Ik lees in het voorwoord van Zadie Smiths essaybundel Feel free waarom ik van het genre houd: ze belooft ‘one’s person’s affective experience’. Als iemand goed schrijft is dat genoeg.

My evidence – such as it is – is almost always intimate. I feel this – do you? I’m struck by this thought – are you? Essays about one’s person’s affective experience have, by their vary nature, not a leg to stand on. All they have is their freedom. And the reader is likewise unusually free, because I have absolutely nothing over her, no authority. She can reject my feelings at every point, she can say: ‘No, I have never felt that’ or ‘Dear Lord, the thought never crossed my mind!’

Geen poppetjes om achter te schuilen. Taal, zelf en wereld.