William H. Gass Quotes

William H. Gass Quotes

The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.

I write because I hate. A lot. Hard.

It’s not the word made flesh we want in writing, in poetry and fiction, but the flesh made word

Fiction becomes visual by becoming verbal

For me, the short story is not a character sketch, a mouse trap, an epiphany, a slice of suburban life. It is the flowering of a symbol center. It is a poem grafted onto sturdier stock.

As Borges has taught us, all the books in the library are contemporary. Great poems are like granaries: they are always ready to enlarge their store.

Freud thought that a psychosis was a waking dream, and that poets were daydreamers too, but I wonder if the reverse is not as often true, and that madness is a fiction lived in like a rented house

Every day he thought would last forever, and the night forever, and the dawn drag eternally another long and empty day to light forever; yet they sped away, the day, the night...

Some screw for science only in the afternoon, while others keep their faith with evening - here Orcutt chuckled - it's a matter of light, I understand, but which makes which I can't remember.

And how would he learn his history now? Imagine growing up in a world where only generals and geniuses, empires and companies, had histories, not your own town or grandfather, house or Samantha - none of the things you’d loved.

...until summer becomes ein Zimmer in einem Traum - a room in a dream.

It is not a single cowardice that drives us into fiction's fantasies. We often fear that literature is a game we can't afford to play - the product of idleness and immoral ease. In the grip of that feeling it isn't life we pursue, but the point and purpose of life - its facility, its use.

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