Last month I published a series of ten lyric essays at Fictionaut. The collection, ELECTRIC DELIRIUM, was an experiment that I undertook for the sake of better understanding the work of two influential thinkers. Here was the basic approach:
1. Take one page of notes from Lee Thayer’s, LEADERSHIP: THINKING, BEING, DOING noting interesting phrases, ideas, questions, diagrams, etc.
2. Take one page of notes on one precis from E.M. Cioran’s A SHORT HISTORY OF DECAY noting interesting phrases, ideas, questions, diagrams, etc.
3. Read the notes separately and taken together. What happens when these two mental models rub up against each other? What thought-path bubbles to the surface? How can I make a connection between Thayer’s, Cioran’s, and my own thought?
4. Make the connection. Make it work. Make is real. Make it strong.
5. Write the essay, but let the mind express the manifestation of the thoughts as it will. Blend story (both personal and fictional) with idea (sticking closely to the previously made connection) to create a piece that revolves around the intellectual connection between the two thinkers in the context of some unfolding narrative (in this case, a troupe of actors preparing for a performance).
6. Edit profusely: trim fat, grease, skin, gristle.
All in all, the results are satisfying, although I found myself making last minute edits even minutes before uploading each piece to Fictionaut. Now that they are public, I feel I can let them be, but fleshy essays like these, for me, are perpetual works-in-progress. I received some constructive and positive feedback from certain essays and for that I am content.
Although the link to my Tumblr where I have neatly arranged all of the essays has been given above, here it is again, if you are interested in reading ELECTRIC DELIRIUM.