Known and Strange Things

Known and Strange Things


Book - 2016
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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."
Publisher: New York : Random House, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780812989786
Branch Call Number: 824.92 COLE
Characteristics: xvi, 393 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Essays. Selections


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Sep 20, 2016

The victim, by continuing to suffer, irritates the oppressor, who would rather be already past it.

Sep 18, 2016

Authorship, after all, is not only what is created, but what is selected.

Sep 18, 2016

Google is incessantly productive and very enthusiastic about itself. The company's bright-eyed but curiously unreassuring motto is "Don't Be Evil."

Sep 18, 2016

Few things are more mysterious than someone else's favorite film. To hear it named is to be puzzled. You appreciate its merits but not how it can be preferable to all others. Perhaps your favorite film isn't the one that you like best but the one that likes you best. It confirms you on first encounter, and goes onto shape you in some irreversible way. Often, you first see it when you're young, but not too young, and on each subsequent viewing it is a home to which you return.


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Sep 11, 2017

A collection of essays, mostly previously published in "The New Yorker". For me, the essays on photography were least interesting, with many references to obscure artists. Many essays were interesting, but some of the writing is pretentious.

Mar 27, 2017

Unbelievably good-- so diverse, smart, curious, and just plain interesting. I returned the book to the library and immediately bought a copy for my home library. I imagine I will reach for it-- and reread-- often.

Sep 20, 2016

This is a stunning collection of essays, erudite and full of unexpected connections. It's grouped in three sections, on literature; photography; and travel, place and politics. Personally I found the essays on literature and race the most engrossing, but I'm glad someone is thinking so deeply on how social media is changing photography. Every piece is deeply felt and elegantly written, but standouts include "Black Body" ( a meditation on James Baldwin), "A True Picture of Black Skin," "Brazilian Earth," and "Angels in Winter" (on Rome and Italy). Highly recommended, especially for those who loved Rebecca Solnit's The Faraway Nearby.

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