Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, 1985 Now a Cornell Paperback-- "These twelve essays take risks, make connections, give off sparks and illustrate Gass's love of language. Using Freudian concepts, he compares the art of writing to the art of becoming civilized: writing parallels the transformation of raw instinct into shared expression. . . . GWinner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, 1985 Now a Cornell Paperback-- "These twelve essays take risks, make connections, give off sparks and illustrate Gass's love of language. Using Freudian concepts, he compares the art of writing to the art of becoming civilized: writing parallels the transformation of raw instinct into shared expression. . . . Gass writes with impassioned concern."--Publishers Weekly "[These] essays [are] meant to enliven the form as Montaigne, Emerson, and Woolf enlivened it. This is an ambitious task, but no contemporary American has better credentials than Gass. . . . He announces a topic, then descants with impressive erudition and unbuttoned ardor for the surprising phrase. The results often dazzle, and they're unfailingly original, in the root sense of the word--they work back toward some point of origin, generally a point where literature departs from the external world to invent a world of its own."--Sam Tanenhaus, Village Voice "William H. Gass is not alone among . . . American fiction writers in giving some of his time and talent to nonfiction, but nobody does it more energetically."--Frank Kermode, New York Times Book Review...
|Title||:||Habitations of the Word: Essays|
|Number of Pages||:||288 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Habitations of the Word: Essays Reviews
The final selection of Gass’s essays I had left to complete was as riveting and astronomic as its priors, including his sceptical take on ‘The Death of the Author’, the huge mental peregrination ‘Emerson and the Essay’, a fascinating take on a familiar postmodern problem in ‘Representation and the War for Reality’, his usual deep readings and philosophical exegeses of texts (inc. Stein and James) ‘The Soul Inside the Sentence’ and ‘Tropes of the Text’, his fantastic piece on the list form and the word ‘And’, alongside some denser and frightening material such as the intimidating title piece on Plato, or ‘Culture, Self, and Style’, all written in Gass’s beautifully musical, hyper-alliterative style. Two essays ‘On Talking to Oneself’ and ‘On Reading to Oneself’ are magnificent investigations into both acts (the latter the most interesting for its pertinence to us all), and there’s an essay on Ford Madox Ford, for those fond of that sort of thing. Smashing as usual. Completionism almost achieved: Reading Rilke: Reflections on the Problems of Translation the final milestone (this may never happen).
Magnificent book of essays on writing and thought, among many other things. Back in May of 2010, Big Other asked me to write a sentence about a sentence, and I chose one from the essay “Culture, Self and Style,” and here it is .First the Gass sentence:A sentence is a length of awareness.Then mine:The best word in this sentence is “length” but not for the reason you're thinking of, not for that reason at all and jesus god I can't believe I even hang out with you, how that's all you can ever think about, it's disgusting, frankly, it's fucking filthy, but back to the Gass, because he could have said lots of other things, could have said “segment” or “unit” (and you again with that look on your face) or “measure” or “span” or “clot” but no he said “length” and the sentence thus does what it says, thus walks its talk, thus performs its meaning, a beautiful and difficult thing in this or any world, performs its meaning more than once, in fact, since “awareness” can play a couple of ways, the author's or the reader's, and maybe in some sense the sentence's own, and maybe also in some episense all three at once forming a fourth, the smartest of the lot, the one we have all needed longest.
Haven't finished it. But I know it will be good just from what I've read so far. Check out his essay on the word "and". I like his non-fiction better than his fiction. I'm having trouble getting through The Tunnel, just because the style is intense and it gets old after awhile. I heard that this same style, he uses in some short stories and I bet I would like those better. So someone insisted with raised voice and arms "YOU HAVE TO READ HIS NON-FICTION WORK!!" and so I stumbled onto this and they were exactly right. It's much more to my liking than the fiction (well, at least The Tunnel anyway---but I promise I'll finish it before I write it off completely, there's pages enough for him to save himself.)
His essays are beautiful, and so are the author's love letters to language.
Better than even the best.