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Eating the other

Duende: A Journey in Search of Flamenco - Jason Webster

Webster's account of his journey to Spain in search of spiritual nourishment and escape from the dreary, unhealthy life of academia treats of his painful struggle to become a flamenco guitarist, and his encounters with aficionados, Gypsies and Travellers.

Webster, naïve and at times irritating, is an unlikely guide on this journey, and his world-eating attitude is typical of the colonial tourist. I was shocked by his harsh account of the Gypsies he met, but he could not make me share his admiration for the drug-addled car thief. This is 'honest' but ignorant. It is clueless about disparities in ways of knowing. It is othering without 'judgement'.

Webster is comparable, in his self-important abjection, to Henry Miller. Many readers enjoy Henry Miller, so... fill yer boots.