Quotes by: Teju Cole

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The original sense of the word 'influence' is 'to flow into.' For the most part, these writers that I admire... their style flows into me without my intervention, which is what explains the broad range of writers who I've been compared with; it reflects my reading.
Teju Cole
I am a novelist. I traffic in subtleties, 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.
Teju Cole
When I write, I have a sort of secret kinship of readers in all countries who don't know each other but each of whom, when they read my book, feels at home in it. So I write for those readers. It's almost a sense of writing for a specific person, but it's a specific person who I don't know.
Teju Cole
For purposes of marketing, writers are designated as poets, novelists, or something else. But writing is about matchmaking, an attempt to marry sensations with apt words.
Teju Cole
Old-school hip hop, i.e., whatever was popular when you were nineteen, is great. Everything since then is intolerable.
Teju Cole
In 'Open City,' there is a passage that any reader of Joyce will immediately recognise as a very close, formal analogue of one the stories in 'Dubliners.' That is because a novel is also a literary conversation.
Teju Cole
I'm not trying to be a poet on Twitter; I'm trying to be aware of the fact that a very simple sentence, well written, can have a very moving effect without that person knowing why. There's a deep genetic part of you that somehow, even without your permission, recognizes good language when it arrives.
Teju Cole
Barack Obama is an elegant and literate man with a cosmopolitan sense of the world. He is widely read in philosophy, literature, and history - as befits a former law professor - and he has shown time and again a surprising interest in contemporary fiction.
Teju Cole
Throughout his career, W.G. Sebald wrote poems that were strikingly similar to his prose. His tone, in both genres, was always understated but possessed of a mournful grandeur.
Teju Cole
Punitive murder by the police and by vigilantes has existed in all societies at some point, and probably still exists in most.
Teju Cole
I am suspicious of writers who say their work is original and influenced by nobody. If it is, it is probably uninteresting. The biggest source of novels is other novels.
Teju Cole
I probably get a deeper satisfaction of having taken a very good photograph than of having written something very good, a very good story. Maybe it's because the element of magic is so present in a good photograph - luck and magic, but also hard work and being ready and all that.
Teju Cole
Because I'm an art historian, I have some experience of writing that comes out of close attention. That's what really art history is. You're looking at something very closely, and you try to write in a meticulous way about it.
Teju Cole
I am on Vine. It's another early-adopter kind of thing. I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do with it. What's interesting about it is that everybody knows these amazing restrictions we've put on it: I have to use my iPhone, I can only use one continuous take, I cannot edit afterwards, I cannot put sound afterwards.
Teju Cole
Each time I caught sight of geese swooping in formation across the sky, I wondered how our life below might look from their perspective, and imagined that, were they ever to indulge in such speculation, the high-rises might seem to them like firs massed in a grove.
Teju Cole
To read Transtromer - the best times are at night, in silence, and alone - is to surrender to the far-fetched. It is to climb out of bed and listen to what the house is saying, and to how the wind outside responds. Each of his readers reads him as a personal secret.
Teju Cole
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