Scheroff y Avi, Martín

Martin Scheroff

Graduate in Pharmacy, poet and amateur playwright, press collaborator and support teacher of Federico and Francisco García Lorca at the Sacred Heart of Jesus School while they were studying for their baccalaureate at the General Technical Institute in Granada from 1909. He teaches the subject of Literature and Preceptive. He appears with names and surnames, along with other teachers from the bizarre and unforgettable center, in Doña Rosita the Spinster or the Language of the Flowers, rehearsed in 1935.

Martín Scheroff was an occasional contributor to the Granada press in the early 20th century. In the Noticiero Granadino, he began writing from 1905; he also sent articles and reviews to El Defensor de Granada, and in Granada Gráfica theater reviews from 1915. He also wrote poetic compositions under the domination of Bécquer and a book of short stories entitled Matilde’s Birthday.

He was part of the eccentric staff of teachers hired by Joaquín Alemán, the relative of Vicenta Lorca owner of the school. He is one of the teachers most remembered by García Lorca. He taught several subjects related to the Arts and, in particular, Literature and Literary Precepts.

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Martin is a descendant of two German settlers established in the province of Jaen, Enrique Scheroff, a resident of Navas de Tolosa (Jaen), and Juan Avi, from Carboneros. He is son of a farmer, Juan Scheroff, and of Victa Avi, born in Carboneros, where his birth certificate was issued.

Jacinto S. Martín, author of García Lorca high school graduate, describes him as follows: “Don Martín was neat, dapper, dressed in navy blue, with an impeccable and very high celluloid hard collar, black silk scarf. He had a wide nose and small, lively eyes, tall. He dyed his hair, which became a certain reddish color. The color of his hair was most evident in his abundant mustache. He was part of the eccentric staff of teachers hired by Joaquín Alemán, the relative of Vicenta Lorca owner of the school. He is one of the teachers most remembered by García Lorca. He taught several literature-related subjects and, in particular, Literature and Literary Precepts.

Plaza Castillejos, 3. This building housed the private school of the Sacred Heart of Jesus where Federico García Lorca studied.
Plaza Castillejos, 3. This building housed the private school of the Sacred Heart of Jesus where Federico García Lorca studied.

In the third act of Doña Rosita…, a play that takes place between 1890 and 1910, Martín Scheroff complains with melancholy of being a failed poet and alludes to his experience as a teacher: “I have just come from explaining my Precepts class. It was a beautiful lesson: ‘Concept and definition of Harmony’, but the children are not interested at all, and what children! To me, as they see me as useless, they respect me a little […]. They are the children of the rich and, as they pay, they cannot be punished. That’s what the director always tells us. Yesterday they insisted that poor Mr. Canito, the new Geography teacher, was wearing a corset”.

The poems composed by the Martín himself have decadent and romantic titles: Miserere, The Virgin and the Rich, The Chrysanthemums, Listen Mother, dedicated to the Virgin of Angustias, or The Prodigies of your Voice, intended for the treble Herminia Velasco.

Martin lived alone in a modest gustehouse in Navas Street, number 9, where he died on January 8, 1925, a few weeks after he finally began to run a pharmacy, according to his initial vocation, located in the vicinity of the University.

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