Flamenco, as it “really” is
Cultural Theory and Concepts

Flamenco, as it “really” is

Flamenco culture, which includes cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (dance), jaleo (vocalizations), palmas (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping), but which is also inextricably linked with other fields of culture such as poetry and tauromachy (remember Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon? Still the best possible introduction to this complex cultural network) – all of them having to do with the untranslatable notion of “duende” – is known by most of us as a form of “folklore”. Continue reading

Old Books, New Ideas
Book review / Cultural Theory and Concepts

Old Books, New Ideas

Axel’s Castle, an essay by Edmund Wilson on the living literature of its time (the book was published in 1931 and never out of print) is a thrilling read. The subject has everything we can imagine to bore us today: we know, or think we know, what the good modern writing of the first decades of the 20th Century was; the literary essay is no longer a genre with great sex-appeal; the authors under scrutiny are literary monuments that frighten us (Yeats, Valéry, Eliot, Proust, Joyce, and Stein) and what to think of a book that aims to construct a canon, something of which we are now afraid? Continue reading

Faking It? On the pseudo of much neo
Book review / Cultural Theory and Concepts

Faking It? On the pseudo of much neo

Despite all the talk on the end of modernism, our basic cultural regime is still that of the new: what is new is good, the newer is always better and the best is yet to come. The craving for novelty and innovation is definitely worthwhile (after all, it is not easy to find something really new: an original idea is as difficult to find as a good man). Continue reading