publication . Article . 2017

Walking with a purpose: the essay in contemporary nonfiction

Joe Moran;
Open Access
  • Published: 06 Jan 2017 Journal: Textual Practice, volume 32, pages 1,277-1,299 (issn: 0950-236X, eissn: 1470-1308, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Informa UK Limited
  • Country: United Kingdom
Taking John D’Agata’s and David Shields’s notion of the ‘lyric essay’ as a starting point, this article discusses Anglophone nonfiction infused by what Claire de Obaldia calls ‘the essayistic spirit’. This kind of writing – by authors such as Annie Dillard, Maggie Nelson, Rebecca Solnit, Eula Biss, Edmund de Waal and Philip Hoare - is generically hybrid, associative, poetically inflected, and rooted in both the concreteness of the world and in metaphysical and ontological questioning. It is fragmentary in form, drawing freely on other sources in a way familiar from contemporary art, music sampling and the internet. But it often has a critical relationship to the...
free text keywords: The Internet, business.industry, business, Media culture, Ontology, Sociology, Aesthetics, Instant, Contemporary art, Biography, Literature, Concreteness, Metaphysics, PN
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