The Ten Greatest Essays, Ever

David Shields

Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

(first published in 1878)

Alphonse Daudet, In the Land of Pain

(from a translation by Julian Barnes, Knopf, 1931)

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

(from a translation by Richard Zenith, Penguin, 1935)

Michel Leiris, Manhood: A Journey from Childhood into the Fierce Order of Virility

(from a translation by Richard Howard, University of Chicago Press, 1939)

Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave

(from Persea Books, 1944)

Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

(first published in 1913)

Blaise Pascal, Pensees

(first published in 1670)

William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature

(first published in 1902)

Stendhal, On Love

(first published in1822)

Eduardo Galeano, The Book of Embraces

(from Norton, 1992)

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About David Shields

David Shields is the author of ten books, including the best-selling The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead, Remote, The Body Politic, and Black Planet: Facing Race During an NBA Season, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His newest book, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, is an ingenious work of literary collage that has been described as “an all-out assault on tired generic conventions” by J.M. Coetzee. A contributing editor to Conjunctions, Shields regularly publishes essays in The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, Village Voice, Tin House, Harper’s, and Details, and teaches creative writing at the University of Washington, as well as in the Warren Wilson College low residency writing program. He lives in Seattle.