Many international artists were drawn to the Spanish Civil War’s seemingly unequivocal conflict between good and evil, and represented it in terms that would be relevant to their own political agendas. Due to his unique background and experiences, American poet Langston Hughes was especially well positioned to comment on both Spain, as well as on one of its most influential literary icons, Federico García Lorca.
Biographer Arnold Rampersad identifies Hughes as part of a group of writers who, like Lorca, attempted to develop “an aesthetic tied to a sense of myth, geography, history, and culture.” Believing that the key imperative of art was above all to represent and reflect the people, Hughes crafted his portrait of Lorca to raise questions about the powerful’s perception of the cultural achievements of all marginalized groups. In addition to challenging racial divisions, Hughes also questions the borders between nations, and manipulates his icons of Lorca and Spain to undermine assumptions about sexuality, race, and class. Through his challenges to the accepted classifications among peoples and established power dynamics, Hughes anticipated many of the contemporary debates about diversity, difference, and inclusion.
|Keywords:||Diversity, Homosexuality, National Identity|
Assistant Professor, Departtment of Hispanic Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Goucher College, Baltimore, MD, USA