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Duende: A Journey In Search Of Flamenco af…
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Duende: A Journey In Search Of Flamenco (udgave 2004)

af Jason Webster (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2107101,593 (3.51)11
The music started: two guitarists beating out more Alboreás. The women took turns to dance in a frenzy, each trying to outdo the other. "Deep Song always sings in the night," Lorca had written. It was the credo of the flamenco: a rejection of the mundane, the ordinary, the life of the everyday man, embracing, rather, an extreme world - extreme passions, extreme feelings, the extremes of life and death. And it was a way of life I wanted to believe in - its excitement, its danger, the affirmation it gave you that you were different, and alive. Destined for a sedate and predictable life in academia, Jason Webster was derailed in his early twenties when his first love, an aloof Florentine beauty, dumped him unceremoniously. Loveless and eager for adventure - and determined to fulfill a secret dream -- he left Oxford and headed for Spain, the country that had long captivated his imagination, and set off in search of duende, the intense and mysterious emotional state - part ecstasy, part melancholy - that is the essence of Spain's signature art form: flamenco. Duende is Webster's captivating memoir of the years he spent in Spain pursuing his obsession. Studying flamenco guitar until his fingers bleed, he becomes involved in a passionate yet doomed affair with Lola, a flamenco dancer (and older woman) married to the gun-toting Vicente, only to flee the coastal city of Alicante in fear for his life. He ends up in Madrid, miserable and lovelorn, but it's here that he has his first taste of the gritty world of flamenco's progenitors - the Gypsies whose edgy lives and fervent commitment to the art of flamenco vividly illustrate the path to duende. Before long he is deeply immersed in a flamenco underworld that combines music and dance with drugs and crime. After two years Webster moves on to Granada where, bruised and battered, he reflects on his discovery of the emotional heart of Spain.… (mere)
Medlem:WW2Karla
Titel:Duende: A Journey In Search Of Flamenco
Forfattere:Jason Webster (Forfatter)
Info:Black Swan (2004), Edition: New Ed, 352 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Duende: A Journey Into the Heart of Flamenco af Jason Webster

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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
This is not Webster's best work about Spain, but the story is good and his vivid descriptions manage to capture the magic of the country that continues to draw outsiders into its grasp. ( )
  laurentipton | Aug 13, 2021 |
I felt really disappointed with this book. I don’t know why exactly I didn’t connect with the characters or the writing, I tried, I love music the enjoy music and dancing in the book but it doesn’t move you, you don’t merge in Jason's world. ( )
  neosofia | Jun 19, 2018 |
This is a coming-of-age tale about a young man going to Spain after university to discover himself through flamenco. Webster, in this his first book, tells of the two years he spent in Spain, drawn there by the passion and freedom of flamenco. He is looking for that indefinable 'duende', the heady mix of emotion, pathos and truth that all the very best flamenco music has. He wants his soul to be touched and to understand the how and the why. From day one he is an oddity, a blond Englishman amongst dark Spaniards, and he wants to learn to play flamenco guitar. Driven by an unrelenting teacher, slowly with aching wrists and bleeding fingers he learns the rhythms and palos. He stumbles from one crisis to another, from Alicante to Madrid and then Granada, playing guitar so much he finally has the stooped shoulders of the guitarists he admired on his arrival in Spain. He falls in love, falls in with gypsies, and sees the dark side of Madrid, but still he feels an outsider - not a Spaniard, not a gypsy, nor a true flamenco artist. It is an honest tale told unselfconsciously, he bares his emotions, shares his mistakes and his glee at the small triumphs. Finally, he discovers what 'duende' means to him.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Oct 29, 2015 |
Having recently moved to Spain, I'd bumped this up my TBR pile. Duende is the author's move to Spain in search of 'Duende', a hard to define concept at the heart of Flamenco.

He arrives in Alicante, where he has a contact, Pedro, and between learning Spanish and finding work he looks for a flamenco guitar teacher. At his school he meets sultry, but sulky, Lola, the boss' wife, who dances flamenco with a group of friends. She introduces him to this group, Jason has found his way in.

This could be read as a travelogue of Spain, a certain part of Spain, the one connected with flamenco. Jason moves between 3 regions: Alicante, the popular sun-seekers' destination, one of Madrid's gypsy communities and Andalusia, the homeland of the poet and flamenco aficionado Lorca.

It could also be seen as a coming of age book, though Jason is not a child when the book starts. Having finished university, he is offered the opportunity to stay in academia, but, with a broken-off relationship behind him, and a thirst for something new, he goes in search of flamenco and adventure. He makes a new life for himself, many mistakes as well, but without these mistakes, how can you grow up? By the end of the book, he has made it through the other side, and is ready to settle down.

I did enjoy the book, the not as much as Andalus, though probably because the latter had a more interesting topic to me. Flamenco is the glue that binds the narrative together, brings people closer, and Webster does manage to show us this world, a world which is often only glimpsed at by 'guiris' at tourist shows. The quest for 'duende' was also fascinating, how can you describe such a personal feeling. Each culture has some words that are concepts which can only be described by long-winded phrases in another tongue, like 'Saudade' and 'Cozy'.

This book is for people interested in Spain and want to see another side of it, or for people who enjoy travelogues. ( )
1 stem soffitta1 | May 22, 2011 |
I just wanted to learn about the history of flamenco in a way that is more interesting than a history book. What I got instead was a sort of whiny travelogue about Spain from a bad musician. ( )
1 stem carmilla222 | May 3, 2007 |
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The music started: two guitarists beating out more Alboreás. The women took turns to dance in a frenzy, each trying to outdo the other. "Deep Song always sings in the night," Lorca had written. It was the credo of the flamenco: a rejection of the mundane, the ordinary, the life of the everyday man, embracing, rather, an extreme world - extreme passions, extreme feelings, the extremes of life and death. And it was a way of life I wanted to believe in - its excitement, its danger, the affirmation it gave you that you were different, and alive. Destined for a sedate and predictable life in academia, Jason Webster was derailed in his early twenties when his first love, an aloof Florentine beauty, dumped him unceremoniously. Loveless and eager for adventure - and determined to fulfill a secret dream -- he left Oxford and headed for Spain, the country that had long captivated his imagination, and set off in search of duende, the intense and mysterious emotional state - part ecstasy, part melancholy - that is the essence of Spain's signature art form: flamenco. Duende is Webster's captivating memoir of the years he spent in Spain pursuing his obsession. Studying flamenco guitar until his fingers bleed, he becomes involved in a passionate yet doomed affair with Lola, a flamenco dancer (and older woman) married to the gun-toting Vicente, only to flee the coastal city of Alicante in fear for his life. He ends up in Madrid, miserable and lovelorn, but it's here that he has his first taste of the gritty world of flamenco's progenitors - the Gypsies whose edgy lives and fervent commitment to the art of flamenco vividly illustrate the path to duende. Before long he is deeply immersed in a flamenco underworld that combines music and dance with drugs and crime. After two years Webster moves on to Granada where, bruised and battered, he reflects on his discovery of the emotional heart of Spain.

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