Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Ask Tom #7 - Duende

At the Seattle show this last week, you started talking about a Spanish concept or term that dealt with the understanding of death and how it affected living. I was hoping to find out the Spanish word for it that you mentioned.

Hello, did I really start talking about that? Put a quarter in the slot and watch me go! I was probably referring to Duende, so for a more comprehensive answer you should probably just google it.. but I'll have a go. Duende is a 'darkness' at the core of existence, for everyone - but especially for the artist who deals in melancholy and the sadness of the soul, wrestling with the inevitability of death set against the beauty of life. Or something like that. Nick Cave is more eloquent on the subject than I am. But read up about it, because it made a lot of sense to me, and I discovered some great Spanish poetry along the way. Or it's just the day after Tuesday if you've got a cold. One of these is probably close.


P.S This is a picture of Lorca. He knew all about it.


  1. have duly googled.
    Do you know that you can get Duende Eau de Toilette?
    Or a Bogner Duende amp?

  2. ah the "duende".. so hard to define but once you have it/ it has you (more accurate) it leaves no space for doubt.. the funny thing is, it's also a creature, some kind of semi-evil spirit (is semi-evil also semi-good? mh). no scrape that there's nothing funny about it.
    it crouches within the chest, between the lungs, gnaws at the heart but also fuels it.. could go on for hours.
    tom have you heard el Camaron de la isla? one of the gods of flamenco.
    there is duende oozing from every second of Just Like Blood. even though the duende implies an awareness of death too acute to be comfortable, it's also the fire that sets Life(intense, haunted, exhalted) apart from the life(surviving without the depth).
    rambling over.
    con duende y fantasmas de fuego,

  3. What a dad joke/richard whitely type comment to make at the end tom!


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