Rodríguez Valdivieso, Eduardo

Eduardo-Rodriguez-Valdivieso

Poet, bank employee, actor, friend and confidant of Federico García Lorca.

Lorca wrote him six of the most intimate and tender letters of his correspondence. Valdivieso visited the poet several times in the summer of 1936 while he was imprisoned atSt. Vincent Farmhouse and was intimidated by groups of armed Falangists. The first upon his arrival in Granada to celebrate the feast of San Federico. The last meeting between the two was in San Antón street in Granada, a few days before Lorca’s execution.

An intense attraction arose between them that was obstructed by professional duties: Eduardo was a young bank employee with a set work schedule, and Federico was in an extraordinary moment of work.

Rodríguez Valdivieso and Lorca met in 1932 during a Carnival party held at the theater of the Hotel Alhambra Palace in Granada. Valdivieso, 17, was dressed as Pierrot and Lorca, 33, as a domino. An intense attraction arose between them that was obstructed by professional duties: Eduardo was a young bank clerk with a set work schedule, and Federico was in an extraordinary moment of work. Nevertheless, in May 1933, after their brief meeting in Granada, they met again in Madrid. Rafael Martínez Nadal was the companion and participant in a lunch at an inn at Cuatro Caminos that culminated in an evening at the Spanish Theater where Rafael Alberti rehearsed the lecture Popular Poetry in Spanish Lyrics, with the accompaniment of Lorca at the piano and the voice of La Argentinita. “Once the event was over, we went to the lounge of the Español, where I had the emotional honor of shaking hands with Encarnación López and the mythical bullfighter Ignacio Sánchez Mejías,” Valdivieso recalls.

Valdivieso, married to Montserrat Gabriel, kept the six letters secret for fear of misinterpretations that their intimate and loving tone could arouse, and Lorca’s own recommendations not to reveal their contents. The letters contain paragraphs of enormous lyrical power and are replete with evocations of Granada: “I remember with distant melancholy those great yellow squares of the old trees of El Campillo and that solitary Wolves Square full of acacia leaves and that divine and first cold wind, which makes the water of the fountain in New Square tremble”.

The last letter is dated April 1933, a few months before Lorca traveled to Argentina and Montevideo for the American premiere of Blood Wedding.

The correspondence was finally published in the Babelia supplement of the El País newspaper in 1993. The six missives and a drawing were donated before his death to the Lorca Study Center in Fuente Vaqueros.

Valdivieso recalled in the house-museum the last meeting with Lorca in August 1936 in an interview: “The last conversation unfortunately was very brief […], it took place in Puente de Castañeda street, on the corner of San Antón […]. It was the last time we got together, there was no one there, it was noon under ‘the scorching sun’ as Machado would say […]. Federico told me that he was going to the Rosales’ home […], we had talked about many things, he even asked me to give him my opinion about a possible escape to the republican camps”.

Rodríguez Valdivieso died in Granada on April 20, 1997 days after a last meeting with Rafael Martínez Nadal arranged by the then director of the house-museum in Fuente Vaqueros, Juan de Loxa..

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