Thursday 16 September 2010

Finding My “Duende” in Lorca’s Country

I have just come back off holiday. I’ve been to the place that actually got me writing in the first place. I went slightly blocked but have come back with some new energy and some new resolve. The writing has to be the most important thing, the bottom line. That is the resolve. What I need to write is now also clearer.
The south of Spain, Andalucía, is the place for inspiration, whatever that may be. Lorca certainly found his “duende” there. This is a type of spiritual, almost demonic influence. The angel and the muse come together, with the devil looking on. Nietzsche is in there too. Is that what was there for me in 1988 when I first started writing Jason’s Crystal?
I think much of it has to do with the very relaxing atmosphere. The sun cheers, the heat and the good food makes one sleepy and dreams are vivid and revealing. Ideas come because they have more time to fester. There is even a touch of the devil because it is all wickedly indulgent.
We go to Nerja, not that far from Granada where Lorca lived at one time. Although it is geared up to the holiday industry and although they cope well with people of many nationalities, this is still the real Spain. It is a little strange and a little different and it takes you out of yourself – just enough to let a few creative ideas come through. Often movement seems to trigger ideas. Poincaré himself, that great recorder of his own creative process, a mathematician, recalls that he found the answer to a question with which he had been grappling for some time as he stepped on to a bus when going out on a “jolly” whilst attending an academic conference.
Perhaps linked with this, too, is the opportunity that holidays offer us to daydream. Nerja in particular and Andalucía in general provide that in heaps.
Yes, I came back raring to go. Maybe all writers need the opportunity to work with their “duende”.

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