In this week’s newsletter: platitudes undone, not throwing it all in the fire, and more...

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A newsletter from the desk of Austin Kleon
the purpose of this volume

Hey y’all,

This week, man. Day 56 almost broke me. Lots of freaky dreams. Drawing a self-portrait every day. Making zines. Trying to keep it on the one.

Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing: 

  1. Not everything will be okay, but some things will.
  2. I’d read both of Shirley Jackson’s most famous novels, The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but I was not ready for how much I loved her book about motherhood, Life Among The Savages. It was so funny I would stop and read excerpts out loud to my wife until she read it, too. Looking forward to reading the sequel, Raising Demons. (I also enjoyed the introduction of Ruth Franklin’s biography of Jackson.)
  3. David Sedaris’s essay about book tour, “Themes and Variations.”
  4. Every piece of art you love exists because someone didn’t throw it in the fire or somebody pulled it out of the flames.
  5. Anne Truitt on not judging an artist’s work right away, but letting them “circle the airport.”
  6. These few months have proven to me again how little connection there is between my “productivity” and my happiness. One thing I have noticed, though: I can be happy if my output is weak, but I’m rarely happy when my input is weak.
  7. Some great news: my friends at Bookpeople are shipping from the store again, which means you can order signed copies of my books from them again.
  8. Ear candy: I am diving into the world of musician Robert Wyatt. I love his album, Shleep, which was produced by one of my heroes, Brian Eno. (Another Eno collaborator, Robert Fripp, has started a YouTube channel to share an ambient work every week. Oh, and somehow, I think I forgot to mention Eno and his brother Roger have an album out, too.)
  9. Eye candy: We watched Jaws as part of our favorite movies in black and white series, and it was delightful. We also watched The Lighthouse, which is already in black and white. I can’t say I recommend it, exactly, but I do think the world is more interesting with it in it. (Plus, it’s perfect for quarantine memes.)  
  10. RIP Florian Schneider, co-founder of Kraftwerk. His music has meant so much to me and my boys. Very grateful to him. While Computer World is my favorite album, I’ve been listening to Trans Europe Express all day. (Here is a playlist of “Papa’s Favorite Kraftwerk Songs” I made for my son Owen.)
Thanks for reading. This newsletter is free, but not cheap. To show your support, forward it to someone who’d like it or buy some of my books.

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observe the self-mending memory
Austin Kleon

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

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