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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Jason Webster is in his early thirties. He divides his time between Oxford and Valencia. Duende is his first book.Review:
Few things are more beguiling than the click of heels, the harsh but heartfelt voice and the often discordant sounds of the guitar overlaid with complex rhythmic handclaps. Flamenco, a noble tradition - the gypsy equivalent of the blues - has had something of a bad press, thanks to the watered-down tourist version and its denigration by Spaniards who despised the gypsies. But now tangos and alegr as have once more captured our imagination - in Spain and beyond - as witnessed by the number of flamenco acts that have toured recently. In Duende, Webster packs his guitar and travels to Spain to mend his broken heart and discover the essence of flamenco. He practises till his fingers bleed and indulges in the lifestyle that accompanies this mysterious - and quintessentially Spanish - art form.
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Descrizione libro Doubleday, 2003. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110385603614