The professor Christopher Maurer at Boston University, happened to find in the US Library of Congress in Washington, the first draft, written and corrected by hand, of Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem “Oficina y denuncia,” included in “Poet in New York”.
The manuscript is all a “rarity”, not only because it was believed that it was lost, but because it contains corrections by the pencil of Garcia Lorca.
In the draft, you can see the lines that did not appear in the final edition, published in the collection of poems written between 1929 and 1930, during the stay of Garcia Lorca in New York and a subsequent trip to Cuba, may be in the draft.
“And I offer myself to be devoured by the Spanish peasants,” wrote in his poem Garcia Lorca, in a poem that speaks of the arrogance and pride of a city, New York, consumed by his desire to put price and value to the things. Finally, this line disappeared from the verse “I offer to be eaten/ crushed by the cows/ when their screams fill the whole valley/ where the Hudson gets drunk with oil”.
The discovery of this document was totally accidental, since the first reference that Maurer was doing a search online for materials for his next book, in which he narrates precisely the stay of Lorca in New York. In his search, he saw that the Library of Congress appeared the name of Garcia Lorca in a catalogue about music. When he travelled to the US capital to examine it, he discovered that it was one of the six “Poet in New York” autograph poems that were missing.
Maurer spent time to reform the story of the poem`s journey, which was supposed to have been in the hands of the family of the Canarian poet José María Millres Sall, although his daughter explained that “he had no idea that his father had done it in some moment of his life”. The manuscript was deposited in the library by musicologist, Hans Moldenhauer, who bought it at a New York vendue for $230. The Library of Congress cites it for the first time in a catalogue in 2005.
This was not the first time that Maurer found a manuscript text of Lorca, given that the book which Andrew Anderson was preparing on Lorca`s trip to the Big Apple, contains unpublished documents. “We have found other handwritten documents. There are letters related to his stay in New York, some of which were not known. There are notes of his handwriting. We know that Lorca left some of his manuscripts in New York and that his friends had his things. “That has taken us a lot of work”, recognize the hispanist.
The book, which it will be called “Federico in New York and Cuba: Letters and Memories”, will probably be presented next summer in Granada, coinciding with the opening of the Lorca Center in the city.