Spring 1945 • Vol. VII No. 2 Nonfiction |


SIR: As one professing a specialty in things Spanish, Mr. Mallan has made such a muddled display of his knowledge that I feel the animus behind his review of García Lorca (Autumn, 1944) proceeded from his intention to hammer out a few fond ideas about Spain and not from any intention to write the criticism of a book. Even the pedantic little title, 'How to Understand a Spaniard," suggests this.1 More descriptive of Mr. Mallan's apparent purpose would have been a title like "How I Would Write a Book on García Lorca." Mr. Mallan does not say I have written a bad book—he says I have written "two books," one bad, the other good. He builds a case against the bad "book" (the part devoted to "the poet's life, traditions and verse"), and leaves only to be imagined what can be good about the good "book" (the part devoted to Lorca's dramas). His argument is a deliberate violation of the reviewer's license to add contributory information for better analysis of a book. Mr. Mallan's

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