Segments in this Video

Introduction: Rafael Alberti (03:50)


In this 1977 interview for Spanish television, host Joaquin Soler Serrano talks with Spanish poet, Rafael Alberti, about his return from exile after the death of Franco. Alberti recalls his childhood in Cádiz and his mother's influence in his memoirs, "The Lost Grove."

Rafael Alberti: Family Sherry Business (04:21)

Alberti explains his Italian family names, and talks about his Italian grandfathers and Andalusian grandmothers. He discusses the importance of vintners around the Bay of Cádiz and the European influence there. The family wine business was absorbed by the Osbornes, a foreign monopoly.

Rafael Alberti: Youth on the Bay of Cádiz (02:34)

Alberti talks about his traveling father and closer relations with his uncles in the Port of Santa Maria on the Bay of Cádiz until moving to Madrid in 1917.

Rafael Alberti: Colegio San Luis Gonzaga (02:43)

Alberti studied at the Colegio San Luis Gonzaga, attended by other famous writers, of the Cádiz area. He was expelled for writing a love letter to his first love and truancy while exploring the dunes.

Rafael Alberti: Artist (05:32)

Alberti discusses his classes at the Colegio San Luis Gonzaga and later in Madrid as a disinterested student. He dedicated himself to drawing and painting while visiting art museums. He was invited to exhibit in the Ateneo in Madrid.

Rafael Alberti: Wine Salesman and Artist (03:05)

Alberti notes the difficulties his family suffered in Madrid and his entry into the family business as traveling wine exhibitor, during which time he also painted scenes of Madrid that are favored today.

Rafael Alberti: Malaga (01:46)

Alberti accompanied his ill father to Malaga and San Rafael to recover from a pulmonary illness that Alberti would also later suffer. He talks about friends there like Garcia Lorca and Salvador Rueda, and the painter, Daniel Vasquez Diaz who animated Alberti to exhibit in the Autumn Salon in Madrid.

Rafael Alberti: On García Lorca and Salvador Dalí (03:45)

Alberti reminisces about visits with Garcia Lorca in Granada." He notes Lorca's charisma and that Lorca was mostly known by his admirers, as he published late, but his reputation grew after "Romancero gitano" and "Romance Sonámbulo." Alberti recalls meeting Salvador Dalí there, his impact on the Parisian art scene, relationship with Luis Bunuel, and the deterioration of their friendship.

Rafael Alberti: Garcia Lorca and Salvador Dalí (01:48)

Alberti continues to reminisce about his summer visits with Garcia Lorca in Granada and meeting Salvador Dalí there. He admires Lorca's "Romancero gitano" and "Romance Sonámbulo." Alberti recalls Dalí's impact on the Parisian art scene, his relationship with Luis Bunuel, and the deterioration of their friendship.

Rafael Alberti: Illustrations for Lorca's "Romancero gitano" (04:55)

Alberti recalls the night his father died that marked the beginning of his writing career. Alberti discusses his illustrations for a commemorative edition of Lorca's "Romancero gitano."

Rafael Alberti: National Prize for Literature (04:38)

Alberti notes how literary historians couple him with Lorca in their discussions of this generation of poets in contrast with others who are mostly academics. Alberti won the National Prize for Literature for his 1925 book "Marinero en tierra."

Rafael Alberti: Recites from "Marinero en tierra" (02:44)

Alberti recalls the note of praise from member of the National Prize panel, Antonio Machado. Alberti recites a poem from "Marinero en tierra."

Rafael Alberti: "La amante" 1926 (03:28)

Alberti's second book of poems, "La amante," 1926, resulted from his acquaintance with the Cantabrian Sea and was an exploration of rhythms and sounds.

Rafael Alberti: Tercentenary Anniversary of Góngora (02:24)

Alberti discusses his involvement with the Commission to celebrate the Tercentenary Anniversary of Góngora and publish his unpublished works. He notes the refusal of renowned academics to collaborate with the Commission, but Ravel and Picasso contributed.

Rafael Alberti: On Juan Ramón Jiménez and Antonio Machado (03:08)

Alberti recalls his mentors Juan Ramón Jiménez and Antonio Machado. He describes Jiménez as a good friend, but with his Andalusian irascibility and critiques that caused his estrangement at times.

Rafael Alberti: Bullfighting with Ignacio Sánchez Mejías (05:17)

Alberti recalls other writers and artists of the Generation of '26, and Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, writer and bullfighter. Alberti remembers the day Sánchez Mejías invited him to join his cuadrilla in the ring. Sánchez Mejías retired from bullfighting and wrote a psychoanalytic play, "Sin razon."

Rafael Alberti: Period of Crisis 1923-30 (03:57)

Alberti discusses his period of crisis that paralleled the political crisis in Spain with Primo de Rivera when Alberti participated in the student movement and wrote his protest poem "Con los zapatos puestos."

Rafael Alberti: Marriage (02:11)

Alberti talks about his wife, María Teresa León, writer and political activist whom he met in Madrid. Alberti recalls his long-distance friendship with Pablo Neruda and helped him publish his "Residencia en la tierra" in Spain.

Rafael Alberti: Second Spanish Republic and Nazis in Berlin (01:29)

Alberti discusses the political turmoil in 1931 when the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed. He visited Germany and describes the rise of the Nazis in Berlin. He saw the 1933 burning of the Reichstag building.

Rafael Alberti: Playwright (04:11)

Alberti talks about his two plays, "El hombre deshabitado" and "Fermín Galán" that met with stormy receptions in 1931. They were better received in Paris and the Soviet Union. He notes the errors of the Republicans that scandalized the public and the uprising, July, 1936 that began the Spanish Civil War.

Rafael Alberti: Spanish Civil War (04:00)

While acting as Director of the Museo Romantico of Madrid and Director of a magazine, Alberti wrote "Numancia." In 1937, he organized a writers' conference in Paris at the Spanish Republic's Pavilion where Picasso exhibited "Guernica."

Rafael Alberti: Exile (02:32)

March 6, 1939, the Albertis were exiled and fled to Oran, then Marseilles by boat, and in Paris where they translated for French radio until the Germans threatened Paris. They sailed from Marseilles to Buenos Aires where they lived 24 years. They then moved to Rome until returning to Spain in 1977.

Rafael Alberti: Published Works and Etchings in Argentina (03:27)

Alberti published between 30-40 books while exiled in Argentina including "El adefesio." He returned to painting in a caligraphic style of etching in agua fuerte. He recalls the Argentine homage to Lorca in his etchings, and one for Mao Tse Tung in another.

Rafael Alberti: Books of Words and Images (03:32)

From 1963, the Albertis lived in Italy for ten years where he wrote and created art books of etchings. In 1965 he received the Lenin Peace Prize and traveled throughout Eastern Europe. We see the prologue to his book of etchings dedicated to Lorca, and another on art and artists.

Rafael Alberti: Return to Spain (05:32)

Alberti describes the welcome he encountered in Spain on his return. Alberti reads a poem he composed for the interview, "Concerning praise on my account."

Credits: Rafael Alberti (00:33)

Credits: Rafael Alberti

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In this 1977 interview for Spanish television on the return of exiled Spanish poet and artist, Rafael Alberti, host Joaquin Soler Serrano evokes the poet's memories of his early life on the Bay of Cadiz; his mentors, Antonio Machado and Juan Ramon Jimenez; his friends from the Student Residence in Madrid, Garcia Lorca,Pedro Salinas,Jorge Guillen and Gerado Diego, as well as Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel. As Secretary of the Commission to celebrate the Gongora Tercentenary, Alberti's verse changed from a folkloric/cancionero style to the more mature style of "Concerning the Angels" and his play"The Empty Man." Alberti describes his protest activities during the Second Spanish Republic and Civil War, his marriage and commitment to Marxism that led to the Albertis forty year exile to Argentina and Italy. As a member of the Generation of '27, Alberti won numerous prizes and awards and is considered one of the great literary figures of the Silver Age of Spanish Literature. In this program, Alberti recites his poem "Marinero en tierra" and reads a poem composed for the interview, "Concerning praise on my account." He also shows his many books that combine his art and poems. In Spanish

Length: 89 minutes

Item#: BVL86462

ISBN: 978-1-60057-779-6

Copyright date: ©1977

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