Tonight, Jonathan brings this to our attention:
Remember the example of the flamenca, duende-filled St. Teresa. Flamenca not for entangling an angry bull, and passing it magnificently three times, which she did: not because she thought herself pretty before Brother Juan de la Miseria: nor for slapping His Holiness’s Nuncio: but because she was one of those few creatures whose duende (not angel, for the angel never attacks anyone) pierced her with an arrow and wanted to kill her for having stolen his ultimate secret, the subtle link that joins the five senses to what is core to the living flesh, the living cloud, the living ocean of love liberated from time. (From Lorca's "Theory and Play of the Duende")
To me, this is a bit like Heidegger's question about the meaning of "Being". I mean, suppose these words are actually meaningful (compare: suppose Being constitutes a serious philosophical problem). Suppose that some people know about "the subtle link that joins the five senses to what is core to the living flesh" and some people do not. It's a "secret", after all. Suppose that this flesh is "the living cloud, the living ocean of love liberated from time", and suppose, importantly, that there is some problem that pertains to it. Suppose that an effort is required of us to fathom "the living ocean of love" and those who make this effort (successfully) become saints, that they deserve to become saints. Those who do do not are somehow deficient in "joining the five senses to what is core to the living flesh". (Compare, again, Heidegger: is it possible to "be" more or less?).
One of the important questions that literature raises is that of living "fully". If literature has a contribution to make this is it. I must admit that I don't always have Lorca's faith. After reading Jonathan's book, I don't even know whether the phrase "the living flesh, the living cloud, the living ocean of love liberated from time" is even Lorca's, or some translator's kitsch. But tonight it moves me. I really do wonder whether my five senses are joined properly to that ocean of love. How would I know? How would Heidegger know? What did Lorca know?