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In Search of El Duende

Posts tagged: Enrique Pallares

Winter 2022 Letter

This compilation of letters have come to be my favorite corner of our website, which we have titled “In Search of el Duende.” The title is, of course, a nod to Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, who worked, perhaps more than anyone, to communicate the meaning of duende, a term that has been deemed by many not only untranslatable but undefinable...

Fall 2021 Letter

The table is one of the most familiar and intimate objects of our life. But familiarity often hides meaning, as we don’t really ask questions about familiar things in the way that we ask questions about strange ones. We are used to them and therefore we don’t wonder what they...

Spring 2021 Letter

To say something is “drinkable” often sounds as if one is saying that it is barely palatable. Instead, winemakers and critics often favor adjectives like nuanced, complex, subtle, sublime, layered, deep, unique, etc. And there is nothing inherently wrong with these adjectives. The problem is that they oftenreflect a preference for...

Winter 2021 Letter

It is said that when travelers arrived to visit the great philosopher Heraclitus in his home, they were astounded at finding him sitting in his kitchen. They stood on the doorway, perplexed at seeing him in such a humble place. But he invited them in saying, “here too the gods are...

Summer 2020 Letter

Citizenship, Wendell Berry wrote in 1968, “requires devotion and dedication, and a certain inescapable bewilderment and suffering… But it begins at home.” For him, this meant, quite literally, the care of one’s home and family, one’s relationship to nature and community. Polarization is, in fact, the result of a perversion...

Summer 2019 Letter

It is said that ancient inhabitants of the Roman province of Hispania were known for their uncanny mispronunciation of the word vivere (to live) as bibere (to drink). This is why Julius Caesar used to say “Beati hispani quibus vivere est bibere” (Lucky the ‘Hispanians’, for whom living is drinking)....