Finding a Form: Essays

William H. Gass, Author Alfred A. Knopf $26 (354p) ISBN 978-0-679-44662-0
In his first gathering of essays in several years, novelist and critic Gass's commitment to ideas, concentrated energy and originality shine through on every page. The title essay, an exploration of how writers navigate complex, refractory reality, discloses how his childhood with an abusive father and alcoholic mother influenced his escape into writing and shaped his fictional characters, symbols and preoccupations. ""Nature, Culture, and Cosmos"" pessimistically gauges the ""immense indifference"" of the universe to our moral values and our deaths. Other pieces deal with Ezra Pound as a failed modernist; the lives of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein in relation to their thought; various species of the avant-garde from Pierre de Ronsard to Degas, Beckett and the Bauhaus; the exacting demands of autobiography; the Pulitzer Prize Committee's ""banal and hokey"" choices in fiction; and the abyss between the moral viewpoints expressed in works of art and the lives of their creators. Gass's deeply felt essays, reprinted from the New York Times Book Review, Antaeus, etc., are quotable, flecked with fertile insights and a pleasure to read. On stoicism: ""If we have to accept what we get, why not imagine that it's just what we want?"" On Impressionism: ""It allows subversion to go on with the approval of the subverted."" (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Show other formats
FORMATS
Hardcover - 978-0-517-33071-5
Paperback - 354 pages - 978-1-56478-529-9
Open Ebook - 978-0-8041-5093-4
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-8014-8489-6
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.