The word rolls sensually out of the mouth as a vague erotic idea. Essay stated as a writer’s activity often ambushes the next obvious and often asked question. What is it about? A casual interrogator uncertain what to do with the concept of essay often withdraws the inquiry. Essays are not plotted; the reader walks alone unguided by determinative events. Essay commonly used to describe an assignment carries the burden of argument, a defendable thesis complying to rules, as proof of acquired and disputed knowledge.
Essay of the literary kind floats over guardrails, drifts around in the ether of inner space of expanding associations as if the writer perception on mind-expanding drugs revealing the universal connectivity. The essay’s anchor grips the depths—on the surface the writer’s mind moves with the currents.
Roland Barthes’s essays, absent of representation, caress the page, engage the reader in the body of a text. The pleasure of dislocation, being lost in defamiliarization where assumptions collide with a teeming world of diverse responses to textual meaning. Barthes’ observations queries mind/language relationship.
Anne Carson crochets the ancient with present into a rosette of varying textual narratives to illustrate the vast associations. Her essay on sleep, Every Exit is an Entrance (A Praise to Sleep), seduces the reader into REM sleep shared for centuries in the mystery of dormancy common to all organisms. Carson begins her essay with a dream of childhood, travels along the many representations of sleep. “There is so much sleep to read …” Her selection process takes the reader on journeys of some of the loveliest written sleep. Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse in Time Passes renders novelistic sleep invaded by the airs. Carson’s Ode crosses genre, philosophy, poetry, fiction to reunite Odysseus and Penelope in Homer’s epic.
The core awareness central to essay writing and reading essay focuses perception the way a display lamp attached to a painting attracts the eye. Fiction dresses the field in descriptive layers of physicality. Essay walks through the field mining its historical physicality, intangible immateriality, cultural specificity.
The essay thrives along the fringe of genre like a wallflower waiting to be asked to join the party. The essay gets rediscovered frequently and in various manifestations. The essay is a compilation of language, self-conscious of its dependency on language it is not much interested in conventions and codes of representation. In fact, often rejecting the heavy lift of created worlds reorganizing memes of mimetic reality more and more difficult to define. Particularly in politics. particularly today in the digital culture where reality is up for grabs.
Essay resistance to defining binaries subverts politics dependency on universal acceptance of signs. The essay’s unpredictable paths can delight, dismay or bores the reader who prefers a responsible linear text. The pleasure in writing essay is exploration—turning into expectation leads to new discoveries. The pleasure of reading essay is voyeuristic participation gleaned in fragments, threads, pauses, along twisting roads catching sight of literary landmarks immanent in myriad associative in interactive texts.