This is the first book of essays by a major new Irish non-fiction writer from the West of Ireland, comparable to the celebrated Kilkenny essayist Hubert Butler first published by The Lilliput Press and subsequently widely acclaimed. Gerard McCarthy's writing is no less distinguished than Butler's. McCarthy writes of his book: "Perhaps the Philosophers who had the most enduring influence on me were the contrary figures of Nietzsche and Marcus Aurelius. The reading of each was an antidote to the other, but I was drawn to both by an instinctive affinity.They were augmented subsequently by the gargantuan figure of Michel de Montaigne. My interest has continued to be in the region where Philosophy merges into Literature, with a preference for a language of metaphor rather than of abstract reasoning.These eight essays were written over the course of more than a decade.The fact that they have all been published in the one place, by the good offices of Irish Pages, has allowed me see the continuity between them, and to hope that they might be seen by the reader to form a unity."