英国散文家亚瑟・本森讲过一个小故事：一位巡游市镇的招牌涂装师此番兴致勃勃地来到一家他熟知的乡间旅社，几个月来他已目睹这家旅社的招牌逐渐招灰褪色。正当他打算施展专业技能把破旧的招牌涂装一新之时，他惊讶地发现旅店老板已经先他一步把招牌自行翻新。带着一丝紧张，旅店老板满心希望获得涂装师的夸赞，不料涂装师却一脸不满地说：好像是有人自己给做了啊。亚瑟・本森紧接着告诉我们，涂装师的这句揶揄恰恰包含了关于 “essay” 写作的全部秘密；而我们也从这个小故事中联想到切线对 “essay” 这一文体的祈望：勇敢涵养一种独立的自我趣味、与专业主义写作保持一种不稳定的乃至紧张的关系、对包含不确定性的事物的大胆尝试和小心呵护。
Tangent Essays is an online and paper-based publishing platform that periodically features writings about architecture. We encourage independent writing, nuanced language and creative freedom, with the aim of inspiring earnest inquiry and generous feedback, and of nourishing a sensibility and discernment that keep us aware of the constant connections between things. We take an interest in architecture and all the areas that architecture claims, has claimed or has yet to claim to be in touch with.
Arthur Benson, an English essayist, tells a short story about a traveling sign painter who kept returning to a country inn he knew well. For months he had been eyeing the fading signboard with growing excitement. Just as he thought it was about time for him to put his professional skills to work, he was surprised to find that the innkeeper had already restored the sign himself. The innkeeper anxiously awaited the painter’s praise, but received a disgruntled remark from the latter in return: “This looks as if someone had been doing it himself.” Benson goes on to tell us that the painter’s derision holds all the secrets of essay writing. We take this little story as a reminder of what Tangent Essays aspires to through the genre of the essay: the courage to cultivate independent thinking, an unstable and perhaps even antagonistic relationship with excessive professionalism in writing, the audacity to experiment with and the tenderness towards things that entail uncertainty.
- Tangent Essays promises a literary quality rich in vitality and levity: it is words that are ultimately capable of taking themselves to distant places beyond mere words.
- Tangent Essays anticipates a reading experience at the limen between entrancement and delightful bewilderment.
- Tangent Essays resists, with controlled aggression; it whispers the ineffable.
- A snowball, rolling (tangentially) … Liberation!
We pay our authors 3000 RMB per published essay.