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Double Take
By Teju Cole
A blog on vision, visuality, and visual culture
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Dreezus

I know I got a bad reputation. Walk around always mad reputation.

I’m aware I’m a wolf.

I had this vision in my sleep, and saw how many great waters fell from heaven.

The first struck the ground about four miles away from me with such a terrible force, enormous noise, and splashing that it drowned the entire countryside. I was so greatly shocked at this that I awoke before the cloudburst.

Something strange is happening. (Blood on the leaves.)

And the ensuing downpour was huge. Some of the waters fell some distance away and some close by. And they came from such a height that they seemed to fall at an equally slow pace.

The inscription on the Bremen self-portrait reads: “Where the yellow spot is, to which I point with my finger, there it hurts.”

The wound in Christ’s side was a question of recognition—evidence for the doubters. Recognition was also what was at stake in the matter of money.

If it’s for myself, I would have been cool just sitting in Nike not getting no royalties. When I’m having negotiations and then I go and look in my daughter’s eyes, when I go and negotiate after that I’m like, “Oh y’all ain’t finna talk to me like that. We finna get this money right.”

His colophon to the 1511 Life of the Virgin is unrestrained:

Hold! You crafty ones, strangers to work, and pilferers of other men’s brains. Think not rashly to lay your thievish hands upon my works. Beware! Know you not that I have a grant from the most glorious Emperor Maximillian, that not one throughout the imperial dominion shall be allowed to print or sell fictitious imitations of these engravings?

Y’all niggas can’t fuck with me. Y’all niggas can’t fuck with ‘Ye.

Listen! And bear in mind that if you do so, through spite or through covetousness, not only will your goods be confiscated, but your bodies also placed in mortal danger.

I am a god.

But the very first water that hit the ground so suddenly had fallen at such velocity, and was accompanied by wind and roaring so frightening, that when I awoke my whole body trembled and I could not recover for a long time.

God! God! God! God!

His dream of the flood was on June 8, 1525. The dream perhaps was linked to the astrological panic of the previous year, when many contemporary prognosticators, noting a strange conjunction of the planets in Pisces, feared an apocalyptic flood.

(Aquinas notes in the Summa that dreams may be caused by the influence of heavenly bodies.)

They say I’m possessed. It’s an omen.

The first Transit of Venus since the nineteenth-century was observed on June 8, 2004 and—a further coincidence to trouble the pattern-seeking mind—it was also on a June 8, in 1977, that the other man was born.

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