I have been in recent years the author of a bestiary and director of some atlas projects; I’ve written criticism, editorials, reports from a few front lines, letters, a great many political essays for Tomdispatch.com in particular, more personal stuff, essays for artists’ books, and more. As nonfiction – that leftover term apotheosizing fiction – gets defined down as only memoir and essay, I’ve wanted to open it back up again, to claim it as virtually everything else.

Nonfiction is the whole realm from investigative journalism to prose poems, from manifestos to love letters, from dictionaries to packing lists. This territory to which I am, officially, consigned couldn’t be more spacious, and I couldn’t be more pleased to be free to roam its expanses. And maybe the variety of forms here is part of the book’s breadth along with its geographical range.

Calling this anthology an encyclopedia was a way to call attention to its range and maybe imagine these almost thirty essays as entries in an extremely incomplete encyclopedia. Essays explore; they also define; every entry is an entry in the author’s personal encyclopedia. Here is the latest volume of mine.

uit: Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness, Rebecca Solnit

Schrijven is raadselachtig, deze woorden van Rebecca Solnit begrijp ik, ik voel ze aan. De wereld komt je op een bepaalde manier onwezenlijk voor, wat kan een schrijver anders doen dan reizen door landschappen vol informatie? Hij verzamelt, hij selecteert en ordent, categoriseert, definieert, tagt… every entry an entry in the author’s personal encyclopedia. Zelfgeschreven lijkt me niet strikt noodzakelijk, tenzij informatie daarom smeekt.