I was disappointed that Jay-Z’s memoir, Decoded, doesn’t go into even more detail about his days in the New York crack cocaine business. As a half-Jewish philosophy graduate raised in Hampstead, I naturally consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject. I watch The Wire, of course; but I also listen to a tremendous amount of coke rap, a subgenre in which the everyday logistics of drug distribution are described with such repetitious attention to detail that it sometimes feels like taking a seat at a corporate training seminar. I’ve never smoked, sold or synthesised crack cocaine, so it’s hard to say why coke rap is so important to me, but at this point I understand the mechanics of Jay-Z’s former vocation considerably better than I understand, for instance, what my flatmate does all day in her marketing job.
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An author bought a diary on eBay. By a stroke of luck, it formerly belonged to Dora Maar, Picasso's Weeping Woman. Her address book was still tucked inside. What a starting point for a biography, but oh! did I despair of the exclamation marks! https://literaryreview.co.uk/the-art-of-deduction @Lit_Review
Whitman 'licensed poets to place themselves centre stage in their prose, from Adrienne Rich in "What is Found There" to Susan Howe in her prose-poetry hybrids.'
In his memoir, Mark Doty replicates Walt Whitman's 'aesthetic of intimacy', says @nemoloris.
My review of James Hankins' "Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy" in this month's @Lit_Review https://literaryreview.co.uk/good-rule-hunting