Essayism: On Form, Feeling, and Nonfiction

Brian Dillon
Published in 2018
by New York Review Books

“Imagine a type of writing so hard to define its very name should be something like: an effort, an attempt, a trial. Surmise or hazard, followed likely by failure.” In roving and fragmentary prose, Brian Dillon approaches the work of essayists including Roland Barthes, Michel de Montaigne, Jacques Derrida, Joan Didion, Elizabeth Hardwick, Georges Perec, W. G. Sebald, Susan Sontag, William Carlos Williams, and Virginia Woolf, to demonstrate the expansiveness of the form and its distinctive possibilities as a medium for exploring new ideas.