Essayistic writing

Living in the golden age of navel-gazing

If you are under 40, you probably already know of Joel Golby. He writes stream-of-consciousness personal essays and the satirical ‘Rental Opportunity of the Week’ column for Vice. For older readers, think, say, William Leith or Caitlin Moran. For even older readers, think maybe Thurber, Perelman or Dorothy Parker. And for the truly ancient, see Hazlitt?  Self-obsessed, self-vaunting, self-deprecating, self-excoriating: there is, of course, a long tradition of highly personal, witty, scratchy, sniffy essayistic writing going back to Montaigne and beyond. And we’re currently living through a Golden Age of Hot Take Navel Gazing. Sometimes it seems like every other book is a collection of sad, wry, funny reflections by