His friends in Granada were painters, sculptors, musicians, and poets.With de Falla he organized a festival of cante jondo, the ‘deep song’ of Southern Spain, and it was then that he came into closer contact with the gipsy world; its singers and dancers. J. B. Trend wrote that many ‘cultured’ people in Spain became at that time interested in the cante jondo ‘because they wished to acquire something of the oldest culture in the Peninsula’. No doubt Lorca was drawn to this society for the same reasons.
While still in Granada, Lorca published his first prose book, Impresiones y paisajes (1918), the result of many trips around Spain with a group headed by his Professor of Art at the University of Granada. This series of narratives already shows the poet’s personality, and marks the end of his youthful period.
In the following year he went to Madrid, ostensibly with the purpose of continuing his studies. There, as in Granada, his interests were again in the main non-academic. It was his good fortune, however, that he was advised for his studies to enter the Residencia de Estudiantes, an institution of great liberal tradition. The Residencia also sheltered many poets of note: Antonio Machado, Juan Ramón Jiménez, J. Moreno Villa, Pedro Salinas, Rafael Alberti, Jorge Guillén. In the President of the Residencia, Don Alberto Jiménez, he found a friend who was aware of Lorca’s worth and gave him every facility which would enable him to develop his personality. There he produced plays, composed at the piano,* painted (or drew with crayons), transcribed folk-songs, and recited his poems – a favourite occupation. In this congenial atmosphere he came also into contact with other Spanish intellectuals of note – Unamuno and Ortega y Gasset were often
* He is not in fact known to have composed music while living at the Residencia: his only known piano compositions are from years earlier, and the arrangements of folksongs, done for La Argentinita, are later. [Ed.]