Ander Monson:: Essay as Hack

Ander Monson gives so much to think about I find myself too jittery to type, too ready to stand up and walk around just to let myself think about my own essays, what they mean, how they mean, what they are, how they are, and how they could be/need to be laid down, thought upon, digested, dissected.


I hope to return to this link for some future posts, but for now, let’s add it to the lyric essay links we are building here and let Monson’s wisdom stir around in our glasses of afternoon air–breathe: the air is good here, unhealthy, but good for essayistic lungs:

And what about the lyric essay? Have we forgotten it? It proceeds in chunks, disconnected fragments. It pauses, tacks around the subject or dead-end through white space.

In some ways the lyric essay is the most essay sort of essay.

Our lyric variety of the essay is a polyglot. It is pansexual. If the essay is a ball, the lyric essay is a super sticky power ball. But calling the essay lyric doesn’t add all that much. It specifies, I guess, that this essay is a lyric one. It closes down some of the dimensions through which essay might move.

Essay itself is already polymorphic. It is oversexed in its potential union with anything: polemic, story, treatise, argument, fact, fiction, lyric.

But lyric has freshened up the essay world, it seems, so we should be grateful.