Wednesday 22nd March
Topping & Company Booksellers of Edinburgh, 2 Blenheim Place, Edinburgh EH7 5JH
It is our honour to be welcoming to the Bookshop literary criticism legend, Brian Dillon. He joins us in Spring to celebrate the release of Affinities, which completes his triumphant trilogy about the intimate and abstract pleasures of reading and looking. Following Essayism and Suppose a Sentence, Affinities is written as a series of linked essays, interwoven with a reflection on affinity itself.
What do we mean when we claim affinity with an object or picture, or say that affinities exist (not only formal) between such things? What do feelings of affinity imply about individual or collective experience of art, and of the world?
Affinities is a critical and personal study of a sensation that is not exactly taste, desire, or allyship, but has aspects of all. Approaching this subject via discrete examples, Brian Dillon's book is first of all about images - mostly photographs - that have stayed with the author over many years, or grown in significance during months of pandemic isolation, when the visual field had shrunk.
Brian Dillon was born in Dublin in 1969. His books include Suppose a Sentence, Essayism, The Great Explosion (shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize), Tormented Hope: Nine Hypochondriac Lives (shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize) and In the Dark Room, which won the Irish Book Award for non-fiction. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Guardian, New York Times, London Review of Books, and Times Literary Supplement. He is UK editor of Cabinet magazine, and teaches Creative Writing at Queen Mary, University of London.