A post from the National Book Critics Circle’s Critical Mass Blog.
Writer Brian A. Oard posts about Gass’ work, the “strangest and most unexpected oeuvre of his literary generation.”
In this interview with Daniel Sandstrom, Roth name checks a very long list of “formidable postwar writers,” Gass among them.
At the Chicago Tribune, Michael Robbins nods to Gass (and Gaddis).
Fun D. T. Max post about David Foster Wallace and Bryan Garner:
A year later, in 2002, the two met for lunch at Biaggi’s, a Wallace haunt on Veterans Parkway in Bloomington. (Wallace brought his parents.) They exchanged book recommendations; Garner suggested the nineteenth-century critic and grammar authority Richard Grant White, while Wallace proffered his high-lit triad of DeLillo, Gass, and Gaddis. I reached the itinerant professor by phone the other day in a D.C. hotel room—he is on the road two hundred days a year with his Sisyphean mission—and he told me that he and Wallace hadn’t met again until the interview four years afterward, but that they had exchanged letters in the interim. They also each took pleasure in noting the other’s grammatical errors. “That’s the thing about usage,” Garner told me, in his careful way. “When you write copiously, we are all fallible.” He acknowledged that he had started the Gass novel that D.F.W. had recommended—he was not sure of the title—but had not finished it. Nor had he read “Infinite Jest.” “My impression is that it is a book that a lot of people start and don’t finish,” he said levelly. He added that Wallace knew, and didn’t mind. The friendship between the grammar-minded writer and the writing-minded grammarian was the sort that Wallace liked: close, but not too close.
At the Center for Fiction, Greg Gerke, David Winters and Jason Lucarelli discuss Lish, touching on Gass.
Congrats to Washington University’s Joel Minor and Sarah Schnuriger on the launch of this incredibly valuable project:
Welcome to the digital companion to the “William H. Gass: The Soul Inside the Sentence” exhibition in Olin Library, March - July 2013, examining the life and work of William H. Gass, an esteemed American novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, photographer and former philosophy professor.
Explore drafts of published and unpublished writings, recordings of his interviews and readings, photographs and scans of important documents and objects that have shaped his life. You will also find an essay, “My Memories of the Service,” which Gass wrote specifically for this digital exhibit.
Click through for the goods, of which there are many (audio of Gass introducing David Foster Wallace, Gaddis in STL…).
Departure Delayed quotes an exquisite passage from The Tunnel.
A post from the modestly named Talented Reader blog. (Subtitle: “An Appreciation of William Gass, and Some Remarks on Moral Fiction.”)
From writer Eric Lundgren’s eight-stage blog post about attending the recent Fair:
4. Spotting William Gass.
In retrospect, this is the turning point of the whole 2013 fair experience. There he is, the author of Middle C, On Being Blue, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, etc., turning over a book in his hands. He examines it, fingers the copyright page, caresses the spine, then finally adds it to his small pile. That, you want to say to headphones guy, is how you behave with a book. You briefly consider trying to take a picture of Gass but decide to leave him alone.
(N.B. – The next morning, Gass spots himself in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch fair photo….)