Essayism: Brian Dillon and Max Porter

Brian Dillon has been fascinated by the essay form throughout his reading and writing life. His book Essayism (Fitzcarraldo Editions) is at once a paean to this venerable and still vibrant genre, and a dazzling contemporary example of it.

Dillon was in conversation about the past, present and future of the essay form with Max Porter, author of the prize-winning Grief is the Thing with Feathers (Faber).

‘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