his vocation at that time was music.

He was Federico’s guide on his first foray into Madrid in the spring of 1918. He introduced him to the nucleus of his fellow faculty and members of the Athenaeum, which included Ángel del Río, Gerardo Diego, Guillermo de Torre and Pedro Salinas.

Mora Guarnido met Federico in 1916. Federico approached him on the street and asked him if he was Mora Guarnido. They chatted as they strolled and, upon arriving at the Lorca family home, he invited him upstairs and they continued the conversation. A friendship arose that lasted until circumstances separated them.

Cover of the book 'Federico García Lorca and his World', by José Mora Guarnido.
Cover of the book ‘Federico García Lorca and his World’, by José Mora Guarnido.

Guarnido soon moved to Madrid to continue working as a journalist. He was Federico’s guide on his first foray into the Spanish capital in the spring of 1918. Lorca’s first home in Madrid was the guesthouse where Mora stayed and, before them, La Argentinita, who a few years later, premiered Lorca’s first play and his first failure, The Butterfly’s Evil Spell. Mora introduced him to the nucleus of his fellow faculty and members of the Athenaeum that included Ángel del Río, Gerardo Diego, Guillermo de Torre and Pedro Salinas.

His book about Federico, published in Buenos Aires in 1958, Federico García Lorca and his World, is a very valuable testimony about the life and debut of the poet.

From 1923, with the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, he had to leave the country and traveled to South America. In Montevideo he made a stop that was to mark his entire life. He married Esther Morales, niece of President José Barllé y Ordóñez. Guarnido devoted himself to journalism and dealt with Batllé’s political work as an analyst, in addition to writing an essay about him. He stayed forever in this city. His pen was his instrument to fight absolutism. In 1931, he was appointed Consul of the Spanish Republic in this city. In 1933, he met Lorca again in Montevideo. The meeting was relatively cold.

At the end of 1950, he gradually withdraws from public and political life. He takes refuge in writing, especially after the death of his wife, although he publishes almost nothing except articles. His book on Federico, published in Buenos Aires in 1958, Federico García Lorca and his World, is a very valuable testimony on the life and debut of the poet.

He died in Montevideo in 1967.

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