The Public Background

The Public Background

Federico Garcia Lorca was born to a wealthy family in Spain in 1898. He grew up near Grenada where he received an excellent education and excelled as a piano player. After initially hoping to become a musician, Lorca began writing in 1916. Still, his style was heavily influenced by music and was melodic in nature. He published his first book in 1918, before he moved to Madrid. In Madrid, Lorca met artists such as Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel. These interactions would leave a lasting impact on the young writer. Broadening his artistic scope, Lorca wrote his first play in 1919 and his first poetry collection was published in 1921.

Lorca's work was influenced by the landscape of Spain, and he wrote fondly of the mountains, the sea, and the sky of his native country. Throughout the 1920s, his acclaim grew as he became known as a foundational member of Spanish literary circles. After traveling to the United States in 1929, and he experiencing the effects of the Wall Street Crash and ensuing Great Depression, he began work on the Public (alternatively known as the Audience). He finished it in in 1930. Unlike the majority of Lorca's work, it was not published or staged until after his death. In fact, it remained largely unknown until its 1978 publishing. It was not staged until 1988, over 50 years after Lorca's assassination at the hands of fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War.

The Public is a work of surrealism, which includes references to Shakespeare and the Greek god Eros. It has become known as a work incredibly difficult to represent on stage for its lack of narrative and difficult. Still, it is an important piece in Lorca's canon, and sheds new light on his views of romanticism and sexuality.

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