Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In Search of Duende” as Want to Read:
In Search of Duende
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In Search of Duende

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  495 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The notion of “duende”—a demonic earth spirit embodying irrationality, earthiness, and a heightened awareness of death—became a cornerstone of Lorca’s poetics. In Search of Duende gathers Lorca’s writings about the duende and three art forms susceptible to it: dance, music, and the bullfight. A bilingual sampling of Lorca’s poetry is also included, making this an excellent ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 113 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by New Directions (first published April 1st 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In Search of Duende, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In Search of Duende

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,002)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mike Puma

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

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
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
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
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.
A must read for all artist of all type. Dig deep down into your bowels, be courageous and honest even if you feel exposed.
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
Nov 29, 2011 Albert added it
Shelves: haz
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
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
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.
" ‘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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
In Mississippi we always just called it "the itis." As in, "Is that shit pretty good?" "Naw, it ain't got the itis." Because you could tell in about half a second who had it and who didn't, and even when they had it and when it was long gone.

So yeah, I loved everything about this book.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Powers
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.
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
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
todas las mañanas voy
a preguntarle al romero
si el mal de amor tiene cura
porque yo estoy muriendo
not really what i expected. i thought it would be more surreal and inspirational.
You must read this book for the rest of your life. Laugh, but it's true.
RK Byers
i wish that duende would appear in these book reviews of mine!
David Hirt
This book opened me to the use of sound in poetry.
I will never be done reading this book.
Stacy Kidd
darn good pocket-edition
Isla McKetta
So much good stuff in here and yet not at all what I expected. This was the slowest 100 pages I've ever read (in the very best of ways).
If you are at all interested in the concept of "Duende" this is a must read. Garcia Lorca frequently references its presence in several forms of flamenco, so you will have a better understanding of the art form from this short read. It is a bible of sorts, to me anyway. There's a lot of punch in this little book - don't be fooled by the size or page number.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 33 34 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration
  • Bad Nature, or With Elvis in Mexico
  • The Art of Description: World into Word
  • The Life of Poetry
  • Adonis: Selected Poems
  • The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing
  • The Literary Conference
  • The Leviathan
  • The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction
  • Antipoems: How to Look Better and Feel Great
  • Twentieth Century Pleasures: Prose on Poetry
  • Antologia Poética
  • Splay Anthem
  • Everything and Nothing
  • The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song
  • Tres
  • The Hall of the Singing Caryatids
  • Real Sofistikashun: Essays on Poetry and Craft
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...
La casa de Bernarda Alba The Selected Poems Bodas de sangre Romancero gitano Collected Poems

Share This Book