Nunca fui a Granada

January 23, 2011
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Alberti wearing a shirt given to him by the author

Last night a young Spanish poet, Isabel Cadenas, showed me her blog:  nuncafuiagranada.blogspot.com.  When I asked her why she chose that line from Rafael Alberti’s homage to Federico García Lorca, victim of a fascist firing squad in the first month of the civil war, she replied “Because I’ve never been to Granada.”  Alberti hadn’t either, but I took him to that darkly beautiful Andalusian city in the spring on 1982, his first visit.  I was directing a study abroad program for Dartmouth College and had brought Alberti the year before to Hanover, NH to participate in a symposium on art and literature of the Spanish Civil War.  (It was then that I first became a member of ALBA.)

Alberti spent a week with me in Granada, giving a reading in the patio of Puentezuelas to hundreds of adoring students and local poets, a public interview in the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras at the University of Granada, a private visit to the Alhambra at night, and visit to El Barranco de Víznar, Lorca’s burial site.  The highlight of the trip for me was the last day, when I borrowed a friend’s car and drove Rafael to the mountains south of Granada, Las Alpujarras, for lunch.  He recited the poetry of Góngora on the ride there and back, until I dropped him at the airport.

I am grateful to Isabel Cadenas for sparking this memory.

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2 Responses to “ Nunca fui a Granada ”

  1. Jim on January 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Nice memory. The link to Isabel Cadenas’s blog doesn’t work, though.

  2. Sebastiaan Faber on January 26, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Link fixed!

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