“Bleak But Gorgeous, Like Light Through Ice”
December 7, 2017 12:21 PM   Subscribe

I've always struggled with and been fascinated by his writing. He wrote prose that was fluid and captivating and I could only dream of being able to craft. A few years ago I posted this conversation with him that still leaves me floored.

posted by holmesian at 12:33 PM on December 7 [1 favorite]

I had the great pleasure of meeting him while I was in grad school. His work had a profound effect on my understanding of aesthetics, the importance of art and the artist, and how to write effectively about complex ideas.

posted by ga$money at 12:51 PM on December 7 [3 favorites]

Ahh, damn. I reread "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country" every holiday season. This year's reading will have more than the usual quantity of sadness laid over it. I found the endlessly deferred "The Tunnel" to be a meanspirited slog, but the early stories and novellas, plus "On Being Blue", "Omensetter's Luck", and his many glittering and incisive essays, will shine forever.
posted by informavore at 12:53 PM on December 7 [2 favorites]

posted by Fizz at 12:55 PM on December 7 [1 favorite]

posted by lalochezia at 1:10 PM on December 7

He could do it all.

posted by edeezy at 1:11 PM on December 7

In The Heart of the Heart of the Country annotated at Genius.com
posted by chavenet at 1:19 PM on December 7 [3 favorites]

posted by Iridic at 2:01 PM on December 7

posted by eclectist at 2:13 PM on December 7

posted by penduluum at 2:50 PM on December 7

Just realized I recognized the name from "Reading Rilke". Damn. .
posted by grimjeer at 6:31 PM on December 7

posted by coolxcool=rad at 7:27 PM on December 7

posted by thivaia at 6:55 AM on December 8

I think his review/foreword for Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans is one of the best things he's written. It does so much to illuminate a very abstruse text, which then shows that dismissing Stein as simply fashionably inscrutable is wildly incorrect. I really recommend it.
posted by OmieWise at 10:29 AM on December 8

I just happened to start reading The Tunnel this week (I had "endlessly deferred" it just like informavore) and I later heard he had passed away. Gass was the master of the mad monologue, pathologically dedicated to the social and personal role of literature.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 6:19 AM on December 9

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