Occasional Desire

Essays

By David Lazar
(University of Nebraska Press, Paperback, 9780803246386, 218pp.)

Publication Date: September 2013

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Description

In his new collection of essays, Occasional Desire, David Lazar meditates on random violence and vanished phone booths, on the excessive relationship to jewelry that links Kobe Bryant and Elizabeth Taylor, on Hitchcock, Francis Bacon, and M. F. K. Fisher. He explores, in his concentrically self-aware, amused, and ironic voice, what it means to be occasionally aware that we are surviving by our wits, and that our desires, ulterior or obvious, are what keep us alive. Lazar also turns his attention on the essay itself, affording us a three-dimensional look at the craft and the art of reading and writing a literary form that maps the world as it charts the peregrinations of the mind.

Lazar is especially interested in the trappings of memory, the trapdoors of memory, the way we gild or codify, select, soften, and self-delude ourselves based on our understanding of the past. His own process of selection and reflection reminds us of how far this literary form can take us, bound only by the limits of desire and imagination.
 

 




About the Author
David Lazar is the director of the nonfiction writing program at Columbia College Chicago, a professor in the Department of English, and the editor of "Hotel Amerika," He is the author of "The Body of Brooklyn" (Iowa, 2003), "Michael Powell: Interviews," "Conversations with M. F. K. Fisher," and a book of prose poems, "Powder Town," Four of his essays have been named Notable Essays of the Year by "Best American Essays,"
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