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Taras Prokhasko: "Essayism is a way to transform oneself into the laboratory of researching one's consciousness"
21.12.2019
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Taras Prokhasko: "Essayism is a way to transform oneself into the laboratory of researching one's consciousness"
The Ukrainian writer visited kmbs with a lecture within the Essay Days

“Own unique path shall be shown in an essay.    It has something common with electrical technician's working process when we are looking for some threads, transitions, wires. You have to reveal a break, find out where the drop of voltage had happened and why.  Finding correlations and keeping track of the thinking process - this is an essay. ”

 

On December 18, during the Essay Days mini-festival, Ukrainian writer Taras Prokhasko spoke about the unique features of the essay as a genre and how to write a good one.  

 

The essay started with Michel Montaigne, who was the first to examine not only what was happening to him but also paying attention to where his train of thoughts is going at that very moment.  As time went on, many variations of the essay have emerged, they got mixed with other prose forms. However, the essay can be recognized among other genres due to several features.

 

The thought path is the essence of the essay, hiding openness to the world and continuous embedded onlooking over it.  When creating an essay, the writer explores the world through himself, his personality. It is a unique thing we will not find in a report, pamphlet, research, etc. The essay is more like a crime story, because in both genres, the search starts with the question, with something concealed.  It becomes a report to oneself - how the thought performed,  what the impressions and the associations in the research continuum took place.

Since the most crucial issue in the essayistic text is not "what it was" but "what I think I had seen", the essays are not necessarily about rock-solid truth but show author's understanding of what is real.  Finally, the essayistic, without the perceived view and world-view of the author, is not an essayistic any more.  

Therefore, the significance of an essayist's work is not neglecting his personality when writing essays and judging by all knowledge, associations and memories. Essayism means transformation oneself into the laboratory for researching in one's consciousness and at the same time the creation of a thinking field for give-and-take between reader and author.

"When writing essays, I practise on  simplicity. I have no plan.  This genre is interesting for me as fixing of what is being done spur-of-the-moment.  So I write an essay in one sitting  - I know what I want to tell and swich on my associations.  Personal experiences, brain physicality and surveillance subject together in the text produce an excellent essay. " 

You can read essays by Taras Prokhasko in the collection of stories "Yes, but ...",  shortlisted in this year's Yuri Shevelyov Prize.

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