The World Within the Word: Essays
In this sequel to Fiction & the Figures of Life, one of America's most brilliant and eclectic minds examines literature, culture, writers (their lives and works), and the nature and uses of language and th...more
Phew, finally finished, to use the author's favourite and tiresome stylistic technique.
True, the essays on the works by Stein, Nabokov or Lowry are written with wit and can be read with fun.
But the ones on philosophy... Well, it seems the author builds his own world, using heavy bricks such as Ideas, Digressions, Metaphors, Enumerations, walls himself in and refuses to let too many readers inside.
I've tried to find a window in the wall to enter but failed. Have you?
During the decline of Christian moralism few groups have risen so rapidly in the overall estimation of society [as the suicide has.] It was dangerous for Donne to suggest that suicide was sometimes not a sin. It was still daring for Hume to reason that it was sometimes not a crime. Later one had to point out that it was sometimes not simply a sickness of the soul. Now it seems necessary to argue that it is sometimes not a virtue. To paraphrase Freud, what does a suicide wa...more
Gass was born in Fargo, North Dakota. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Warren, Ohio, where he attended local schools. He has described his childhood as an unhappy one, with an abusive, racist father and a passive, alcoholic mother; critics would later cit...more