On Brian Dillon’s “Affinities”

Alana Pockros at the LA Review of Books:

As Dillon explains at the outset of Affinities, he decided to write this collection after reflecting on his own writing career. Dillon, a professor of creative writing at Queen Mary University of London and an author of eight books, has spent more than 20 years writing about visual art for magazines, books, and exhibition catalogs. Over the course of his long tenure as an art critic and essayist, he found himself not only using the word “affinity” as an adjective when speaking or writing but also bringing forth the vague practice of it, particularly when trying to draw connections between artists’ work and their studio ephemera, personal notes, and historical anecdotes. “How to describe, as a writer, the relation it seemed the artists had with their chosen and not chosen,” Dillon asks in the book’s first essay, which continues intermittently throughout the collection, alternating with essays on the first noted photograph of a person, an illustration of a fly’s eyeball, professional street photos, and other artworks which have inexplicably clung to Dillon’s mind.

more here.