I can't find a dictionary that defines "essayism" even though it's obvious what it means after you take a pretty standard leap from "essayist," which I can't find a dictionary that doesn't define. Regrettably, since I didn't take a creative non-fiction class at my Northeastern liberal arts college when I actually had the chance five years ago, I don't know how to write essays that will induce people I never met to refer to me, many years after my death, as an essayist. The whole reason I got up this morning was to write an essay that wasn't about me, but about tennis or a cruise ship I whined during.
Part One: Essayism is a Disease, Like Botulism Or Something
In 1890, Arthur Machen published the horror novella The Great God Pan in a magazine called The Whirlwind. Because this work wasn't a novel, early twenty-first century writers felt it was a failure, since modern theory holds that, due to the decay of value in subjective standards, a work of art is only as good as it is quantifiably big. For example, a 12x12 foot painting is better than a 12x12 inch painting, a thirty minute song is better than a three minute song, and a five-million word text is better than a five-thousand word text.
Here's an insider tip from celebrity chef Guy Fiery about how to pad your text: instead of cutting straight to the chase, perform some sort of throat-clearing in the shape of a 110-word comment on how you feel about the genre the thing you're writing falls into. For example, if you are writing an essay, discuss first how you are not good at writing essays or something. If you are writing a novel, you might compose a preface examining the development of the modern novel, and compare early texts of that kind, such as Don Quixote or Tristram Shandy, pointing out that they are technically novels because their word count is greater than 75,000, whereas if they were 7,500-17,000 words you'd be looking at a couple of novelettes, according to science fiction award-giving system "The Nebula Awards."
Part Two: Daily Doofus Van Rental
My website is happy to offer you the best deals on several vans you can rent for various low prices. We have a number of medallion-levels, with the lowest having the title of "Admiral." In this level, you can rent the Chevrolet Royalta at thirty dollars for the first hour, and $24.99 for each additional hour. The Royalta comes with seven dozen cup holders, anti-flipping buttress technology, a fire escape, a narthex, a cashew dispenser, five wheels if you include the steering wheel, a very thin coating of colored matter all over the outside of the dang vehicle, and a picture of the following van:
Part Three: Interview With Person I Immediately Describe Physically
As I stepped from the K train onto West 21st Street, I saw Yell G. Harz waiting there in his standard blue chiffon topcoat, wale-stitched harp-cuff pantalonies, and a stunning crepe weft ribbon sloped forehead-flounce. The two of us decided to wait forty five minutes for two really high stools at the bar to maybe open up at the latest reason to move to New York City, a gastroentero-pub called Plum, where a combination of six dozen human voices all attempting to wail units of smalltalk at once, and the noise-deflecting tile walls that ricocheted high-volume style music into everyone, suggested the idea that we conduct the interview on the sidewalk where a person might find a place to engage in human being type stuff.
With his bone-dry wit, Yell turned to me and said, "We're not in Kansas anymore," referring to a 1939 Victor Fleming film, adding, "Seriously, only in New York."
I think I'm allowed to be sarcastic, but if you expose Part Three to the Schranz Test, where you flip the meaning of the sarcastic statement to find out what is sincerely meant, you'll get some equally snarky nonsense, which means the original fails the test, which means the essay should be abolished by one of David F. Wallace's numerous anti-irony essays. On second thought, can it be that the point of the above farce was that New York City is actually a place you shouldn't move to, or does the sincerity in that statement worry me because if you say anything sincerely, you open yourself up to sincere criticism, like by people who moved to New York and now think I think they're bad?
Part Four: Essay About Being Embarrassed By Essays That Are About Essays
One of the essays I want to include in my collection is about how I am scared of flying--I'm not as scared now as I was when I was getting drunk all the time (especially right before flying) and wasn't on well-established, socially-acceptable psychiatric medication Fluoxetine. Another one in the works is about erowid.org's collection of jimson weed experience reports, a great deal of which is a self-conscious plea that the reader doesn't mistake it for an essay about drugs, which is an annoying topic, but rather that it's an essay about essays about drugs, which may easily be an equally annoying topic, even if it's unequally novel. I'll tell you one thing, whatever it is you're reading right now, on this website, won't be in my collection of essays.
It seems so natural when other writers produce essay collections, but that could be because they have the sense to keep it a secret that the only reason they produced such a collection is so they can have a space reserved for their marble bust in the Hall of Essayists. Sadly because nobody's allowed to keep their thoughts off of the internet anymore, I have to admit to everyone that I've fetishized essayism, and want to be an essayist more than I want to write essays, just like how a person with a tie-dye t-shirt of a ganj-leaf smoking a bong may very well want to be a stoner more than they want to smoke ganj.
I'm writing a few other essays too, but won't let them get in the way of Fat Soap Wax Flesh.
"'You can trust me,' R.V. says, watching her hand."