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Duende August 1, 2011

Posted by Mark Folse in New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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“It’s no accident that Lorca came to understand the duende as a result of watching and listening to Andalusian Gypsy singers, whose troubled voices defy virtuosity. The best among them drag a spirit of revelation up into the room, and when this happens, the duende has been wrested from his den. And the songs that make such revelation possible in the first place are always—always—about struggle. They are always a kind of serenade to the resilience and the resistance that struggle creates—and offers proof of its success.

“Any poet who is honest with him or herself recognizes a struggle very near the impetus to write. The Gypsy struggle might be described as the struggle to subsist, to resist absorption by a larger more powerful culture. It’s a struggle, literally, not to disappear…”

– From Survival in Two Worlds at Once: Federico Garcia Lorca and Duende by Tracy K. Smith

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