Quotations From WILLIAM GASS

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  • 1.
    The blue we bathe in is the blue we breathe. The blue we breathe, I fear, is what we want from life and only find in fiction. For the voyeur, fiction is what's called going all the way.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry, ch. 4, p. 85.

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  • 2.
    I should like to suggest that at least on the face of it a stroke by stroke story of a copulation is exactly as absurd as a chew by chew account of the consumption of a chicken's wing.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry, ch. 2, p. 20.
  • 3.
    Love is a nervous habit. Haven't many said so? Snacking. Smoking. Talking. Joking. Alike as light bulbs. Drinking. Drugging. Frigging. Fucking. Writing. Forgetting. Nerves, nerves, nerves.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry, ch. 2, p. 17.

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  • 4.
    Listen. We converse as we live—by repeating, by combining and recombining a few elements over and over again just as nature does when of elementary particles it builds a world.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. Parts I and III first appeared in The New York Review of Books as "Gertrude Stein, Geographer, I" (May 3, 1973) and "Gertrude Stein, Geogr." "Gertrude Stein and the Geography of the Sentence," p. 117, The World Within the Word.

    Read more quotations about / on: nature, world
  • 5.
    Before and After. Yes, with a little work, they can be saved. It is the present, the immediate moment—the During—that is doomed.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. Essay in The New York Times Book Review (July 11, 1971). "Proust at 100," p. 152, The World Within the Word.

    Read more quotations about / on: work
  • 6.
    I've had to say it before, but even in a gang bang, the best sperm gets the egg.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. review of Sartre on Theatre, ed. Michel Contat and Michel Rybalka, as "Theatrical Sartre," The New York Review of Books (Oct. 14, 1972). "Sartre on Theatre," p. 202, The World Within the Word.
  • 7.
    What else is soul but a listener?
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. Review of Freud and His Followers by Paul Roazen, and Social Amnesia by Russell Jacoby; published as "The Anatomy of Mind" and "The Scientific Psychol." "The Anatomy of Mind," p. 238, The World Within the Word.
  • 8.
    He says so ... and he says so ... Like zeroes, say-sos don't sum.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. Review of Freud and His Followers, by Paul Roazen, and Social Amnesia, by Russell Jacoby; published as "The Anatomy of Mind" and "The Scientific Psychol." "The Anatomy of Mind," p. 249, The World Within the Word. Gass is speaking of Russell Jacoby's style of reason in the latter's book Social Amnesia.
  • 9.
    Pike speaks: in women revenge takes the form of religion.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. "The Reverend Jethro Furber's Change of Heart," ch. 1, p. 96, Omensetter's Luck (1966). "Pike" is a ghost of a pioneer preacher much on the mind of the living "Reverend Jethro Furber"; the latter hears "Pike" speak and holds imaginary conversations with him.

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  • 10.
    If there were genders to genres, fiction would be unquestionably feminine.
    William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. Parts I and III first appeared in The New York Review of Books as "Gertrude Stein, Geographer, I" (May 3, 1973) and "Gertrude Stein and the Geography of the Sentence." "Gertrude Stein and the Geography of the Sentence," p. 65, The World Within the Word.
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