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In Search of Duende (New Directions Bibelot) (English and Spanish Edition) Paperback – April 17, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Bibelot
  • Paperback: 99 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions (April 17, 1998)
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0811213765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811213769
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,743,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Lorca's works, which combine elements of Andalusian folklore with sophisticated and often surrealistic poetic techniques, cut across all social and educational barriers. . . .Spain's great poet and playwright is being rediscovered.” (The New York Times)

“One of the greatest poets Spain has ever produced.” (Times Literary Supplement)

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish (translation)
Original Language: Spanish

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jane on April 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As much as this book will help you understand Lorca's passion for literature, music and artistic expression, it is the history of the development of flamenco as an art and culture. There are poems by Lorca in this small collection, but this is not the book you want if you want to read his poetry. Lorca explains the multicultural influences on the poetic tradition within flamenco. He spends a lot of time expounding on natural themes and morbid imagery. Duende is about giving in to the moment and connecting with the universe. Letting grief wash over you is a form of therapy and liberation. He introduces the concept of duende as the counterpart of the muse. When the muse's work is done the duende comes in and takes over your self. Duende is both string and flexible, conniving and gullible. It is a part of the soul of spanish culture and picking up this book is the easiest way to getting close to understanding what it means.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Tony Wolf on December 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Lorca's essay, "the Play and Theory of the Duende", should be required reading for artists in any field. A life-changing concept, rendered beautifully in poetic prose.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lee Pederson on March 16, 2010
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This little book evolved from Lorca's lifelong quest in pursuit of truth and beauty, both on a mystical plane and in reality. A concept that first crystallized as a lecture to preserve a traditional form of flamenco music came to define Lorca's artistic philosophy, a philosophy that can be extended to all art forms.

Duende is like soul. James Brown's music has duende, for example. So does the music of Mozart and Emmylou Harris, as well as the writing of Khaled Hosseini and the art of Picasso. Today, as in Lorca's time, much popular culture does not have it. As a poet, Lorca was uniquely situated to understand and describe duende. Using his own poems, as well as verses from the folk music he fought to keep alive, Lorca passionately implores his audience to appreciate the importance of duende.

Grasping the meaning of duende is far from a dry academic exercise. Lorca's lectures and essays provide a framework for appreciating and perhaps even making great art.

Highly recommended for anyone aspiring to create.
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Format: Paperback
Federico García Lorca was captivated by song, music, and dance that pushed beyond conventional forms and gave voice to conditions at the brink of existence. Much of what intrigued him was native Andalusian, such as "cante jondo" or "deep song" (which García Lorca insists is distinct from and more ancient than flamenco) and the bullfight. He came to identify this special quality or mysterious power as "duende". And he tried to incorporate duende into his later poetry.

This brief book contains a variety of García Lorca's writings relating to duende. Among those materials are two lectures he gave and about twenty poems that, according to the editor Christopher Maurer, "arise from traditional Spanish verse forms". The poems are presented in both Spanish and in English translation, which translations are by distinguished poets in their own right, including M.S. Merwin, Langston Hughes, and Stephen Spender and J.L. Gili. In general, however, the poems do not speak to me - as was the case in my previous encounters with García Lorca's poetry.

Of more interest to me were the two lectures. (As an aside, based on the evidence of these two examples, García Lorca was a superb, inspired lecturer.) The first concerns Andalusian "deep song" and, building on the writings of Manuel de Falla, argues that it was heavily influenced by the songs and music of Gypsies originally from India. A footnote states that the theories García Lorca advances in this lecture are now questioned by scholars. Still, the lecture is helpful in outlining what García Lorca was trying to capture with the notion of duende. More helpful is the second lecture, "Play and Theory of the Duende". But even there, duende is an elusive concept.
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What magnificent reading. I hear cante, baile, y compas in every word. Andelucia is alive in the melody and rhythm of his poetry.
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Lorca lives up to his reputation as a poet and a man of duende......the parallels he draws between poetry and feeling reach the reader in a way that mere words of prose cannot. It is true that often poets give their best in youth, but what a loss the world suffered in his early murder!
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