Thanks Mick. I was reading a book by Chris Marker about Jean Giraudoux when I wrote it, so some of his style inevitably dripped into the prose.
Maybe I'm misusing the term "essay" in English; in French, "essai" is used for any kind of reflexive, sometimes off-the-cuff or tentative prose. I think in English it's more used in the context of term paper, class essays, i.e. argumentative and structured prose.