William H. Gass’ The World Within The Word

The foremost distinguishing characteristic of any good writer is a fascination with words. This never struck me as a very high bar, for words are inherently interesting: try thinking or communicating without them. We use words not only to describe […]

William H. Gass’ Tests Of Time

William H. Gass died on December 6th of last year, four days before my thirtieth birthday. He was 93 years old. His death didn’t provoke the outpouring of acclaim accompanying the passing of, say, Philip Roth or Tom Wolfe, but […]

William H. Gass’ Finding A Form

As I write this, birds are chirping outside my window, heralds of the long-awaited spring, and that feels profoundly appropriate, for reading Gass after a long absence renews my sense of the possible and awakens me once more to the beauty […]

William H. Gass’ Life Sentences

A blank page is a maddening thing, offering at once the promise of possibility and the torment of finality, for every printed word is a commitment curtailing choice, a brick laid in the foundations of a building whose plan we only […]

William H. Gass’ In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country

William H. Gass’ second published work contains much of his earliest writing, including the short story “The Pedersen Kid,” which Gass tells us took seven years to find a publisher. No doubt that has something to do with the complexity […]

William H. Gass’ A Temple Of Texts

Every now and then, we readers are lucky to discover a writer who vibrates to our frequency, who seems so uniquely attuned to our thoughts and feelings that the incidental barriers of time and place are torn down and we […]