Imagine a type of writing so hard to define its very name means a trial, effort or attempt.
An ancient form with an eye on the future, a genre poised between tradition and experiment.
The essay wants above all to wander, but also to arrive at symmetry and wholeness; it nurses competing urges to integrity and disarray, perfection and fragmentation, confession and invention.
How to write about essays and essayists while staying true to these contradictions?
ESSAYISM is a personal, critical and polemical book about the genre, its history and contemporary possibilities.
It's an example of what it describes: an essay that is curious and digressive, exacting yet evasive, a form that would instruct, seduce and mystify in equal measure.
Among the essayists to whom he pays tribute - from Virginia Woolf to Georges Perec, Joan Didion to Sir Thomas Browne - Brian Dillon discovers a path back into his own life as a reader, and out of melancholia to a new sense of writing as adventure.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 152 pages
- Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
- Publication Date: 07/06/2017
- Category: Literary essays
- ISBN: 9781910695418