Fiction and the Figures of Life

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Nonpareil Books, 1971 - Literary Criticism - 288 pages
Twenty-four essays by the modern master of literary criticism, ranging from discussion of Gertrude Stein and Jorge Luis Borges to Henry James and "The Evil Demiurge.""Gass's criticism, in the best tradition of eloquence, wit, and passion, is a defense of 'poesy' in a time of need... Nearly all the essays are a pleasure to read and some?it almost seems shocking to say it?are works of beauty. It has happened before?one thinks of Keat's letters and some fragments of Lawrence?that the unlikely combination of criticism, philosophy and metaphorical inventiveness has resulted in a kind of poetry."? New York Times Book Review"For anyone who writes fiction or writes about it, or reads fiction for the solacing sense of potential reality it can provided, Gass's book is the most important and bracing theoretical study I know of. Beside being a miraculous gifted writer he is that rare thing among creators, a trained philosopher. No one I can name has his persuasive power."? Geoffrey Wolff, Newsweek

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User Review  - ElizabethAndrew - LibraryThing

Thought-provoking, philosophical, and also dense. Read full review


Philosophy and the Form of Fiction
The Medium of Fiction
The Concept of Character in Fiction

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About the author (1971)

William Gass was born in Fargo, North Dakota on July 30, 1924. During World War II, he served as an Ensign in the Navy. He received an A.B. in philosophy from Kenyon College in 1947 and a PhD in philosophy from Cornell University in 1954. He taught at several universities including The College of Wooster, Purdue University, and Washington University in St. Louis. He has written novels, collections of short stories, a collection of novellas, and collections of criticism. His novels include Omensetter's Luck, Middle C, and The Tunnel, which received the American Book Award. His collections of criticism include A Temple of Texts, which won the 2007 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism and Habitations of the Word, Finding a Form, and Tests of Time, which all won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism.

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