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Kända och underliga ting de Teju Cole
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Kända och underliga ting (2016 original; edició 2017)

de Teju Cole, Erik MacQueen

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
353855,035 (4.14)45
"With this collection of more than fifty pieces on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature, Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today's most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deploying prose dense with beauty and ideas, he finds fresh and potent ways to interpret art, people, and historical moments, taking in subjects from Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, and W. G. Sebald to Instagram, Barack Obama, and Boko Haram."--Amazon.com.… (més)
Membre:Grimjack69
Títol:Kända och underliga ting
Autors:Teju Cole
Altres autors:Erik MacQueen
Informació:Stockholm : Natur & Kultur, 2017
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

Known and Strange Things: Essays de Teju Cole (2016)

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Teju Cole caught my attention last year with his fabulous "Open City", an original walk through New York, to which his Nigerian roots in particular added an extra dimension. This book is something completely different: a series of previously published essays, a colorful collection of indeed "known and strange things". I was - of course - most charmed by his reflections on writers such as James Baldwin and W.G. Sebald. Cole shows quite a bit of erudition, and what is striking again is how easily he jumps from the Western "higher" culture to the African and back. This American of Nigerian origin clearly profiles himself as "trans-identical", although he continues to maintain a special sensitivity to the inherent American racism against blacks.
The entire middle section, which mainly focuses on his passion for photography, appealed to me much less, not only because I have little affinity with it, but especially because the photos discussed were not printed themselves (you will find a small selection at the end of the book).
But then there is the last third of the book, where Cole taps into the most diverse topics. This part is sometimes very political in focus, very radical indeed. In particular former president Barack Obama is the culprit of Cole: for Cole he is not a true African American, just part of a villain political system and Cole calls him a downright mass murderer, due to the massive deployment of drones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen, killing thousands of innocent civilians. Cole is vehemently kicking against the idealized image of Obama with the (left-wing) West European intelligentsia and the "liberals" in the States. Also the entire "Cony" discussion is being revived: Cole caused quite a stir in 2012 when in a few tweets he criticized the outrage over the documentary about the brutal Ugandan children's army leader. In a kind of apologetic essay he tries to explain exactly what he meant then, namely puncturing the "White Saviour Industrial Complex".
In short: Cole certainly has an own, radical voice that is worth hearing, but I wasn't really blown away by this book. ( )
  bookomaniac | Sep 6, 2019 |
This book was an accidental find in a bookshop in which I work. What a lovely discovery. Teju Cole's topics range from books and authors to photography and politics. Throughout the book, Cole demonstrates that he has the education, intellect and writing skills to convey his thoughts to the reader in an accessible and interesting style. Some readers may accuse Cole of name-dropping or disagree with what he says and I will not argue with them. However, for me, this book was both a conversation and an education. ( )
  dwhatson | Apr 25, 2019 |
Maybe I'm not an essay reader, or maybe I need to read longer, more in-depth essays. A huge collection of 2 or 3 page essays originally written elsewhere - it felt random, even though it was divided into 3 themes. Much photography writing, which I didn't find interesting. I don't think the problem is with the essays - I may have liked them if I read them scattered here and there over time. Collecting them together was my problem.
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
I am a novelist, and my goal in writing a novel is to leave the reader not knowing what to think. A good novel shouldn't have a point.

This past Saturday my wife and I viewed the Parts Unknown episode devoted to Lagos. This viewing was obviously burdened with grief. What did my mourning betray? I spent much of the weekend lodged in such contemplation but alas Saturday I watched Anthony Bourdain traipsing the frenetic streets of the Nigerian capital.

He made allusions to the improvisational nature of the city, how it self-regulated. There was only a casual gloss to the idea that the city "policed itself". This minor point was the subject of essay late in Cole's collection. Lynching or popular justice is still somewhat common in Nigeria. Apparently it is often documented on Youtube. I told my best friend who was about to fly back from the Netherlands I wish I could unread the graphic essay. This is Cole's gift: he makes us uneasy, not expectedly like when discussing racial politics but about the reality of the fleeting human experience.

Cole name-drops, but with a deadpan air. He introduces figures, like Peter Sculthorpe of whom I wasn't at all aware. He cites lines of poetry and ruminates on why in Brazil the wait staff ignore him in a restaurant. Much of this volume is on photography which offers minimal interest to me. There is also some excellent journalism. Cole went to Harlem in 2008 the night of president Obama's election. Cole looks at his unlikely origins born in Michigan, raised in Nigeria and back to the US as a plethora of challenges and opportunities. He is haunted by his own doppelgänger: W.G. Sebald. He parses Sebald's work and reflects. there is a rich vein of estrangement in his work. perhaps in my own life. Maybe that's why even when in deep disagreement with the author, Teju Cole feels like home. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
This is a collection of more than fifty essays by the learned Teju Cole, an African-American essayist. Many of the essays introduce the reader to writing and art he or she might not have otherwise seen. There is, however, a hint of self-aggrandizement in the tone of the writing. ( )
  Smartjanitor | Jun 12, 2017 |
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"With this collection of more than fifty pieces on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature, Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today's most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deploying prose dense with beauty and ideas, he finds fresh and potent ways to interpret art, people, and historical moments, taking in subjects from Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, and W. G. Sebald to Instagram, Barack Obama, and Boko Haram."--Amazon.com.

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