David Rhoden: News


December 14, 2017

His novels were rough, but I loved reading criticism by William Gass...

Some quotes from William Gass:

"Because the Pulitzer Prize in fiction takes dead aim at mediocrity and almost never misses; the prize is simply not given to work of the first rank, rarely even to the second; and if you believed yourself to be a writer of that eminence, you are now assured of being over the hill - not a sturdy mountain flower but a little wilted lily of the valley."

"It is also likely that the judges will be as conscious of themselves and their reputations as they will be of the books (it adds tone to one's vita and authority to the voice). Indeed, power, self-importance and pomposity will bloom like a garden. The judiciousness of some will extend only to writers who come from the Old South or are politically O.K. or of a fine family or who drive with a can of beer between their knees or who have got old in the service, been neglected, are awfully nice and would simply love the honor."

On the prize money: "The monies involved are now enough to pay for an air conditioner and a case of Scotch - neither of which is a windfall to be scorned, still not the muse's airlift either."

"So it is silly to give a prize to ''Absalom, Absalom!'' when you can give it to ''Gone with the Wind,'' as happened in 1937. It is useless to single out unpleasant books that no one will read or enjoy, like ''The Day of the Locust'' or ''Miss Lonelyhearts,'' when so many will love the 1934 winner, ''Lamb in His Bosom,'' by Caroline Miller."

He died last week: http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-willliam-gass-20171207-story.html

I'm excited to read The Day Of The Locust.

Continue reading His novels were rough, but I loved reading criticism by William Gass...


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