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On Being Blue

Gass writes:

Of the colors, blue and green have the greatest emotional range. Sad reds and melancholy yellows are difficult to turn up. Among the ancient elements, blue occurs everywhere: in ice and water, in the flame as purely as in the flower, overhead and inside caves, covering fruit and oozing out of clay. Although green enlivens the earth and mixes in the ocean, and we find it, copperish, in fire; green air, green skies, are rare. Gray and brown are widely distributed, but there are no joyful swatches of either, or any of the exuberant black, sullen pink, or acquiescent orange. Blue is therefore most suitable as the color of interior life. Whether slick light sharp high bright think quick sour new and cool or low deep sweet dark soft slow smooth heavy old and warm: blue moves easily among them all, and all profoundly qualify our states of feeling.

Жанр: Проза

Enter the sublime, upside-down / inside-out world of William H. Gass. . in this case where the  have it every which way, including up. . in a dazzling new collection of novellas and stories (six in all) from one of the most revered writers of our time, author of sixteen books, among them, the universally acclaimed  ("An extraordinary achievement"-Michael Dirda, ); ("Exhilaratingly ingenious"-Cynthia Ozick,  cover); and  ("A literary miracle"-).

This enchanting, Gassian journey begins with "In Camera," an investigation into what is likely to develop when a possibly illicit collection of photographs becomes the object of a greedy salesman's loving eyes. . In "Charity," a young lawyer, whose business it is to keep hospital equipment honestly produced, offers a simple gift and is brought to the ambiguous heart of charity itself. "Don't Even Try, Sam" tells of the battered, old piano Dooley Wilson plays in  as it complains in an interview of its treatment during the making of the picture. "Soliloquy for a Chair" is just that, a rumination by a folding chair in a barber shop that is ultimately bombed. . and in "The Toy Chest," Disneylike creatures take on human roles and worries and live in an atmosphere of a child's imagination.

A glorious fantasia; each, quintessentially Gass; each, a virtuoso delight.

Жанр: Проза

Gass’s new novel moves from World War II Europe to a small town in postwar Ohio. In a series of variations, Gass gives us a mosaic of a life — futile, comic, anarchic — arranged in an array of vocabularies, altered rhythms, forms and tones, and broken pieces with music as both theme and structure, set in the key of middle C.

It begins in Graz, Austria, 1938. Joseph Skizzen's father, pretending to be Jewish, leaves his country for England with his wife and two children to avoid any connection with the Nazis, who he foresees will soon take over his homeland. In London with his family for the duration of the war, he disappears under mysterious circumstances. The family is relocated to a small town in Ohio, where Joseph Skizzen grows up, becomes a decent amateur piano player, in part to cope with the abandonment of his father, and creates as well a fantasy self — a professor with a fantasy goal: to establish the Inhumanity Museum. . as Skizzen alternately feels wrongly accused (of what?) and is transported by his music. Skizzen is able to accept guilt for crimes against humanity and is protected by a secret self that remains sinless.

Middle C

Жанр: Проза

IN THIS SUITE of five short pieces — one of the unqualified literary masterpieces of the American 1960s — William Gass finds five beautiful forms in which to explore the signature theme of his fiction: the solitary soul's poignant, conflicted, and doomed pursuit of love and community. In their obsessions, Gass's Midwestern dreamers are like the "grotesques" of Sherwood Anderson, but in their hyper-linguistic streams of consciousness, they are the match for Joyce's Dubliners.

First published in 1968, this book begins with a beguiling thirty-three page essay and has five fictions: the celebrated novella "The Pedersen Kid," "Mrs. Mean," "Icicles," "Order of Insects," and the title story.

Жанр: Проза

Greeted as a masterpiece when it was first published in 1966, is the quirky, impressionistic, and breathtakingly original story of an ordinary community galvanized by the presence of an extraordinary man. Set in a small Ohio town in the 1890s, it chronicles — through the voices of various participants and observers — the confrontation between Brackett Omensetter, a man of preternatural goodness, and the Reverend Jethro Furber, a preacher crazed with a propensity for violent thoughts. meticulously brings to life a specific time and place as it illuminates timeless questions about life, love, good, and evil.

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