On Not Knowing

This episode of High Theory is an edited recording of a book launch event with Emily Ogden for her new book On Not Knowing: How to Love and Other Essays (U Chicago Press, 2022).

The online event took place on Thursday 7/14/22 at 1pm ET.

On Not Knowing is a suite of personal essays on the value of not knowing. Each begins with the phrase “How to” – “How to Catch a Minnow”; “How to Give Birth”; “How to Elude Your Captors.” Rather than the defensiveness of willful ignorance, this collection celebrates the defenselessness of not knowing yet—possibly of not knowing ever. Ultimately, this book shows how resisting the temptation of knowingness and embracing the position of not knowing becomes a form of love.

In the episode she talks about the psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott, David Russell’s book Tact: Aesthetic Liberalism and the Essay Form in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Princeton UP, 2019), Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless NightsBrian Blanchfield’s Proxies (Nightboat Books, 2016), and the biblical Book of Revelations.

Image: © 2022 Saronik Bosu