Marja-Leena Rathje
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a letter from Teju


My friend Teju Cole is the author of Every Day is for the Thief, which began life as a temporary blog, and was published in Nigeria last year. He is at work on another book, a novel about a young emigre psychiatrist in New York. In the meantime, he is also taking photographs, including these, which he sent me recently in this beautiful letter:

Dear Marja-Leena,

I am more conscious in spring that everything has its own life. It is most obvious with plants because that is where the visible drama is. But, because of the activity of form and color going on in them, I also notice what is happening elsewhere. The rain, the setting sun, puddles in the street, even statues: everything seems especially full of presence at this time. I would almost say that the world appears to be thinking, or lost in thought.

love,
Teju

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Thank you, Teju, for allowing me to share your letter and your powerful and mysterious photos with my readers here!

This is the perfect opportunity for me to very-belatedly mention that I purchased a copy of Teju's novel some time ago and truly felt moved and changed by his amazing words and photos, just as much as I loved his writings on his several too-temporary blogs. (Did I ever write to tell you this, Teju?)

Every Day is for the Thief is published by Cassava Republic and is available through Amazon. Here are two great reviews, by Languagehat and by Ethan Zuckerman.

Marja-Leena | 29/05/2008 | 6 comments
themes: Books, Other artists, Photography


6 comments

This looks like fabulous reading and the photos are fantastic. Will have to get me a copy!!

Joan, thanks for stopping by. I think you would love the book!

The photo of the rain splashed window really calls up p.o.v. One really gets a sense of being behind someone's eyes...or thoughts? It is at once very intimate and outward looking, of the mind and the world as one.

Taina, I agree! I think the black and white also has something to do with it. Teju always does b&w, that I've seen. I've done somewhat similar photos of rain on windows in colour but the feeling is different.

Oh, how I love these, especially the fourth. Thank you, Marja-Leena and Teju, for sharing them.

Jean, thanks for stopping by and sharing your response!