Book review: ‘Affinities’ by Brian Dillon

‘Affinities’ by Brian Dillon

Having enjoyed Brian Dillon’s previous books Essayism and Suppose a Sentence, I very much looked forward to this collection of essays exploring what it means to feel an affinity with a particular visual image.

The essays on various images with which Dillon feels an affinity mostly worked for me. Coincidentally, I also happened to feel a personal affinity with a few of the images described by Dillon. In particular, as a recent new (mild) sufferer myself, I found his description of the scintillating scotomas of migraine auras particularly fascinating. Most of the other images explored are of a distinctly more artistic nature, and the essays about them are excellent reading.

Dillon also offers ten separate essays investigating what it means to feel an affinity with an image. These were, to me, less interesting and, indeed, felt more like filler. But don’t let that put you off this entertaining book.

Note: I will receive a small referral fee if you buy this book via one of the above links.
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Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

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