Cultural (dis)Connections
Renee Hubert

RRP £12.00


ISBN 1900 355 46 9



Cultural (dis)Connections

Memoirs of a Surrealist Scholar

by Renée Hubert

“During my first year at Sarah Lawrence I rode to Bronxville in the car of Isabela Garcia Lorca. As we represented two of the three languages taught at the college we had a lot in common. It became almost immediately clear to me that Isabela had very strong family ties. She lived with her aged mother and her sister who had two children. Her brother, a Barnard professor of Spanish, lived very close to them. More than anything else the memory of the poet, victim of the Spanish Revolution and Franco, held the family together. In the fifties and later in colleges and museums of the East Coast  readings of Lorca's poetry or performances of his plays repeatedly took place. The family as a unit not as separate individuals attended these events. Their expression was solemn as they sat silently next to each other. The occasion was not a well-deserved celebration, but an instance of full-fledged mourning.  The family was acquitting itself of a debt capable of immunizing against their American environment. This devotion not only characterized the life of the poet's mother and her three surviving children, but it also distanced them from their daily life. For a spectator like myself it appeared that they were enacting the tragic end of a Lorca play such as The House of Alba. A few years later we met Lorca's contemporary Jorge Guillen and his daughter Teresa and son Claudio. They eagerly made friends with people of every origin and every generation. Their cosmopolitanism had little in common with the grief of the Lorcas all of whom returned to Spain long before the death of Franco…”

The daughter of German Jewish parents, both of them prominent physicians defending liberal causes, Renée Riese Hubert was bundled out of Nazi Germany as a young girl to be educated in Paris.  After receiving her licence she left her family in France one year before the invasion, spending the war years in England. Later she joined her parents and her artist sister in Virginia where they had taken refuge during the war,  She obtained her PhD degree at Columbia University and, while adapting to her new life in America, taught literature in various parts of the country. She is presently professor emerita at the University of California, Irvine. In addition to 6 books of French poetry and some 175 articles, she published Surrealism and the Book, Magnifying Mirrors: Women Surrealism and Partnership, and in collaboration with Judd D. Hubert, The Cutting Edge of Reading: Artists' Books. 

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