The Greek Lorca: Translation, Homage, Image

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Greece is a case particularly worthy of attention within the panorama of Federico Garcia Lorca's worldwide reception. In comparison to other countries, Lorca's presence in Greece has remained uninterrupted since his first appearance and remains current, with new translations, rewritings, adaptations, and stagings of his plays continually being produced. Lorca has also spurred a wide range of creative responses inspired by his life and death such as essays, music, poetry, and dramas. He has also stimulated debates over aesthetic, literary, cultural, ideological and political issues, and has thus become indissolubly bound to the Greek cultural environment both as a Greek and a Spanish icon. This paper examines the ways Lorca has been received and treated in Greece in relation to the cultural and historical context.

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The ideological and political climate during the Greek Civil War had a negative effect on the staging of Shakespeare's plays in Greece. Between 1946 and 1950, the English dramatist came to be associated with conservatism and escapism. This impression was largely due to the way Shakespeare's plays were performed by the state-funded National Theater of Greece in Athens and to the new repertory policy of private theater companies that favored the production of contemporary Greek plays. This new policy, which was ideologically-inspired, was seen as a sign of cultural progress. The production of Shakespeare's plays during this period declined and so did the culture that supported it.