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Fiction and the Figures of Life

by William H. Gass

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263273,765 (3.88)6
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… (more)
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The only thing that kept me from giving this collection five stars, as the essays are dense but also accessible, witty, and lucid was Part Three, which I found to be wholly vague and uninteresting compared to the rest of the collection. I highly recommend Parts One and Two for any and all writers searching to deepen their understanding of some seminal authors and the role of fiction. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
Thought-provoking, philosophical, and also dense.
  ElizabethAndrew | May 13, 2013 |
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to Lynn Nesbit and David Segal for believing
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So much of philosophy is fiction.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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