Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

La Casa de Bernada Alba: A Nietzschean Reading

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2010), 87, (2), 221–239.

Abstract

In La Casa de Bernarda Alba, Federico García Lorca endeavours to represent faithfully, by way of a 'documental fotográfico', the experiences of seven women in the rural Spain of his day. The lives of these women are ones of repression, frustration and desperation, and these details are central to a proper understanding of the play. What is equally crucial, however, is an analysis and comprehension of why 'what happens' happens - that is, an understanding of the various psychologies or psychological perspectives that lie behind the central figures and their actions. This article takes as its starting point the position that there is much of Nietzsche's thought to be seen in the lines of La Casa de Bernarda Alba. The article aims to investigate key aspects of Nietzsche's views on human morality, his thoughts on the ascetic tendency in humanity, the universality and persistence of the so-called Will-to- Power, and the notion of eternal recurrence.

En su introducción a La Casa de Bernarda Alba, Federico García Lorca declara su intención de darle al lector un 'documental fotográfico' de las experiencias de siete mujeres en la España rural de su día. Las vidas de estas mujeres se definen por la represión, la frustración y la desesperanza, y estos detalles son fundamentales al hablar de la acción del drama. Pero de igual importancia es un análisis de las razones que hay detrás de esta acción - es decir, un estudio profundo de las sicologías o perspectivas sicológicas asociadas con los agentes principales de la tragedia. Este artículo toma como punto de partida la posición de que hay, en La Casa de Bernarda Alba, mucha influencia nietzscheana, y para probar esta posición, analizaremos elementos claves de la perspectiva Nietzscheana sobre la moralidad humana, los pensamientos del filósofo sobre la tendencia ascética en el ser humano, la universalidad y persistencia de la llamada 'voluntad al poderío', y la noción del 'eterno retorno'.

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Aguirre, J. M., 1967. 'El Sonambulismo de Federico García Lorca', Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 44. 4: 267-85. El Sonambulismo de Federico García Lorca Bulletin of Spanish Studies 44 267 285 Google Scholar

Arango, Miguel Antonio, 1998. Símbolo y simbología en la obra de Federico García Lorca (Madrid: Editorial Fundamentos). Símbolo y simbología en la obra de Federico García Lorca Google Scholar

Bisht, Anil, 1991. 'The Divided House of Bernarda Alba', Panjab University Research Bulletin (ARTS), 22.2: 21-28. The Divided House of Bernarda Alba Panjab University Research Bulletin (ARTS) 22 21 28 Google Scholar

Camara, Isabel, 1983. 'Vida y muerte, Eros y Thanatos: Dos instintos en La casa de Bernarda Alba', García Lorca Review, 11.2: 181-202. Vida y muerte, Eros y Thanatos: Dos instintos en La casa de Bernarda Alba' García Lorca Review 11 181 202 Google Scholar

Cirlot, Juan Eduardo, 2003. Un diccionario de símbolos, 10th edición (Madrid: Ediciones Siruela). Un diccionario de símbolos Google Scholar

Copleston, Frederick, 1994. Modern Philosophy from the Post-Kantian Idealist to Marx, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche (New York: Doubleday). Modern Philosophy from the Post-Kantian Idealist to Marx, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche Google Scholar

Freud, Sigmund, 1966. Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, tr. James Strachey (New York: W. W. Norton). Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis Google Scholar

García Lorca, Federico, 2004. La Casa de Bernarda Alba. Aproximaciones al estudio de la literatura hispánica, ed. Edward Friedman et al. (Boston: McGraw-Hill). La Casa de Bernarda Alba. Aproximaciones al estudio de la literatura hispánica Google Scholar

Gibson, Ian, 1989. Federico García Lorca: A Life (New York: Pantheon). Federico García Lorca: A Life Google Scholar

Huélamo Kosma, Julio, 1989. 'La influencia de Freud en el teatro de García Lorca', Boletín de la Fundación Federico García Lorca, 3.6: 59-83. La influencia de Freud en el teatro de García Lorca Boletín de la Fundación Federico García Lorca 3 59 83 Google Scholar

Lima, Robert, 2001. 'Immolations: Rites of Sacrifice on the Stages of Federico García Lorca', Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 15.2: 33-48. Immolations: Rites of Sacrifice on the Stages of Federico García Lorca Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 15 33 48 Google Scholar

Magnus, Bernd, et al. (eds.), 1996. The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche Google Scholar

Nietzsche, Friedrich, 1978. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, tr. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Penguin). Thus Spoke Zarathustra Google Scholar

——, 1986. Human, All Too Human, tr. R. J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Human, All Too Human Google Scholar

——, 1989a. Beyond Good and Evil, tr. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Vintage). Beyond Good and Evil Google Scholar

—,—, 1989b. On the Genealogy of Morals, tr. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Vintage). On the Genealogy of Morals Google Scholar

——, 1990a. The Anti-Christ, tr. R. J. Hollingdale (London: Penguin). The Anti-Christ Google Scholar

—,—, 1990b. Twilight of the Idols, tr. R. J. Hollingdale (London: Penguin). Twilight of the Idols Google Scholar

——, 1994. The Will to Power, cited in Copleston 1994. Google Scholar

——, 1996a. 'The Hammer Speaks', cited in Bernd Magnus and Kathleen M. Higgins, 'Nietzsche's Works and Their Themes', The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, ed. Bernd Magnus et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 21-68. The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche 21 68 Google Scholar

—,—, 1996b. 'What I Owe to the Ancients', cited in Bernd Magnus and Kathleen M. Higgins, 'Nietzsche's Works and Their Themes', The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, ed. Bernd Magnus et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 21-68. The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche 21 68 Google Scholar

Ramsden, H. (ed.), 1983. La Casa de Bernarda Alba (Manchester: Manchester University Press). La Casa de Bernarda Alba Google Scholar

Sobejano, Gonzalo, 1967. Nietzsche en España. (Madrid: Editorial Gredos). Nietzsche en España Google Scholar

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Gómez, Michael