The past few months we’ve been following T Clutch Fleischmann’s blog over at The Kenyon Review, where, in a series of posts titled “But is it an essay?”, Fleischmann has assembled a collection of genre-bending or otherwise esoteric texts: Marina Abramovic’s “The Artist is Present” performance, staged at the Museum of Modern Art, in which the artist sat silently with museum-goers, staring into their eyes; Ira Sachs’s film “Last Address,” an elegy for twenty-eight artists lost to AIDS, presented through footage of the buildings they inhabited; the Voyager Golden Record, a compendium of human speech, music, and sounds launched into space with the probe in 1977; and choreographer Miguel Gutierrez’s “Everyone,” a percussive, fourth-wall-breaking piece for nine performers.

Fleischmann, the author of the 2012 book-length lyric essay Syzygy, Beauty poses the titular question to a wide spectrum of writers, including Titi Nguyen, Mario Alberto Zambrano, Margot Singer, and many others. See the debate for yourself over at The Kenyon Review, starting with the first installment of the series.