Google honours Spanish poetry great

The internet search engine Google has marked the 115th anniversary of the birth of the famous Spanish poet Federico García Lorca with one of its famous home page 'doodles', or logos commemorating important holidays and events.

Google honours Spanish poetry great
The striking Google doodle represents a scene from Spanish poet Federico García Lorca's poem The Unfaithful Wife. Image: Google

The striking image of two figures on horseback riding through wintry woods represents a scene from García Lorca's poem The Unfaithful Wife.  

The poem recounts an erotic interlude in the woods between a man and a married woman who claims to be a virgin.

The name of the successful search engine cane be deciphered in the spindly branches of the trees. 

This Google tribute to García Lorca on his birthday also coincides with an major exhibition on the poet currently on view at The New York Public Library.

Organized jointly by the Fundación Federico García Lorca in Madrid and the famous lending institution, the exhibition showcases one of the artist's key works, a 'Poet in New York', and includes drawings, photographs, and letters .

The poetic masterpiece was written when García Lorca was a student at Columbia University in 1929-30. It was first published after his death in 1940 but then disappeared for several decades. 

García Lorca, born in 1898 and universally considered to be one of Spain's greatest poets, is best known for his lyrical poetry, but he was also a dramatist  and theatre director.

He was part of the co-called Generation of '27, a group of writers and artists which also included the surrealist painter Salavador Dalí and the film director Luis Buñuel. 

García Lorca was killed during Spain's civil war by nationalist forces loyal to then General Francisco Franco in 1936.

His works were banned by the Spanish dictator until 1953 and many of his works were not published until after Franco's death in 1975.

The details of García Lorca's death remain unclear, with both his outspoken liberal views and his sexual preferences having been given as reasons for his assassination by nationalist militia.

Even the whereabouts of the poet's remains are not known. In 2009,  García Lorca's family gave permission for excavations near the Andalusian village of Alfácar. However, no remains were found.

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95-year-old poet wins top Spanish literary award

Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale, 95, on Thursday won the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious literary award in the Spanish-speaking world, Spain's Culture Minister Jose Guirao announced.

95-year-old poet wins top Spanish literary award
Photo: AFP

Born in 1923, Vitale is the last surviving member of a Uruguayan art movement known as the “Generation of 45” and currently lives in the United States. 

Spain established the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, named after the famous author of 'Don Quixote', in 1975. It is considered to be “the most prestigious and remunerative award given for Spanish-language literature” by the Encyclopedia Britannica.

The jury said Vitale was awarded the prize for her poetry, literary criticisms and translations, adding that her language was “one of the most remarkable and well-known in Spanish poetry, at the same time intellectual and accessible, universal and personal, transparent and profound.”

She is the fifth woman to win the prize.   

“I never expected to win the prize, it's absolutely bewildering,” she told AFP. “It's a surprise… an excess of generosity from Spain.

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