Brian Dillon is a writer. His latest book Affinities: On Art and Fascination will be published in spring 2023 by the New York Review of Books and Fitzcarraldo Editions, London. He is working on a book about Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love.
Brian Dillonis a writer and critic, and UK editor of Cabinet magazine. He is the curator of the touring show ‘Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing’, which tours to Newlyn & The Exchange, Penzance (25 January – 26 April). A collection of his essays, Objects in This Mirror, was published recently by Sternberg Press.
There is a resurgence of interest in the essay, with collections by Jonathan Lethem, John Jeremiah Sullivan and the first biography of David Foster Wallace all published this year. Is it possible to define a form that stretches from Michel de Montaigne to Wayne Koestenbaum, from Virginia Woolf to Chris Marker? Brian Dillon surveys this enigmatic field, and asks whether this centuries-old tradition might be the genre of the future