ecuador blog

ecuador blog

About this blog

News and comments and events relating to Granada, 'the city where anything is possible, Granada, 'la bella y la bestia, and Federico Garcia Lorca's complicated love-hate relationship with the city, etc

city of unrealised dreams

granadaPosted by Simon Wed, May 31, 2017 13:40:19

A number of my posts on Granada have been prompted by a passage from Paraíso cerrado para muchos, jardines abiertos para pocos (Paradise closed to the many, gardens open to the few) in which Lorca discusses what he sees as the essential indigenous aesthetic of the city. I quote, selectively:

Granada ( he says) is a city of leisure, a city for contemplation and imagination, a city where a person in love writes the name of his loved one in the earth better than anywhere else in the world. Time stands still in Granada. The hours are longer and more enjoyable. There is no reason to hurry. Let the city feed your imagination, and your senses.

You may say that these conditions are ideal for philosophers. But philosophy, Lorca counters, requires discipline and intellectual rigour and consistency and mathematical balance, things which are difficult to find in Granada. Granada nourishes dreams and day-dreaming, bordering on the mystical/things that are difficult to put into words.

Besides, there is a big and important difference between dreaming and thinking, says Lorca. Granada is full of initiatives, but what it lacks is decision.

Elsewhere, I think it is Lorca who writes that two and two never get to equal four in Granada, but remain two-and-two forever, a never realised potential.

Examples of this suggested difficulty in turning dreams into reality that Lorca suggests is an essential granadino trait have been a constant theme of my observations during the time I have spent in the city's thrall: the delays in infrastructure projects such as the Metro and the Ave (High-Speed Train); the limited success of the supposedly international airport that bears the poet’s name; the city’s irregular development as a tourist destination; bringing Lorca’s physical legacy from the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid to Granada; and the inauguration of the Lorca Centre which was built to house this legacy. And last but not least, the localisation of the poet’s unmarked grave. (He was disappeared at the outset of the Civil War in 1936.)

All this I hope to be dealing with in the coming weeks or months.

For those who read Spanish, I am copying here the relevant extract from Paraíso cerrado para muchos, jardines abiertos para pocos.

Granada es una ciudad de ocio, una ciudad para la contemplación y la fantasia, una ciudad donde el enamorado escribe mejor que en ninguna otra parte el nombre de su amor en el suelo. Las horas son allí más largas y sabrosas que en ninguna ciudad de España. Tiene crepúsculas complicados de luces constantemente inéditas que parece no terminan nunca. Sostenemos con los amigos largas conversaciones en medio de sus calles. (81) Vive con la fantasia. Está llena de iniciativas, pero falta de acción. Solo en una ciudad de ocios y tranquilidades puede haber exquisitos catadores de aguas, de temperaturas y de crepúsculos, como los hay en Granada. El granadino está rodeado de la naturaleza más espléndida, pero no va a ella. Los paisajes son extraordinarios, pero el granadino prefiere mirarlas desde su ventana. (...) Es hombre de pocos amigos. (No es proverbial en Andalucía la reserve de Granada?) De esta manera mira y se fija amorosamente en los objetos que lo rodean. Además no tiene prisa. (...) Se me puede decir que éstas son las condiciones más aptas para producirse una filosofía. Pero una filosofía necesita una disciplina y un esfuerzo de dolor querido, necesita una constancia y un equilibrio matemático bastante difícil en Granada. Granada es apta para el sueño y el ensueño. Por todas partes limita con lo inefable. Y haymucha diferencia entre sonar y pensar, aunque las actitudes sean gemelas. (82)

Obras completas III. Galaxia Gutenberg/Círculo de Lectores. 1997. Pp 81/82.



  • Comments(0)//blog.granadalabella.eu/#post61