The text tells us this is Venice, or more precisely Giudecca, but what we see is an empty arcade, a distant tower, and the long shadow of the photographer. It is a scene with an understated surrealism, like a painting of de Chirico, but both photo and adjacent text are by Teju Cole. Giudecca, writes Cole, means ‘“Jewry,” though there’s no proof a Jewish community ever lived here’. In the act of scanning the photo’s negative, however, this absence takes on a different meaning. ‘I get an unexpected text message from A,’ the text continues, ‘who is a doctor: “One of my patients is a holocaust survivor. 93 years old. Still has PTSD and screams at night”.’
Louis Klee reviews 'Blind Spot' by Teju Cole
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Louis Klee was born in Canberra, and lives in Melbourne. In 2016 he was awarded the Anne Edgeworth Young Writers Fellowship. He has studied play-writing at NIDA and is an MFA writing candidate at the VCA. He earned a Bachelor of Philosophy at the ANU. His poetry has appeared in Meanjin, Cordite, Gargouille, among other places, and his plays have been shortlisted for prizes such as The Silvergull Award. He is currently working on his first full-length collection of poems.
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