32744Re: Lorca quote
- Aug 7, 2007I realized that I was still a bit puzzled and spotted the problem: a
new vocabulary word: duende
Here is what I found when I went searching:
Duende like art itself has faces that are both appealing and
dangerous. It can be dark and hard to pin down.
Coming from southern Spain, "Duende" has only recently migrated to
English. Dictionaries give meanings sometimes at odds with each
The New Oxford English Dictionary gives:
1. A ghost, an evil spirit; 2. Inspiration, magic, fire.
The Random House Dictionary gives:
1. A goblin, demon, spirit; 2. Charm, magnetism.
The Larousse Spanish-English Dictionary translates duende as Goblin,
elf, imp/Magic. It gives the usages: los duendes del Flamenco, the
Magic of Flamenco; tener duende, to have a certain magic.
We take our cue from the great Spanish poet, Federico Garcia Lorca.
He gave a famous lecture on La Teoria y Juego del Duende The
Theory and Function of Duende. Lorca says:
"All through Andalusia . . . people speak constantly of duende, and
recognize it with unfailing instinct when it appears. The wonderful
flamenco singer El Lebrijano said: `When I sing with duende, no one
can equal me.' . . . Manuel Torres, a man with more culture in his
veins than anybody I have known, when listening to Falla play his
own `Nocturno del Genaralife,' made his splendid pronouncement: `All
that has dark sounds has duende.' And there is no greater truth.
"These dark sounds are the mystery, the roots thrusting into the
fertile loam known to all of us, ignored by all of us, but from
which we get what is real in art. . . .
"Thus duende is a power and not a behavior, it is a struggle and not
a concept. I have heard an old master guitarist say: `Duende is not
in the throat; duende surges up from the soles of the feet.' Which
means it is not a matter of ability, but of real live form; of
blood; of ancient culture; of creative action."
So we have taken the name DUENDE in order to honor Lorca's dark
creative force. Duende is there to challenge us to keep our ears
open to the `dark sounds,' to keep our touch with the earth and with
the ghosts of those who have come before, to never refuse the
struggle which is needed to keep the spirits working on the side of
--- In email@example.com, "write3chairs"
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "doybia" wrote:
> > Could you provide a bit more background
> > for this quote? My curiosity is piqued!
> Absolutely! Deborah, I am glad you asked. It is from a book I have
> mentioned here before, "The Demon and the Angel," by Edward
> found it in a chapter titled "Night Work." Here is the entireopening
> paragraph of that chapter:is the
> There is consolation in the idea that the dark night of the soul
> duende's special province. Lorca declares, "The muse of Góngoraand the
> angel of Garcilaso must let go of their laurel garlands when theduende
> of St. John the Cross comes by" (Deep Song). Saint John's subjectwas
> spiritual negation and mystical union, the self alarmed andabandoned
> utterly, so desolate, so desperate in its crying out, so abject inits
> need for a savior that it signals a transfiguration. We are movinginto
> the realm of the self lost and found and lost again, the realm ofthe
> sacred. The dark night is a holy hour when the spirit comes toSaint
> John as an erotic visitation, a saving grace, a sovereign handthat
> wounds. He is "inflamed by love's desire." He is filled andemptied
> out. Here are the conclusive three stanzas of "Dark Night," inFrank
> Bidart's spirited rendition:
> As he lay sleeping on my sleepless
> breast, kept from the beginning for him
> alone, lying on the gift I gave
> as the restless
> fragrant cedars moved the restless winds,--
> winds from the circling parapet circling
> us as I lay there touching and lifting his hair,--
> with his sovereign hand, he
> wounded my neck--
> and my senses, when they touched that, touched nothing...
> In a dark night (there where I
> lost myself,--) as I leaned to rest
> in his smooth white breast, everything
> and left me, forgotten in the grave of forgotten lilies.
> > DeborahK
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>