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In Search of Duende

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  571 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
In his lecture "Play and the Theory of Duende," he says, ". . .there are no maps nor disciplines to help us find the duende. We only know that he burns the blood like a poultice of broken glass, that he exhausts, that he rejects all the sweet geometry we have learned. . . ." The duende is portrayed by Lorca as a demonic earth spirit containing irrationality, earthiness, an ...more
Paperback, 99 pages
Published April 17th 1998 by New Directions (first published 1933)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,203)
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Mike Puma
Apr 26, 2011 Mike Puma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the few

This collection of public speeches and essays speaks to an aspect of Spanish art (indeed, all art) which is both the motivation for and expression of a primal oneness with one’s art—best witnessed in music and/or dance, poetry, and bullfighting. GL saw the duende, that force or supreme expression, as a dying, regional characteristic of Spanish art, particularly Andalusian art. Duende operates in opposition to the artist’s angel (for sake of summary, style) and the artist’s muse (his or her inte

Jan 31, 2011 Jenna rated it really liked it
I have a new appreciation of Lorca after reading this book, which situates some of his best poems in the context of some stunningly well-written prose essays that spell out his ars poetica. Before I read this book, I confess I often felt frustrated by Lorca's insistence that poetry must be mysterious: the wispy, allusive, fragmentary feel of some of his poems (especially the short ones) made them feel incomplete to me; I wanted to see a fuller development of the themes he was setting up, not jus ...more
Luís Blue Coltrane
Lisbon Book-Fair 2016.
May 12, 2009 Kari rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
This little book is filled with the writings, by Frederico Garcia Lorca, about duende. Difficult to define, Lorca says of duende: "an inexplicable power of attraction, the ability, on rare occasions, to send waves of emotion through those watching and listening to them. Lorca says: "The duende does not come at all unless he sees that death is possible . . . With idea, sound, or gesture, the duende enjoys fighting the creator on the very rim of the well."
Lorca talks about the differences between
J.M. Hushour
Apr 14, 2016 J.M. Hushour rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fine little New Directions offering, "little" being the operative word here. It contains the texts of several lectures Lorca did on the idea of the duende, which are fine, and a smattering of poems, which is even better, because the idea of the duende is something best explored by example and the poems on offer suffice for that. The lectures are interesting, Lorca was a fine writer writ large, but the idea is so elusive and feral, that you'd be best served watching or listening to some ...more
Oct 18, 2009 Mark rated it liked it
It's all about the essay "Play and Theory of the Duende," which you can probably find in any collection of his writings. The "duende": that dark power, impossible to articulate, that the greatest performers hold. And also: the inner devil an artist wrestles with to create. Angels are too removed, muses too fickle. It's the duende who leads you to your work. (This book also contains some of Lorca's poetry and other essays/lectures on Spanish art and artists.)
Maite Iracheta
Feb 15, 2008 Maite Iracheta rated it it was amazing
Leí esto, como todo lo de García Lorca, en español, pero no tienen el título ni la fotito del libro cDm.
And it's García Lorca, not just "Lorca", btw.
Jul 09, 2013 Alicia rated it it was amazing
A must read for all artist of all type. Dig deep down into your bowels, be courageous and honest even if you feel exposed.
Dec 29, 2009 jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, essays
in search of duende is a slim collection of expository essays in which garcía lorca considers the inspiring force of the duende, and its effects upon three differing art forms. this hard to define concept is made clear (or as clear as such a concept can be made) by the spanish poet through example and thoughtful consideration. "deep song" and "play and theory of the duende" are the highlights of this work. interspersed throughout are some of garcía lorca's poems, including the stunning "lament f ...more
Lorca's take on duende is endlessly fascinating, which is great because his take is the only take I've taken--other than some blog-browsing that I vaguely remember. I'm pretty much going to pass out from all there is to mull over in this little number. I really love the idea of having a concept to position between the muse and the angel. Both seem so Spicerian (in the superficial way), but probably this third is what's really at the core of Jack's oeuvre, especially considering his relationship ...more
Apr 22, 2009 Anne-laure rated it it was amazing
Trough the metaphore of Spain and the figures of the angel, the muse and the duende, Lorca tries to analyse what in his opinion makes the diference between a good art piece and and this specific and magical moment when creation can simply shake your body and soul. If you see this text as something more then just the first plain level of reading, it becomes real poetry. Duende is what I tried to get to all these years without being able to name it properly.
Matthew Balliro
Jul 09, 2010 Matthew Balliro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Not really what I was expecting from this book. The poems were all excellent, I can definitely say that. But the prose pieces were hit-and-miss. I understand why this was important to Lorca and his aesthetics, but I can only read so much about gypsy folk songs. The bullfighting pieces were more up my alley. Honestly, this is the first book I've ever read from New Directions that didn't meet or exceed my expectations. The poetry is highly recommended.
Jul 01, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it
" ‘All that has dark sounds has duende.’ And there’s no deeper truth than that."

"The true struggle is with the duende."

"The duende, by contrast, won’t appear if he can’t see the possibility of death, if he doesn’t know he can haunt death’s house, if he’s not certain to shake those branches we all carry, that do not bring, can never bring, consolation."

"We have said that the duende loves the edge, the wound, and draws close to places where forms fuse in a yearning beyond visible expression."

Mar 15, 2008 Ammon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: poets, artists and musicians
Its been years since I discovered and this book on the shelves of the DePaul Library and devoured it and tucked it into my soul as a raison d'arte, young and silly as I was. But duende is a term we all should be familiar with in art...I was reminded of my experience of this book by a recent article about Nick Cave in the Guardian. I need to read this little tract again.
Sep 29, 2009 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
The essay "Play and Theory of the Duende" in this book is one of the more important pieces on creativity that I've ever read. It's got the juice that's so often missing from conversations about "process" and it effortlessly combines the arts of dance and writing in a way I thought I was crazy for.
Feb 17, 2008 Janie rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Powers
Feb 01, 2012 Melissa Powers rated it really liked it
Lovely, lovely prose. "The duende does not repeat himself, anymore than do the forms of the sea during a squall..." etc. etc.

It's always nice to hear from the perspective of a genius.
Feb 01, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it
Essays on deep song, duende, and Lorca's poetry interpreted by the likes of WS Merwin and Langston Hughes. Excellent and thought provoking. And really, really good poetry.
Luis Correa
Jan 26, 2011 Luis Correa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Really interesting weave of mystical essays and poetry. The tiny book felt like a search and, in the end, lands upon some kind of conclusion. A lot to learn from.
Emma Stockdale
May 11, 2011 Emma Stockdale rated it it was amazing
todas las mañanas voy
a preguntarle al romero
si el mal de amor tiene cura
porque yo estoy muriendo
Jul 31, 2008 ylin002 rated it really liked it
not really what i expected. i thought it would be more surreal and inspirational.
Danielle DeTiberus
Jul 29, 2008 Danielle DeTiberus rated it it was amazing
You must read this book for the rest of your life. Laugh, but it's true.
RK Byers
Oct 25, 2011 RK Byers rated it really liked it
i wish that duende would appear in these book reviews of mine!
David Hirt
Jan 07, 2011 David Hirt rated it it was amazing
This book opened me to the use of sound in poetry.
Aug 19, 2008 Urmy rated it it was amazing
I will never be done reading this book.
Stacy Kidd
Nov 29, 2007 Stacy Kidd rated it it was amazing
darn good pocket-edition
May 30, 2016 Jacqueline rated it really liked it
В анемониите на причастието ще те намеря, сърце мое (...)

Привидно- една простичка беседа за скрития дух на изстрадала Испания.

А всъщност си е цяла бездна, от която познанието не спира да извира- буквално от всяко изречение. Имаше един момент, в който трябваше да си почина от непрекъснатите проверки, които се налагаше да правя: какви явления, направления в изкуството, творци и т.н. визира Лорка. Хич не са били за завиждане слушателите му от Дружеството на приятелите на изкуството (погледнато пре
Mary Moore
May 06, 2011 Mary Moore rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2010 Donnelle rated it really liked it
"We have said that the duende loves the edge, the wound, and draws close to places where forms fuse in a yearning beyond visible expression."

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Born in Fuente Vaqueros, Granada, Spain, June 5,1898; died near Granada, August 19,1936, García Lorca is one of Spain's most deeply appreciated and highly revered poets and dramatists. His murder by the Nationalists at the start of the Spanish civil war brought sudden international fame, accompanied by an excess of political rhetoric which led a later generation to question his merits; after the i ...more
More about Federico García Lorca...

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