Spill a Word: Duende (art)

For the love of languages… Spill a word !

Origin: Spanish

A heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity. It comes from inside as a physical/emotional response to art. It is what gives you chills, makes you smile or cry as a bodily reaction to an artistic performance that is particularly expressive.

Federico García Lorca first developed the aesthetics of Duende in a lecture he gave in Buenos Aires in 1933, “Juego y teoría del duende” (“Play and Theory of the Duende”). It is seen, in Lorca’s lecture, as an alternative to style, to mere virtuosity, to God-given grace and charm (what Spaniards call “ángel”), and to the classical, artistic norms dictated by the muse. The duende seizes not only the performer but also the audience.

He writes: “The duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. I have heard an old maestro of the guitar say, ‘The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.’ Meaning this: it is not a question of ability, but of true, living style, of blood, of the most ancient culture, of spontaneous creation.” 

Source: Deuende (art)

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