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.
The essay from which that comes (collected in Finding a Form)is actually a lot kinder to the Pulitzer than the above might indicate (Gass has always been great at starting . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I think essay collections are the perfect things for our new super-sped-up, Internet-fragmented lives.I like them becuase I can sneak an essay into a small bit of time–like the morning's subway ride. And if it's a good collection, I like the slowed-down feeling of coming back to it again and again over the course of a month or so.
Right now I'm reading William H. Gass's Finding a Form, recently published by the Dalkey Archive.
Gass writes wonderfully on Ford Madox Ford, and in this book he has an essay called "Ford's Impressionism." The title's a little misleading–half . . . continue reading, and add your comments