“You Have to be Grimly Determined.”

William H. Gass’s Advice for Writers: “You Have to be Grimly Determined.”


William H. Gass, author of Omensetter’s Luck, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, and Middle C, died on Wednesday at the age of 93 at his home in St. Louis. Gass was a boundary-breaking experimental writer (please read In the Heart of the Heart of the Country) as well as a critic, essayist and philosophy professor. Most importantly, Gass was a reigning master of the art of the sentence, and every one he wrote, he wrote with singular purpose. “If I am anything as a writer, that is what I am: a stylist,” he told The Paris Review. “I am not a writer of short stories or novels or essays or whatever. I am a writer, in general. I am interested in how one writes anything.” His work is invested in exploring the possibilities of literature as a form, in cadence, in sound, in weight and rhythm—which makes it sometimes impenetrable but often transcendent. To celebrate his life and art, here are a few of Gass’s instructions for writers and thoughts about the craft.

Read the full review HERE.