♥ Book Title : Conversations with William H. Gass
☯ Full Synopsis : "Biography -- Literary Criticism--> Conversations with William H. Gass captures the imagination and philosophical acumen of one of America's most important aestheticians, critical theorists, fiction writers, and essayists. From his first major novel, Omensetter's Luck (1966), to his numerous collections of essays and philosophical inquiries, to his controversial novel The Tunnel (1995), Gass (b. 1924) has proved himself a meticulous craftsman. Throughout these interviews, he reveals an aesthetic that combines ideas from sources as disparate as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rainer Maria Rilke, Gertrude Stein, and Plato. The interviews make clear the unity behind Gass's views is by his own design. Conversations retrace his undergraduate years at Kenyon College and his subsequent philosophical investigation of metaphor at Cornell University. Gass has never strayed from his belief that metaphor is central and fundamental to thought and to aesthetics. In these interviews he reiterates time and again his belief that the ultimate understanding of the relationship of language to the world pivots on one's understanding of metaphor. In interviews, in profiles, and in his own essays, Gass does not hide from questions about his art and personal motivations, no matter how frequently they are asked, nor does he toy with his interviewers. Revealing how he never shies from an intellectual joust, this collection includes a rousing, contentious debate with John Gardner, fellow literary pundit and fiction writer. The distinction of Gass's prose is matched by the clarity and brilliance of the mind behind it. These talks allow an unobstructed view. Anyone interested in Gass's writing will delight in hearing the brutally honest voice of the mind that produced it. Theodore G. Ammon is chair of the philosophy department at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. His work has appeared in such publications as Romance Notes, Arachne, College Mathematics, and the Journal of Aesthetic Education."Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
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♥ Book Title : The William H. Gass Reader
☯ Full Synopsis : "Throughout his career, William Gass relentlessly pushed at the boundaries of language, celebrating the music of the sentence and the aesthetics of the written word. Now, the best and most important of his work is collected in one volume. There are essays on Plato, Hobbes, James, Joyce, Beckett, Stein, Gaddis, Sterne, Ford Madox Ford, Thomas Mann. There are pieces that examine the inner workings of writing. There is his masterful short fiction, from the perfectly crafted novella "In Camera" to the mythical "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country." And there are excerpts from his novels, including his magnum opus, The Tunnel. Taken together, this collection is a peerless, essential celebration of literature--and an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to understand how great writing works."Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Tunnel
☯ Full Synopsis : ""Gass has produced a book that burrows inside us then wails like a beast, a book that mainlines a century's terror direct to the brain."—Voice Literary Supplement"Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Middle C
☯ Full Synopsis : "Joseph Skizzen's family fled from Austria in 1938 to London where his father disappeared, he and his family then relocated to small town Ohio and Joseph grows up to be a decent piano player with a deeply fractured sense of identity."Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Conversations with William Styron
☯ Full Synopsis : "The American novelist discusses literature, his writings, and the role of history in fiction"Article| William Styron| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Finding a Form
☯ Full Synopsis : ""Gass's commitment to ideas, concentrated energy and originality shine through on every page. . . . Ezra Pound as a failed modernist; the lives of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein . . . the avant garde . . . the demands of autobiography; the Pulitzer Prize Committee's . . . choices in fiction . . . flecked with fertile insights and a pleasure to read".--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review. A 1996 National Book Critics Circle Award winner."Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Omensetter's Luck
☯ Full Synopsis : "A debut novel set in a rural American town, where Brackett Omensetter arrives, with his wife, family, and all earthly belongings. It soon becomes apparent that he is someone out of the ordinary as he sets in motion a wave of violent emotions in the once tranquil community. A PENGUIN TWENTIETH-CENTURY CLASSIC."Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Metafictional Muse
☯ Full Synopsis : "McCaffery interprets the works of three major writers of radically experimental fiction: Robert Coover; Donald Barthelme; and Willam H. Gass. The term “metafiction” here refers to a strain in American writing where the self-concious approach to the art of fiction-making is a commentary on the nature of meaning itself."Article| Larry McCaffery| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Tests of Time
☯ Full Synopsis : "Tests of Time brings us fourteen witty and elegant essays by novelist and literary critic William H. Gass, "the finest prose stylist in America" (Steven Moore, Washington Post). Whether he's exploring the nature of narrative, the extent and cost of political influences on writers, or the relationships between the stories we tell and the moral judgments we make, Gass is always erudite, entertaining, and enlightening."Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife
☯ Full Synopsis : "Disappointed by her inattentive husband/reader, Babs engages in an exuberant display of the physical charms of language to entice an illicit new lover: a man named Gelvin in one sense, but more importantly, the reader of this "essay-novella" which, in the years since its first appearance in 1968 as a supplement to TriQuarterly, has attained the status of a postmodernist classic. Like Laurence Sterne and Lewis Carroll before him, Gass uses a variety of visual devices: photographs, comic-strip balloons, different typefaces, parallel story lines (sometimes three or four to the page), even coffee stains. As Larry McCaffery has pointed out, "the lonesome lady of the book's title, who is gradually revealed to be lady language herself, creates an elaborate series of devices which she hopes will draw attention to her slighted charms [and] force the reader to confront what she literally is: a physically exciting literary text.""Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : A Temple of Texts
☯ Full Synopsis : "From one of the most admired essayists and novelists at work today: a new collection of essays—his first since Tests of Time, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. These twenty-five essays speak to the nature and value of writing and to the books that result from a deep commitment to the word. Here is Gass on Rilke and Gertrude Stein; on friends such as Stanley Elkin, Robert Coover, and William Gaddis; and on a company of “healthy dissidents,” among them Rabelais, Elias Canetti, John Hawkes, and Gabriel García Márquez. In the title essay, Gass offers an annotated list of the fifty books that have most influenced his thinking and his work and writes about his first reaction to reading each. Among the books: Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (“A lightning bolt,” Gass writes. “Philosophy was not dead after all. Philosophical ambitions were not extinguished. Philosophical beauty had not fled prose.”) . . . Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist (“A man after my own heart. He is capable of the simplest lyrical stroke, as bold and direct as a line by Matisse, but he can be complex in a manner that could cast Nabokov in the shade . . . Shakespeare may have been smarter, but he did not know as much.”) . . . Gustave Flaubert’s letters (“Here I learned—and learned—and learned.”) And after reading Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, Gass writes “I began to eat books like an alien worm.” In the concluding essay, “Evil,” Gass enlarges upon the themes of artistic quality and cultural values that are central to the books he has considered, many of which seek to reveal the worst in people while admiring what they do best. As Gass writes, “The true alchemists do not change lead into gold, they change the world into words.” A Temple of Texts is Gass at his most alchemical. From the Hardcover edition."Article| William H. Gass| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Understanding William H. Gass
☯ Full Synopsis : "While agreeing with critics who label Gass's novels and stories metafiction, he contends that to stop the exploration there would be to miss a complete appreciation of the novelist. Hix demonstrates instead how Gass's writings both break and follow tradition - as metafiction belonging to the company of works by John Barth but also as moral fiction belonging to the long American tradition that includes The Scarlet Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird."--BOOK JACKET."Article| H. L. Hix| Statement ..."