Tall Man Out
October 14, 2020 12:33 PM   Subscribe

 
I find it interesting that the piece never explicitly states how tall Ray stood. There are quoted references to his height - "over six-feet-one" in one quote, and "tall, lanky 6’4”" in another - but the author never outright states his height. And that's fine by me because this is about perception as much as it is about the standing height of the man.
posted by thecjm at 12:55 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


Adding not to edit my previous post:

I'm curious about his specific height for personal context as much as anything. Was he my size (I'm 6'3") or was he tall-tall, like when you see an NBA centre out in public? I'm not tall-tall, but when I'm out with my 5'8" father and 5'5" mother and 5'3" partner, I tower over them. And that's the context for Ray - he's not 7 feet tall, but in the context of Bengalis born in the colonial era he might as well be.
posted by thecjm at 1:01 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


This was good. And reminded me about Popula. Like, this gem. I just donated/subscribed on their new fundraising platform Brick House.
posted by latkes at 1:24 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


I liked that essay as it is an interesting take on oft-examined artist. I think you're right thecjm, what made Ray seem so tall was his context. His obvious physical distinctiveness among people who are generally shorter but also his towering talent.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:04 PM on October 14


He also seemed to understand his physicality in a way you are more used to with, say, sports figures. I went to college with his grandson who was normal-tall.
posted by jessamyn at 5:11 PM on October 14


I'm curious about his specific height for personal context as much as anything. Was he my size (I'm 6'3") or was he tall-tall, like when you see an NBA centre out in public?

The average Indian male is five feet five inches tall based on the most recent data; in 1914 that was 5'3". Someone 6'4" in that environment is pretty much the equivalent of someone 6'10" to 7' in the USA.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:03 PM on October 14 [1 favorite]


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