Short stories by William H. Gass.
William Howard Gass (July 30, 1924 – December 6, 2017) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, critic, and philosophy professor. He wrote three novels, three collections of short stories, a collection of novellas, and seven volumes of essays, three of which have won National Book Critics Circle Award prizes and one of which, A Temple of Texts (2006), won the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism. His 1995 novel The Tunnel received the American Book Award. His 2013 novel Middle C won the 2015 William Dean Howells Medal. William Howard Gass was born on July 30, 1924, in Fargo, North Dakota. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Warren, Ohio, a steel town, where he attended local schools. He described his childhood as an unhappy one, with an abusive, racist father and a passive, alcoholic mother; critics would later cite his characters as having these same qualities. His father had been trained as an architect but, while serving during the First World War, had sustained back injuries that forced him to take a job as a high school drafting and architectural drawing teacher. His mother was a housewife. As a boy, Gass read anything he could get his hands on. From The Shadow to The History of the French Revolution, Gass read constantly, although there were no bookstores in the town of Warren[dubious – discuss]. Later he would claim that the advent of "pocketbooks" saved his literary life. He'd save up all the money he earned or obtained and, every two weeks, head down and buy as many pocketbooks as he could afford. Even though Gass was always a reader, his father disapproved of his aspirations and often berated him for it. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University after graduating from Warren G. Harding High School, where he did very well, except for some difficulties in mathematics, then served as an ensign in the Navy during World War II for three and a half years, a period he described as perhaps the worst of his life. He earned his A.B.magna cum laude in philosophy from Kenyon College (1947). From there he entered Cornell University as a Susan Linn Fellow in Philosophy and, by 1954, had earned his PhD in that subject. While at Cornell, he studied under Max Black and, briefly, Ludwig Wittgenstein. His dissertation, "A Philosophical Investigation of Metaphor", was based on his training as a philosopher of language. In graduate school, Gass read the work of Gertrude Stein, who influenced his writing.
Listing 3 stories.
In a small rural farm town, a middle-aged poet struggles with aging and finding meaning in his life.
A nosey man living in a suburb regularly interacts with several neighbors but keeps his distance from one woman, whom he witnesses abuse her children verbally and physically. When the situation escalates, however, he must decide whether or not to intervene.
A man thinks about his relationship with his parents (especially his mother) as he watches them grow old. He then realizes that he is now old too.