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On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry
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On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry [Format Kindle]

William H. Gass , Michael Gorra

Prix conseillé : EUR 10,61 De quoi s'agit-il ?
Prix éditeur - format imprimé : EUR 9,31
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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“A book no person who loves writing and the sound writing makes should be without.” —The New Republic

“Gass is a philosopher-voluptuary, someone who romances language with a roué’s cunning, and isn’t afraid to play with words and ideas for sheer sport." —Diane Ackerman

On Being Blue is a luminous work, a tour de force on blue, that word (and color) reverberant with what is called experience. On Being Blue celebrates both language and that which it represents and carefully draws our attention to that difficult middle ground on which the writer finds himself in lifelong struggle to join the two without sullying or smearing the clarities of either.” —Gilbert Sorrentino

“This is a tour de force...a virtuoso performance of great imaginative force.” —Los Angeles Times
“An enchanting book.” —John Bayley, The New York Times Book Review
“A blue-black, slightly brackish beauty of a book, a philosophical essay written, for the most part, with the lilt of a Renaissance epithalamium.” —Larry McMurtry, The Washington Post Book World

Présentation de l'éditeur

On Being Blue is a book about everything blue—sex and sleaze and sadness, among other things—and about everything else. It brings us the world in a word as only William H. Gass, among contemporary American writers, can do.
Gass writes:
Of the colors, blue and green have the greatest emotional range. Sad reds and melancholy yellows are difficult to turn up. Among the ancient elements, blue occurs everywhere: in ice and water, in the flame as purely as in the flower, overhead and inside caves, covering fruit and oozing out of clay. Although green enlivens the earth and mixes in the ocean, and we find it, copperish, in fire; green air, green skies, are rare. Gray and brown and widely distributed, but there are no joyful swatches of either, or any of exuberant black, sullen pink, or acquiescent orange. Blue is therefore most suitable as the color of interior life. Whether slick light sharp high bright thin quick sour new and cool or low deep sweet dark soft slow smooth heavy old and warm: blue moves easily among them all, and all profoundly qualify our states of feeling.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  15 commentaires
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 On Having Gass 18 mai 2013
Par J.P.P. - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Okay, so I'm going to cheat. I know William H. Gass.

He held an endowed chair at Washington University in St. Louis while I was a graduate student there. I was once his teaching assistant. Quite an experience. That was also on the order of 33 years ago. We were both younger then.

He had already written "On Being Blue", but it was too expensive for a poor graduate student to justify buying.

Gass knows that being a Philosopher requires both a working brain and a working language that translates his thoughts into thoughts that the reader can share. The process sometimes works, and the process sometimes does not work. That is as much attributable to the reader as to the writer, and it is not a "bad" thing to not get what a writer intends - as long as you think about something that is somehow related to the words the writer used to express the thoughts he or she thought they were expressing with those words.

It's a hit or miss proposition, sometimes.

You have to read Gass experientially, in a way. It's not like reading Stephen King, or Tom Clancy or Joan Didion. But then, Gass is not King, Clancy or Didion. C'est la vie. You will walk away from the book with an enriched mind, not to mention vocabulary, if you give it half a chance. If you give it a whole chance, you'll even enjoy it.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A book about the eroticism in writing and of writing. 26 février 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
Sadly often difficult to find; thankfully recently reprinted, On Being Blue stands as a must read for anyone who loves language--writer or reader. Gass' prose instructs as it entertains and enlightens. This gem of a book purports to be about a single word. Blue. Yet it manages, in a very few pages, to speak cogently of how all words gather meaning "like lint in a deep pocket," of the blueness (eroticism) in writing and of writing
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A story of the complexity and sometime absurdity of language 1 avril 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
William Gass presents a discussion on the word Blue, but in the process makes an argument that language is actually less complex in some ways, and more in others than we often realize. In his prose he shows us the many facets of language, and how writing not only is a relational tool, but an instructional one as well. His treatise on a word and its many meanings becomes a story about the nature of writing itself. Professor Gass' philosophical side shows in this work, a good read about composition
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Some Blue Notes mit Gass: "lowdown gloomy music, Nova Scotians, cyanosis, hair rinse" 10 février 2013
Par Bobby Matherne - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
On being blue is the subject of this philosophical inquiry by William Gass, but I read it primarily because of his wonderful cumulative sentences. The very first sentence will illustrate the structure of a cumulative sentence with the base clause "blue has become their color" near last, as well as leap into the subject of being blue. My marginalia reminds me that I was flying on Delta, whose deep blue of its triangular logo can well be called Delta Blue, perhaps the only blue missed in Gass's encyclopedic coverage of things, feelings, and metaphors blue.

[page 3, 4] "Blue pencils, blue noses, blue movies, laws, blue legs and stockings, the language of birds, bees, and flowers as sung by longshoremen, that lead-like look the skin has when affected by cold, contusion, sickness, fear; the rotten rum or gin they call blue ruin and the blue devils of its delirium; Russian cats and oysters, a withheld or imprisoned breath, the blue they say that diamonds have, deep holes in the ocean and the blazers which English athletes earn that gentlemen may wear; afflictions of the spirit -- dumps, mopes, Mondays -- all that's dismal -- lowdown gloomy music, Nova Scotians, cyanosis, hair rinse, bluing, bleach; the rare blue dahlia like that blue moon shrewd things happen only once in, or the call for trumps in whist (but who remembers whist or what the death of unplayed games is like?), and correspondingly the flag, Blue Peter, which is our signal for getting under way; a swift pitch, Confederate money, the shaded slopes of clouds and mountains, and so the constantly increasing absentness of Heaven (ins Blaue hinein, the Germans say), consequently the color of everything that's empty: blue bottles, bank accounts, and compliments, for instance, or, when the sky's turned turtle, the blue-green bleat of ocean (both the same), and, when in Hell, its neatly landscaped rows of concrete huts and gas-blue flames; social registers, examination booklets, blue bloods, balls, and bonnets, beards, coats, collars, chips, and cheese . . . the pedantic, indecent and censorious . . . watered twilight, sour sea: through a scrambling of accidents, blue has become their color, just as it's stood for fidelity."

All one magnificent sentence. Spreading over two pages of the small paperback book with the deep blue cover. What a gas! What a Gass! A laic litany to blue. An autobiography of blue. Blue memories. Blue books. Blue pamphlets and the blue memories they contain. Don't be Blue: The remainder of my review can be found in DIGESTWORLD ISSUE#091 by Bobby Matherne
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It paws me & I like it 21 avril 2012
Par zenmaenad - Publié sur
Ordered this after I learned about it from another writer. I opened her copy randomly at a few places & was seduced by every passage I tasted. Now that I have my own copy, I am reading it aloud to my girlfriend, the cats, & the parrots. (The dog is, unfortunately, deaf.) It paws at us shamelessly with its filthy hands. We do not put up the slightest resistance. Come on. Let yourself be pawed by "On Being Blue." You know you want it.
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