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The Quiet Place Book Club: Stranger Faces by Namwali Serpell

Thursday 26 August 2021, 8.00PM

Join us for the August meeting of The Quiet Place Book Club, where we will discuss Stranger Faces (Transit books, 2020) by Namwali Serpell. 

In Stranger Faces, Professor of English at Harvard University Namwali Serpell taps into the "contemporary mythology of the face". Written in a collection of speculative essays, Serpell makes an emphatic philosophical inquiry into two recurring and opposed traditions: our obstinate faith in The Ideal Face and our resolute desire to dismantle it. By radicalising the faces of failure as an object of art, Serpell fascinates us as she instructs our discovery of pleasures in faces that appear strange and unfamiliar to us. 

"Art, like everything, is entangled with capital. But it isn't limited to it. While Kant argued against objectifying people, he also argued that the beauty of art is not a means to an end, that it does not satisfy desire, but is rather "purposive without purpose". Art isn't just a commodity, an object to be bought and sold, in order to satiate some craving; it's a creation and an experience. It moves, and it moves us. It is this fugitive aspect of the face as art - its fleeting, fleeing quality, the sense that it is always turning into, or toward, or away from - that I hope to evoke in these pages."

You can purchase a copy of Stranger Faces from Fox Lane Books. Please register in advance for this meeting. Everyone is welcome!

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Location: Online via Zoom