In this week’s newsletter: stuttering, silence, eye and ear candy, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
Wow I must get back home and soon I've got an idea

Hey y’all,

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week: 

  1. I’ve started thinking about my son’s stutter as “Our Stutter,” because it’s something we share. And thinking about stuttering has made me think a lot about silence: Silence as ear cleaning, silence and street sweeping, silence as a space for something to happen.
  2. Books: I’m making my way through Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space. For the bookshelf, I wrote about David Epstein’s instant classic, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. Edward Carey’s The Swallowed Man is out now — it was one of my favorite books I read last year
  3. PBS’s American Masters released 1000+ hours of never-before-seen interviews
  4. It’s been a year since Jason Polan died. I’m still thinking about him.
  5. Geeta Dayal on composer Harold Budd.
  6. Ear candy: I’m learning Debussy’s “Deux Arabesques” on piano, so I was reading a bit about him in Alex Ross’s The Rest is Noise and “The Velvet Revolution of Claude Debussy.” (John Cage: “Somebody asked Debussy how he wrote music. ‘I take all the tones there are, leave out the ones I don't want, and use all the others.” Me: “You sure left a heck of a lot in, Claude.”)
  7. Eye candy: Nina Katchadourian’s new art show and a 10 billion pixel scan of Vermeer’s masterpiece Girl with a Pearl Earring.
  8. Thank you to my friends who told me to watch Derek DelGaudio’s In and Of Itself without reading anything about it beforehand. (I suggest you do the same!)
  9. I’m honored to be on this excellent list of newsletters my friend Alan Jacobs reads, and after reading Robin Rendle on newsletters and about the stupid Instagram algorithm, I am very grateful to own this piece of my own turf online.  
  10. RIP actress Cicely Tyson. Her memoir, Just As I Am, came out just a few days ago. Her advice to the young? “I always try to be true to myself.”
Thanks for reading. This newsletter is free, but not cheap. To show your support, you can forward it to someone who’d like it, listen to the new audiobook trilogy (or get the books in paperback), shop for some of my favorite gear (I get a cut), or buy a t-shirt.

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PS. We expect too much from January and not enough from February!
repeat after me I'm going to salvage a victory from my slow start
Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is the author of Steal Like An Artist and other books.

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