Joan Fuster’s essays constitute the observatory from which he examined the world, human beings and the life of society. In this observatory-cum-laboratory, Fuster used linguistics, culture, aesthetics, the sociopolitical context and history to construct his theory of social reality. He often focussed on literary phenomena – authors, genres, movements, styles and publishing processes – in the context of the vast process of social praxis, an ambit in which no element can be innocently isolated from any other, from the whole in which all things are interrelated. Fuster’s conception of literature thus adopts a perspective of complexity in which the idea of writers being socially engaged, of great influence at the time, is filtered by means of critical examination. This examination includes highly diverse and often contradictory factors that the author tries to balance against each other with an intellectual honesty that turns paradoxes into the driving force behind his writing.