Granada la bella Blog

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This page brings news and information related to my Granada la Bella blog, to which it is also linked here.

THIS SUMMER'S POSTS (November 2019)


The last time I updated this page, on 9 June 2019, I had just posted a reflection under the title of the Uncovering and Recovery of the River Darro prompted Alba Rodríguez’s interview with Ian Gibson in Granada Hoy, 15 May, 2019, in which the literary historian Gibson, as local election candidate for the left-wing Podemos-IU election alliance,  speaks out in favour of the group’s demand to rescue the said river from its murky tunnel beneath Reyes Católicos Street in the neuralgic centre of the city. That interview was followed up a few days later by a rather startling photomontage on the front page of Granada Hoy (21 May G. Cappa) giving architect Saúl Meral’s impression of what Reyes Católicos could look like, gentrified and beautified, with the river released from its gloomy subterranean passage. (See below.)

The idea presented in this post gave rise to three more blogs which dealt with what was termed “daylighting”, referring to what turned out to be a contemporary trend in urban development, involving the integration of various types of waterways into modern cityscapes. The first of these - The Buried Rivers of Athens and Granada - drew a parallel between the Darro proposal and a similar Greek initiative reported by Yiannis Babqulias in the Guardian Weekly of 14 June 2019.

My particular local interest in the possible resuscitation of the River Darro opened my eyes to what I described in my next post as Daylighting Waterways - a Global Movement. The starting point for this movement was generally identified as being the renovation of the Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul (see above image) and in this third contribution to the topic I discuss John Vidal’s Guardian report (25/7/2019) on the West Midland Lapal Canal project to convert a derelict and abandoned industrial waterway into a desirable upmarket urban living and leisure space, one of at least 80 canal renaissance projects being undertaken in the UK at the present moment, says Vidal.

Finally, I returned to my preferred local theme of Daylighting the Darro as part of the historical trend of burying waterways because they tended to disrupt the flow of surface traffic, especially with the establishment of the hegemony of the motor car, now over. I look more closely at the historical process of covering over a good one-kilometre stretch of the river from the church San Gil y Santa Ana to its rendez-vous with the River Genil (Acera del Darro/Paseo del Violón), close to the Roman bridge. (See Darro underground below.)

For the time being, I have exhausted that topic, and my two most recent posts, published in September, were both prompted by the major Christopher Maurer Exhibition on at the Lorca Centre until 6 January 2020. The exhibition was originally going to be titled Amor (con alas y flechas) – Love (with Wings and Arrows) - which is the title I give the first of these pieces. It focuses on the Andalusian poet’s passionate love and sex life, I think: I haven’t seen the exhibition, being away in Vietnam. This first part deals mainly with the Lorca-Dalí relationship, including what I call the Margarita Manso episode, touching on their contrasting interpretations of the Saint Sebastian iconology, and the painter’s subsequent withering criticism of Lorca’s much acclaimed Gypsy Ballad Book.

This is followed up by Natural Instincts in which I outline the process by which Lorca came to terms with his homosexuality, and indeed began to feel rather comfortable with his natural sexuality. I contrast his later relationships, or love affairs, with the more troubled relationships prior to his stay in America in 1929-30.

And that is as far as we have got up to the present moment (November 2019).

Ian Gibson, Irish-born (1939) Hispanist and literary historian with a large body of mostly biographical works related to Spanish writers and artists. He’s done Lorca, Dalí, and Buñuel. Particularly acclaimed for his work on Lorca, he came to my attention shortly after my arrival in Granada due to his pioneering  study La represión nacionalista de Granada en 1936 y la muerte de Federico García Lorca (The Nationalist Repression of Granada in 1936 and the Death of Federico García Lorca), first published in France in 1971.

Gibson recently revised his work investigating the poet´s death and published his conclusions in El asesinato de García Lorca  (April 2018: see book cover below). This revision was made in response to Miguel Caballero Pérez’s study Las trece últimas horas en la vida de García Lorca (The Last Thirteen Hours in the Life of Garcia Lorca. The title is provocative, because it challenges Gibson's view that Lorca was held at least 24 hours in Granada before being taken away to Víznar to be shot.