“This collection defines Gass not as a special but as a major voice … Gass engenders brand-new abrupt vulnerabilities. We read about the becalmed Midwest, about farmers mired in their dailiness, and realize too late that we’ve been exposed to a deadly poetry. It says that America is lost … No writer I’ve ever read, not even Joyce, can celebrate his world with a more piercing sadness.”—Frederic Morton, The New York Times
On Being Blue is a book about everything blue—sex and sleaze and sadness, among other things. It brings us the world in a word as only William H. Gass, among contemporary American writers, can do.
One of the major documents of modern European civilization, Robert Burton’s astounding compendium, a survey of melancholy in all its myriad forms, has invited nothing but superlatives since its publication in the seventeenth century.