14 ago. 2007

Send me your duende sightings. For example, if Denise Levertov writes a blurb for Hilda Morley's Selected Poems and mentions the duende, that would be a "duende sighting" (or maybe a duende citing?) Or if Michael McClure uses the word duende in a poem about Jackson Pollock. I keep finding more and more, and by sheer accident. For example, yesterday I was in the public library after the water main broke on our street and we had no running water all afternoon. I was looking for something else and picked up the Hilda Morley book too, just because that's the kind of guy I am, and lo and behold, a duende sighting!

7 comentarios:

John dijo...

A friend of mine wrote about Patti Smith and duende the other day:

http://apesmaslament.blogspot.com/2007/08/patti-smith-and-duende.html

You're an expert on this Jonathan, and I honestly want to know: How would you translate duende? The word gives me fits, except when Lorca uses it. It gives me fits because the dictionaries give it a rather plain, even cutesy meaning; and Lorca gave the word glamor, and that's fine, but I'm not sure that anybody else should follow Lorca in this, because nobody else has his particular glamor!

Jonathan dijo...

There's really no translation for it. You can't just say "gnome" because that gives you a whole nother set of connotations.

John dijo...

Thanks!

I associate it with "the presence of death" and with "form-shattering audacity."

And then I think that there's a serviceable English word that gets at similar stuff, without bringing gnomes into it, and that's "chthonic."

Henry Gould dijo...

"Cthonic" doesn't do it for me. "Haunted" is closer. "Dark lady" is closer. Some really mournful blues or mountain music is closer. In my view, with "duende" both death and a woman are involved. Poe might have been onto something in that regard, but he was very analytical about it.

This is my "bull crit" since I can't read Spanish much.

Henry Gould dijo...

Portuguese "fado" music expresses some "duende", maybe. But perhaps Jonathan can correct me here. That is, "duende" probably shouldn't be simply equated with deep melancholy. Or maybe it should. Lorca was simple in his own way.

Jonathan dijo...

Fado expresses "saudade," or melancholy, nostalgic, homesickness. Not at all duende-like.

Henry Gould dijo...

Here's a site that explores the link (parallels & differences)between saudade (in fado) and duende, from the musicologist Paul Vernon :

http://www.bolingo.org/audio/texts/fr105fado.html

There's also a Wikipedia entry on duende. It's almost a technical term in flamenco. But there does seem to be a kinship between fado ("fate"), deep emotional expression, death, saudade, duende...