Books: Tenses of the Truth

FIVE PLAYS by Federico Garcia Lorca. 246 pages. New Directions. $4.95.

Early one morning in the summer of 1936, Federico Garcia Lorca was taken to a field outside the old Moorish city of Granada and shot by a Falangist firing squad. This was ordered, it now seems possible, not because Lorca had any political affiliations but because Manuel Fernandez Montesinos, the Socialist mayor of Granada, was his brother-in-law. His death was a reminder that in the Spain of the time, virtually any consideration could expose a man to a firing squad from either side....

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