31 Oct 2012
Tragic poet burned copies when sales disappointed
A very scarce, unopened, copy, of Federico Garcia Lorca's first book, Impresiones y paisajes (Impressions and Landscapes), published in 1918 is to be auctioned at Bonhams Books, Maps and Manuscripts sale in London on 13 November. It is estimated at £6,000 - 8,000.
The book of prose, published at his father's expense, gives Lorca's impressions of a trip he made through Castile, Léon and Galicia in 1916 and 1917 with some fellow students and a professor from the Sacred Heart University in Granada. It was about this time that he took the momentous decision to abandon his music studies and devote himself to literature though he remained a talented pianist for the rest of his short life.
The first edition of Impresiones y paisajes is extremely scarce and it is said that Lorca was so disappointed at the poor sales that he burned as many copies as he could lay his hands on. No copy has appeared at auction since 1975 and there are just four copies in institutions.
Lorca was one of the most significant European writers of the 20th century and the best known Spanish literary figure since Cervantes. A close friend of Salvador Dali and the film maker Luis Bunuel, he was part a golden age for the arts in Spain. His life was brought to a premature and brutal end in 1936 at the age of only 38 when he was murdered by Loyalist troops during the Spanish Civil War.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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