Duende: a journey in search of flamenco

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Doubleday, Jan 1, 2003 - Music - 291 pages
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Jason Webster was all set to become a conventional academic when his aloof Florentine girlfriend of some years dumped him unceremoniously, and he found himself at a crossroads. Abandoning the world of libraries and the future he had always imagined for himself, he headed off instead for Spain in search of "duende", the intense emotional state - part ecstasy, part desperation - so intrinsic to flamenco. This is an account of his years spent in Spain feeding his obsessive interest in flamenco: he subjects himself to the tyranny of his guitar teacher, practicing for hours on end until his fingers bleed; he becomes involved in a passionate affair with Lola, a flamenco dancer (and older woman) married to the gun-toting Vicente, only to flee Alicante in fear of his life; in Madrid, he falls in with gypsies and meets the imperious Jess. Joining their dislocated, cocaine-fuelled world, stealing cars by night and sleeping away the days in tawdry rooms, he finds himself spiralling self-destructively downwards. It is only when he arrives in Granada bruised and battered, after two years total immersion in the flamenco lifestyle that he is able to put his obsession into context.

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Duende: a journey into the heart of flamenco

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At the start of this coming-of-age journal, twentysomething, American-born Webster is recovering from the abrupt and unexpected end of his first serious love affair and anticipating a predictable ... Read full review


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