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Teju Cole

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Stephen Shore
Harper’s Magazine
photo-eye Bookstore

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Playlist: “Take A Chance” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Profile for link. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ All great art is a provocation and a mastery. The provocation, understated or flat out, is what allows it to rise above contemporary noise, and the mastery is what allows it to last beyond its moment or even beyond its time. Together they advance the general body of emotional knowledge. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I'm listening to Coltrane, not the newly discovered album but the eponymous one recorded by the quartet in 1962. It refuses to be absorbed into aural decoration even after all this time. Its understated provocation has not faded. It's his tone, I think, a tone that is pure present tense, a matter far beyond the actual notes. Someone could play the same notes, and that has been done, and it can be impressive, and yet it feels different. Without that pained timbre (and not only pained) it's not the same thing. You can't hear Coltrane without hearing his two black grandfathers preaching in the Southern black church. It's never going to be merely nice, what would merely nice mean coming from that lineage? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Provocation and mastery. Not hostile, but not entertaining, even when beautiful. Elsewhere! Catches you unaware like a sudden flashlight in the dark. This tone of his, so completely true and felt, will be there, somehow, even after our contradictions catch up with us, even after we finally burn this world down. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The one who wrote hundreds of pages without knowing what to write. Or knowing what to write but not how to write it. As though everything written had not been written but instead pulled out of the depths. — Torrential thirst. The cistern depleted. The bucket ascends slowly, setting the darkness echoing.

New playlist: “Take A Chance” — versatile and pleasingly open, drifty, elsewhere-ish — See profile for link

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