No caress could have been more indifferently complete
September 30, 2011 § 4 Comments
Indulge me, if you will, a reading from William Gass’ downright essential (& scandalously out-of-print) collection of short stories, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country. I posted this same recording elsewhere a couple of months ago, but there are a sufficient number of newcomers (I think) to revisit it.
Gass, of course, is famous for doing a lot of so-called postmodern gestures in his writing–postmodern to those who have never adequately understood modernity. He is widely acclaimed, & criticized, for emphasizing the visual elements of the page. Sentences in some books fall from the line, letter by letter. Others are quite randomly in different fonts. Coffee stains the corner of some pages. This is all interesting enough, but for me this is all subordinate to the aural dynamics at work. His prose quite simply has a musical quality to it, as I’ve discussed with a friend of Departure Delayed, which I feel is better heard than explained.
I kind of botch the opening thirty seconds or so of the recording. Not at all happy with that. But I think it gets better, the tone and annunciation smooths, and occasionally the music plays.