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A dialectical tension between physical desire and metaphysical love lies at the heart of the theatre works of Federico Garcia Lorca, and the deployment of queer theory's critique of gender and identity is surprisingly effective in this discussion of love versus desire. Seldom is eugh attention paid to the poet's early works, and so this book offers a timely review of the 'religious tragedy' Cristo , as well as Mariana Pineda , uncovering in these early offerings an explicit proposal of the supremacy of love over desire. A meditation on the fragmentary and challenging El publico yields a vivid parama of identity in crisis, and a paradigmatic Lorcan sacrifice of self for love. The ostensibly more conventional tragedies of Amor de Don Perlimplin con Belisa en su jardin and Yerma are also reassessed in terms of self-sacrifice and self-love. The study concludes with an argument for a practical re-reading of La casa de Bernarda Alba , which emphasises how the play might be saved from po-faced realism with music, humour and drag performance. Paul Mcdermid lectures in Spanish at Queen's University Belfast.