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Essays are written under the duress of saying something smart. They are no different than art but are thought of and constructed differently. The writer isn't interested in expressing an effect or multiple effects in essays. He is only interested in addressing a subject with everything he's got. He will say it this way. He will say it as if he's trying to tell a smart but ignorant person that there are things he should know.

This requires tact.

It is easy to fake these days because of the fabulous resources at hand. Bloggers have proven that the easiest writing comes from riffing off something someone else has said or written. To say something original, through a sensibility that has geared itself to say things as though it's never been said before; that is something quite different.

Essays have the taint of "leisure" to them. Montaigne and so forth. No. In our time leisure is a pervasive challenge that most people surrender to TV or games.


This is not the old world. Leisure is a kind of blood weaving through the empty air. We see the specks of it slamming against the dirty windows of old trains.



The careful beautiful that does not want to speak. Here it speaks without trying to convince anyone of anything.