“La desesperación de la tinta”: García Lorca and the Failure of the Word

Nigel Robert Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article looks at some of the ways in which Federico García Lorca framed a problem that surfaces insistently in his writing of the 1920s, namely the disassociation between what he wanted to express and what he believed he was able to express. This problem is the source of both the frustration he voiced on various occasions at the time and the various innovations he incorporated into his own creative work, particularly his interest in the nonverbal communication of the drawn or cinematic image. The discussion centers on the sensation of loss and corruption that characterizes a good deal of García Lorca's writing and is associated with his feeling of being banished from a childhood paradise of purity and innocence in which words retained their power to communicate effectively. Attention is devoted to the different ways in which García Lorca seeks to overcome or at least to represent the limitations of language and the failure of the word and highlights the significance of the allusions to ink, as a metaphor for writing, that appear in a variety of contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-301
Number of pages13
JournalRomance Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date21 Sept 2011
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


  • Crisis
  • Ink
  • Federica García Lorca
  • Loss
  • Word


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