'Don't you think that what's happening in our very country is about ideas?' asked the professor. 'All too often ideas harden into rigid ideologies and these become used to justify all sorts of atrocities.' This is the story of 'Duende', of the teeming philosophical and artistic ideas taking Europe by storm during the 1920s and 1930s, that led in Spain to the harsh political and military reality of one of the most brutal civil wars on record. Two artists, Nayo (a painter) and Jose (a philosopher) fall in love and together wrestle with the 'duende', the force within art that evokes the essential experience of life in the face of the dread certainty of death. Many of their friends, including Salvador Dali, Ortega y Gasset and, most crucially, Frederico Garcia Lorca, are struggling with the same issue in their art, nourished by the escalating violence in their country, and across Europe as a whole, that proportionately threatens their own existence. Frederico Lorca's poetry and plays were considered 'unSpanish' by traditionalists and he was duly murdered by a death squad at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. In Lizzie Eldridge's hands, 'Duende' is a consummate attempt in itself to capture the 'duende', the mechanics of constructing authentic art within the spirit of intellectual enquiry as to what life really means, and against the shadow of cataclysmic destruction.
Publish Date: 01, Dec 2011
Page Count: 352