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The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico García Lorca Ascends to Hell

Overview

In Carlos Rojas’s imaginative novel, the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, murdered by Francoist rebels in August 1936, finds himself in an inferno that somehow resembles Breughel’s Tower of Babel. He sits alone in a small theater in this private hell, viewing scenes from his own life performed over and over and over. Unexpectedly, two doppelgängers appear, one a middle-aged Lorca, the other an irascible octogenarian self, and the poet faces a nightmarish confusion of ...

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The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell

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Overview

In Carlos Rojas’s imaginative novel, the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, murdered by Francoist rebels in August 1936, finds himself in an inferno that somehow resembles Breughel’s Tower of Babel. He sits alone in a small theater in this private hell, viewing scenes from his own life performed over and over and over. Unexpectedly, two doppelgängers appear, one a middle-aged Lorca, the other an irascible octogenarian self, and the poet faces a nightmarish confusion of alternative identities and destinies.

Carlos Rojas uses a fantastic premise—García Lorca in hell—to reexamine the poet’s life and speculate on alternatives to his tragic end. Rojas creates with a surrealist’s eye and a moral philosopher’s mind. He conjures a profoundly original world, and in so doing earns a place among such international peers as Gabriel García Márquez, Philip Roth, J. M. Coetzee, and José Saramago.

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Editorial Reviews

The Wall Street Journal - Sam Sacks
“Mr. Rojas includes a number of shrewd homages to his subject, from echoes of poems to the kind of story-within-a-story structures that Lorca used in his dramas. But more important, this moving tribute cuts to the heart of the dichotomy of the poet's troubled immortality.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
The Los Angeles Times
“In Carlos Rojas' splendid and wildly creative novel, The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell, the dead writer watches his last, fateful days replayed in a private theater in the underworld. . . as intelligent and audacious a meditation on art, fate and mortality as anyone could hope to read.” —Los Angeles Times
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Product Details

Meet the Author

A novelist, an art historian, and since the age of fifty a creator of visual works of art, Carlos Rojas is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Spanish Emeritus at Emory University. He has received numerous important Spanish literary prizes, including the Premio Nadal. Edith Grossman is a renowned translator of works by major Latin American and Peninsular writers.

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