Sunday 21 April 2019

Known and Strange Things: Essays, 2016, Teju Cole ***

Teju Cole writes so well, Known and Strange Things is a collection of essays neatly written, divided into four sections; Reading Things, Seeing Things, Being There and Epilogue (which consists of only one essay). In total, over 50 essays.

Here goes some of my favourites:
Aciman's Alibi: What we missed was not just Egypt. What we missed was dreaming Europe in Egypt" - what we missed was the Egypt where we'd dreamt of Europe"
Guergui Pimkhassov: ...Behind this dispiriting stream of empty images is what Russians call poshlost: fake emotion, unearned nostalgia. According to Nabokov, poshlost "is not only the obviously trashy but mainly the falsely important, the falsely beautiful, the falsely clever, the falsely attractive."
Finders Keepers: He continues expounding on photography: "Take lots  of pictures..... more instantaneous pleasure, more information, and a more cosmopolitan experience of life for huge numbers of people, but also constant exposure to illusion and intimate knowledge of fakery.
Death in the Browser Tab. But when one sees death mediated in this way, pinned down with such dramatic flair, the star is likely to be death and not the human who dies.
Bad Laws: The historical suffering of Jewish people is real - it is in fact one of the most uncontroversially horrific instances of persecution in human experience-but it does not in any way justify the present oppression of Palestinians by Israeli Jews

Teju basically and elegantly wrote about the many things that he is interested in, places he's been to, people he's met, photography, politics, and a bit about his personal life.

I must also admit that there are quite a few topics he narrated on that are not of my interest, however, I'd recommend if you are looking for interesting well written collection of essays.

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