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Brendan

Posts: 167
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Kevin

After a tumultuous week, it's a joy to find that the Foro is unchanged, as are the individuals composing it.

For the record, I do not think that this MA thesis is very good. Her claim to insider status is the least of the problems, and it would still be in trouble if it were purged of every trace of post-modernism. If you are in doubt, flip forward to her discussion of flamenco guitar. I'd rather not say more than that, because thousands of people write terrible MA theses every year, and most of them do not get shredded on Google-searchable forums. If you want to take up the cudgels, go after a professor.

I hereby retract my claim to have read almost all the academic books on flamenco in English. I haven't read Washabaugh's latest, and there are a few others that I've missed. The recent titles are at eye-watering prices, so I'm not in a hurry to make up the ground.

I'm glad that Kevin has chipped in, both for his useful list and his good sense on the question of method. He is doing this for real, and I cheerfully defer to his expertise. I have my own thoughts about Foucault, Derrida, postmodernism in general and the strange careers of these names in English-speaking academia, the short version of which is: if you're content to roll Derrida and Foucault into a single item, you're really talking about the English-language academic phenomenon rather than French philosophy.

Is anyone else reading Michelle Heffner Hayes? I rather like her stuff but I'd like to talk about it with someone who is less keen, for the rigour.

And a forward-looking thought: there seems to be some appetite for scholarly discussion over a text. Rather than haphazardly lighting on a weak MA thesis, how about we pick something stronger and structure things a bit?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 11:04:07
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2836
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Piwin

quote:

However, the rejection of objective fact coupled with the lack of quantifiable evidence pulled it out of the realm of science altogether. This is what I meant by Chomsky keeping Linguistics out of that rabbit-hole. Though he was not the only one, nor the first, his rigorous use of formal logic and attempts to achieve reproducible results strongly contrasted with a lot of the linguistic pontificating of the time. He understood that there should be no exception to the scientific process no matter what the subject-matter is.


This is what was so great about the "Sokal Hoax." Sokal's masterful piece, published in the journal "Social Text," exposed so many so-called post-modernists as the intellectual frauds and charlatans they were. Sokal used their own jargon-laden language and reviewed various current topics in physics and mathematics (of which the post-modernists in academia understood nothing), and, tongue in cheek, drew various cultural, philosophical, and political morals that he felt would appeal to fashionable academic commentators who question the claims of science to objectivity.

The post-modernists fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Apparently the editors of the journal did not even feel the need to question Sokal before publishing his piece. When Sokal exposed his work as a hoax, the outrage was not really over his lack of proper academic engagement; it was over the fact that everyone fell for it, revealing their own lack of academic rigor and shallow pursuit of the latest academic trend.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 11:21:45

Piwin

Posts: 2209
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

@Brendan. I do hope it was clear I was only picking on one small aspect, a detail really, of her thesis. And that detail is by no means an important factor in judging the quality of an MA thesis. My intent was not to go after anyone, just to bring up a larger issue of what constitutes a credential and how it is sometimes assumed that one thing is a credential when closer scrutiny suggests otherwise. But you're right that this is a "Google-searchable" discussion, and I hope none of this was construed as me going after the author of this thesis. And I'll add, just to be clear, that I have no academic expertise in her field and can't even claim to be a scholar, since those days are behind me now. So all of this should be taken as the point of view of an outsider.

As for having a more structured discussion on a stronger text, I'd be happy to participate if you're willing to take on the questions and opinions of an outsider to the field. What do you suggest?


@BarkellWH

This is just an aside as I'm going far off topic but bringing up Sokal made me think of the group of activists called The Yes Men, which has been active since 2003. They go after what they see as the excesses of corporations, government organizations or international organizations. Their modus operandi is to set up a fake website with a similar address to that of the real organization they're targeting (say WTO.com instead of WTO.org or something of the like). They then impersonate representatives of said organization and, when invited to deliver a speech in another venue, they use reductio ab adsurdum to reveal ideological issues. It is particularly effective as quite often the people they are pulling the hoax on buy it. They are in fact quite good actors. In the first video I saw of them, they were impersonating WTO representatives before an audience of about a hundred people. They talked the talk extremely well and slowly, over the course of the speech, they raised the level of absurdity and by the end of it, I think they had suggested re-establishing slavery in third world countries or something similarly abhorrent... You would think people would have left in outrage, but the impersonated WTO reps received rather nourished applause and some participants had bought the whole thing and came up to them to enquire further about it. I don't necessarily agree with the conclusions they draw from these pranks, but they do reveal some profound issues. Their impersonation of a Dow rep. on the BBC declaring that Dow was taking full responsibility for the Bhopal disaster was also quite effective. Those who bought it were quickly reminded that it would be almost unthinkable to hear a large corporation say "we're going to do the right thing, even if it costs us". It was a vivid reminder that money can trump moral responsibility in the higher rungs of some large corporations. Their approach has the added benefit of being rather funny.

_____________________________

L'homme qui trouve douce sa patrie est encore un tendre débutant ; celui pour lequel tout sol est comme son sol natal est déjà fort ; mais celui-ci est parfait pour qui le monde entier est comme un pays étranger.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 12:34:47
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2836
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

More or less in line with this thread, I would like to recommend the writings--essays, reviews, and books--of the art and cultural critic Robert Hughes. Now deceased, his writings hold up very well today. With a razor-sharp wit Hughes wrote about--and often skewered--everything from trends in art (going back to the Armory Show in New York) and Andy Warhol's entourage (which he entitled "High Trash" in "The Shock of the New") to the latest trends in academia.

Adam Gopnik, a "New Yorker" staff writer, compiled selected writings of Robert Hughes in a book published in 2015 entitled "The Spectacle of Skill." You can find most of Hughes' best writings in this volume. It takes its title from Hughes' brutally honest description of his world view and approach which I have quoted below.

"I am completely an elitist, in the cultural but emphatically not the social sense. I prefer the good to the bad, the articulate to the mumbling, the aesthetically developed to the merely primitive, and full to partial consciousness. I love the spectacle of skill, whether it is an expert gardener at work, or a good carpenter chopping dovetails. I don't think stupid or ill-read people are as good to be with as wise and fully literate ones. I would rather watch a great tennis player than a mediocre one.

"Consequently, most of the human race doesn't matter much to me, outside the normal and necessary frame of courtesy and the obligation to respect human rights. I see no reason to squirm around apologizing for this. I am, after all, a cultural critic, and my main job is to distinguish the good from the second-rate."

And he does indeed, in a manner that makes for delightful reading.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 14:41:20
 
Brendan

Posts: 167
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Piwin

@Piwin: yes, no worries. And in fact, the epistemic value of claims to insider status is interesting for us, given the frequency with which points made on the foro are backed up with some version of I know these people/I'm a working pro/I live in Spain, actually/I was employed by US military intelligence to spy on Donn Pohren's house/ etc.. It wouldn't surprise me if "I'm on the inside of this" were our most common argumentative move. Just I think we should de-couple that discussion from this MA.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 16:07:53
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1574
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Piwin

quote:

My impression is that many of the social sciences, once stripped from objectivism, were left with nothing more than intuitive knowledge.


When I was young, never having studied either, Psychology and Sociology looked very interesting to me.

So I read Hans Eysenck’s Penguin trilogy on Psychology, which was excellent.

I then bought the standard Introduction to Sociology textbook for the Open University course. It was such drivel* that I gave up.

*For example, it was blurting on about “from a Marxist standpoint […]” without having bothered to mention who Karl Marx was, what he said, and whether or not the latter was correct.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 16:20:46
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1574
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

It takes its title from Hughes' brutally honest description of his world view and approach which I have quoted below.

<snip>


That one’s going into my Quotations file.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 16:29:14

Piwin

Posts: 2209
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

@Brendan

quote:

I was employed by US military intelligence to spy on Donn Pohren's house


How did you know? Who told??

@Paul Magnussen

quote:

*For example, it was blurting on about “from a Marxist standpoint […]” without having bothered to mention who Karl Marx was, what he said, and whether or not the latter was correct.


A short version of one possible explanation, as summed up by S. Pinker. I feel indebted to this kind of skilled populariser of science. Without them, I simply wouldn't have the time to stay informed (even if only on a superficial level) of the work being done in different fields.



_____________________________

L'homme qui trouve douce sa patrie est encore un tendre débutant ; celui pour lequel tout sol est comme son sol natal est déjà fort ; mais celui-ci est parfait pour qui le monde entier est comme un pays étranger.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 17:08:37
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1574
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Piwin

quote:

A short version of one possible explanation, as summed up by S. Pinker.


You may well be correct about this particular example (Pinker is one of my main men too).

But it was just part of a general syndrome of using sweeping terms without bothering to define them (racism is one that I happen to recall); or, perhaps worse, defining them and then shifting the meaning without apparently realising it (i.e. moving the goalposts).

I should probably have added that this introductory book was a collection of articles by several eminent “authorities”, and that the sloppiness seemed to characterise all of them.

So, rightly or wrongly, I completely lost interest in the subject.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 30 2016 20:58:17
 
Kevin

 

Posts: 294
Joined: Sep. 7 2008
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

Rethinking Tradition: Towards an Ethnomusicology of Contemporary Flamenco Guitar

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://theses.ncl.ac.uk/dspace/bitstream/10443/1305/1/Bethencourt%2520Llobet%252011.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiYkvH0oNHNAhVS6GMKHRZeDQIQFggeMAA&usg=AFQjCNEdyGAO0xinS2wGrkZI6vXIi5dOcA&sig2=UkIZ9gHJjgyzqfinYvLZkA

This one has some interesting things to say about insider/outsider issues. He also talks about modern and traditional toques and how they shape identity. Tomatito, Amigo, Cañizares and Nunez are all interviewed.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2016 2:58:15
 
Kiko_Roca

Posts: 82
Joined: Apr. 25 2016
From: Midwest, USA

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

Here is an article I just found today that is interesting to me:
http://cvc.cervantes.es/literatura/cauce/pdf/cauce26/cauce26_03.pdf

It is titled "DECONSTRUCTING NARRATIVE: LORCA'S ROMANCERO GITANO AND THE ROMANCE SONÁMBULO"

Romance Sonambulo is what the lyrics for the rumba "Que te quiero verde" were based in (which was used in Saura's Flamenco Flamenco and also recorded by Manzanita iirc).

For the poem and translation:
https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/romance-sonambulo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 1 2016 16:23:19
 
Brendan

Posts: 167
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Kevin

Yes. I'm impressed. I've reposted it here.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 3 2016 10:50:41
 
Brendan

Posts: 167
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Kiko_Roca

It's certainly interesting. It's a bit odd though, that there are no references to any of Lorca's other works. If this article is right, you'd expect these tendencies to show up in other stuff.

Here's a hypothesis that maybe cante nerds could help with. We know that Lorca was part of the movement to take folklore and popular music seriously as art. We know that Falla was one of the composers (like e.g. Elgar) who tried to take folk music and work it up into high-art academic music. We know that Lorca listened to cante. What would the corresponding move be, for a poet? To bring some of the qualities of cante letras into his posh poetry. What qualities? Well, cante letras don't narrate. They don't begin "Come gather round you children, a story I will tell..." They're more about evoking moments of intense feeling. Maybe this, rather than surrealism or deconstruction avant la lettre, is what he was up to.

I'm not a Lorca scholar or a cante nerd. So this may be one of those connections that make absolute sense until the evidence arrives. I stand braced to be informed about the well-known narrative fandangos and the letter from Lorca that begins "Dear Salvador, I love the way your paintings disclose too much information about your sexuality. I'm going to give that a go in a poem."

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 3 2016 11:10:10
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11098
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Kevin

P[
quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevin

Rethinking Tradition: Towards an Ethnomusicology of Contemporary Flamenco Guitar

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://theses.ncl.ac.uk/dspace/bitstream/10443/1305/1/Bethencourt%2520Llobet%252011.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiYkvH0oNHNAhVS6GMKHRZeDQIQFggeMAA&usg=AFQjCNEdyGAO0xinS2wGrkZI6vXIi5dOcA&sig2=UkIZ9gHJjgyzqfinYvLZkA

This one has some interesting things to say about insider/outsider issues. He also talks about modern and traditional toques and how they shape identity. Tomatito, Amigo, Cañizares and Nunez are all interviewed.


It's fun to be scanning someone's dissertation and find a pic of yourself. . (P 48 with Nunez...Jesus Mendez singing....this was probably from 2004 or 5.) The irony is he is talking about insiders vs outsiders, and there is the "insider" picture of Nuñez having a Juerga with ME of all people in it. Like this....here I am reading and feeling AS AN OUTSIDER the guy's paper, then see a pic of myself on the inside. Ha ha !

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2016 7:33:24

Morante

 

Posts: 1409
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

quote:

It's a bit odd though, that there are no references to any of Lorca's other works


Lorca did not know a lot about flamenco. What he knew came from De Falla, who neither knew much:as a classical musician who had heard Torre, he was interested in the music and the underlying duende.

In the famous concurso de cante flamenco, these people banned professional cantaores, so the concurso was something of a joke.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2016 14:50:42
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11098
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Morante

quote:

ORIGINAL: Morante

quote:

It's a bit odd though, that there are no references to any of Lorca's other works


Lorca did not know a lot about flamenco. What he knew came from De Falla, who neither knew much:as a classical musician who had heard Torre, he was interested in the music and the underlying duende.

In the famous concurso de cante flamenco, these people banned professional cantaores, so the concurso was something of a joke.



Well too be fair some good things came out if it....such as the drunk singer outing Segovia's illegitimate flamenco birth right, and young Manolo Caracol.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 6 2016 17:11:55
 
Brendan

Posts: 167
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to kitarist

quote:

Have you read Lola Fernández's book "Flamenco Music Theory"? It is fairly recent so perhaps it was not on your radar when you wrote this in 2013.


I have the 2004 edition. Is there a second edition?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 7 2016 21:06:49
 
kitarist

Posts: 557
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Brendan

quote:

Have you read Lola Fernández's book "Flamenco Music Theory"? It is fairly recent so perhaps it was not on your radar when you wrote this in 2013.


I have the 2004 edition. Is there a second edition?


I checked my book and was surprised to discover that it is 1st edition - maybe new printing, so I had the impression the book is more recent than it is.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 8 2016 3:40:20
 
Brendan

Posts: 167
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Morante

quote:

Lorca did not know a lot about flamenco. What he knew came from De Falla


Thanks Morente. On the musical side, you are right, I think. Lorca leans on De Falla in his lecture on Cante Jondo, right down to the reference to Byzantine liturgical chant. But this paper that Kiko_Roca kindly posted is on a narrower question. Namely, how did it happen that, (quoting the abstract) "while using the ancient poetic form of the 'romance', the medieval world's vehicle for telling stories in poetry, Lorca focuses on startling imagery rather than the story line"? The answer that the author, Frieda H. Blackwell, gives is all to do with modern art and deconstruction.

It strikes me that it makes more sense to ask Lorca what he was up to than to ask Derrida. In the lecture on Cante Jondo, once you get past the silly stuff about music derived from De Falla, he discusses cante letras in some detail and praises precisely the features that F.H. Blackwell sees in the Romancero. And as a señorito, he heard a lot of cante, even if he didn't understand it deeply. So it seems to me more plausible that in his poetry he was trying to do a posh literate version of what he heard in cante. He writes, "It is wondrous and strange how the anonymous popular poet can condense all the highest emotional moments in human life into a three- or four-line stanza. There are songs where the lyrical tremor reaches a point inaccessible to any but a few poets:

Cerco tiene la luna;
mi amor ha muerto."

His poems seem to me like an educated poet's attempt to achieve something like this.

On surrealism: a quick dekho at Google scholar tells me that an association between surrealism and Andalucia goes back to the 30s, but this idea seems off to me. I have the impression that the surrealists knew that those old dreams are only in your head, whereas I don't think this is true of cante. But again, I stand to be corrected.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2016 14:25:03

Morante

 

Posts: 1409
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

quote:

I have the impression that the surrealists knew that those old dreams are only in your head, whereas I don't think this is true of cante. But again, I stand to be corrected.


Bueno. I have to say that I am an uncondicional fan of some of Lorca´s poetry, especially Romencero Gitano.

However I have lived for 16 years in a world where los gitanos have great importance, many of my friends are gitanos, I have worked and played with them and it seems that the romanticism of Lorca is exaggerated. They have to buscar la vida like everybody else and la vida es cruel. Remember that he was a great friend of Dalí, a catalàn and a surrealista.

The social classes in Andalucía were, and are deeply divided. I doubt very much that ricos such as Lorca nor De Falla spent many nights of juerga with the gitanos of their pueblo.

I have spent many nights in juerga and because I am not rich and can accompany el cante, I am not considered a señorito. In fact I am friendly with entire families from abuelo to nieto.

Writing about flamenco and about gitanos seems very difficult to me, since the writer inevitably bring his own cultural background and way of thinking to the study.

Mucha suerte

Morante
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 9 2016 14:48:42
 
granjuanillo

 

Posts: 28
Joined: Nov. 3 2009
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

Over a year ago there was a conference on Fandangos, held in NYC organized by Meira Goldberg and Antoni Piza - this treated all kinds of fandangos - flamenco, Mexican, classical, etc. Some of the talks were humanistic, but there were also musicological studies. Peter Manuel, noted musicologist, was there and gave a great talk - I notice that he shows up in your search, with a paper on the history of flamenco harmony. Guillermo Castro Buendia - a Spanish musicologist and guitarist was also there - he has a large volume out and has published analyses of cantes del Levante, in a journal dedicated to those (Revisita de Investigacion sobre Flamenco La Madruga').

I know that post-modern humanities gets some flack, but I am reluctant to criticize disciplines that I don't work in. Nevertheless, I've always felt that flamenco studies suffer from a lack of documented data and analysis, but it looks like this may be changing.

The papers from the conference were published in

http://www.centrodedocumentacionmusicaldeandalucia.es/opencms/documentacion/revistas/revistas-mos/musica-oral-del-sur-n12.html

I have a paper there on fandangos personales.

http://www.centrodedocumentacionmusicaldeandalucia.es/opencms/documentacion/revistas/articulos-mos/cante-libre-is-not-free-contrasting-approaches-to-fandangos-personales.html

There will be a follow-up conference this April on Malguenas and Zapateados at UC Riverside. Walter Clarke, who gave a great talk on Malaguena de Leucona at the last one will be co-hosting.

Speaking of Malaguena de Leucona, has anyone seen the children's book by Keith Richards talking about how his grandfather taught him guitar and told him if he could play Malaguena, he could play anything?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2016 21:51:44
 
Brendan

Posts: 167
Joined: Oct. 30 2010
 

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to granjuanillo

This is magnificent! I haven't had time to read any of the talks, but the knowledge that there is a series of conferences on fandangos is delightful. Thanks!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2016 13:18:42
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2836
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Academic Articles About Flamenco (in reply to Brendan

quote:

On surrealism: a quick dekho at Google scholar tells me that an association between surrealism and Andalucia goes back to the 30s, but this idea seems off to me. I have the impression that the surrealists knew that those old dreams are only in your head


Although this will add nothing to the discussion about the meaning of Lorca, just want to put in a pitch for the 1929 silent film by Surrealists Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali entitled "Un Chien Andalou" (An Andalusian Dog). It was Bunuel's first film, and it featured the famous (infamous?) scene of the razor-slit eyeball. Bunuel went on to make several well-received films. My favorite was "Belle de Jour." with Catherine Denueve.

Back to Lorca.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2016 16:36:22
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