Albert Goldbarth’s first book of essays in a decade, The Adventures of Form and Content, is about the mysteries of dualities, the selves we all carry inside, the multiverses that we are. This collection takes its shape from the ACE Doubles format of the 1950s: turn this book one way, and read about the checkered history of those sci-fi and pulp fictions, or about the erotic poetry of Catullus and the gravelly songs of Springsteen, or about the high gods and the low-down blues, a city of the holy and of the sinful; turn this book the other way, and read about prehistoric cave artists and NASA astronauts, or about illness and health, or about the discovery of planets and the discovery of oneself inside an essay, or about soul ships and space ships, the dead and the living; or turn the book any way you want, and this book becomes an adventure of author and reader, form and content.
Goldbarth’s essays have pioneered and inspired new forms of nonfiction writing for thirty years. Robert Atwan, series editor for The Best American Essays, praises his work by stating, “These essays are a whole new breed. . . . Goldbarth has spliced strands of the old genre with a powerful new genre—and the results are miraculous.” The Adventures of Form and Content is a new, ingenious work of hilarity and humanity that reminds us of the capabilities and impossibilities of art.