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Essayism Paperback – 7 Jun 2017

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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions (7 Jun. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910695416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910695418
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.8 x 12.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

'one of our most innovative and elegant non-fictioneers.' - --Robert Macfarlane, author of THE OLD WAYS

'Brian Dillon could easily have written another book about the essay - its hallmarks, history, current role in literary turf wars, etc. What a relief, then, to find his ESSAYISM navigating away, in its opening pages, from such a project, and turning instead toward this surprising, probing, edifying, itinerant, and eventually quite moving book, which serves as both an autobiographia literaria and a vital exemplar of how deeply literature and language can matter in a life.' --Maggie Nelson, author of THE ARGONAUTS

From the Back Cover

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.

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