LAMBDA Literary Reviews PROXIES by Brian Blanchfield
"A million events happen around us every day—some imperceptible (the movement of atoms), some incomprehensibly large (a witnessed car accident, a family choosing produce in the grocery store)—yet, in familiarity, they become dulled. They lose focus. We walk through our day unable to see, and therefore question, a holistic picture of the world as we are occupying it, moment by moment.
It is therefore hard to numerate the seemingly miraculous moments in Proxies in which Brian Blanchfield does exactly that. He doesn’t verbatim, translate the world around him; rather, he seeks the origin of the events, follows the train of thought around the events. He associates, and compares, and qualifies. The subtitle to the book, aptly named, is “Essays Near Knowing.” Not essays of expertise. Not even essays of critical analysis—essays in the proximity of understanding (bodily, mentally, philosophically). And near enough to knowing to also say, it is near to me, which is to say, I’m no expert. Your nearness of knowing may look different." - July Westhale for Lambda Literary