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Gass, William H. . TESTS OF TIME: ESSAYS. New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 320 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's seventh collection of literary essays. One of William H. Gass' finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents William H. Gass' "Tests of Time". Fourteen masterly essays on the author's lifelong concerns: The nature of literature, the role of narrative and storytelling, the importance of form in all of the arts, and above all, the point of writing at all. As expected from Gass, he approaches his literary subjects inclusively, from all possible and fertile angles, the aesthetic as well as the ethical, the philosophical, the socio-cultural, and where relevant and germane, even the political. His essays on Salman Rushdie and the death sentence hanging over his head at the time of the fatwa (still technically in place as it was never rescinded by the Ayatollahs) as well as American society's predilection for literary lists of the great works are models of reflection, explored by the author with grace, intelligence, and penetrating insight. "A high-wire act of thinking and writing that produces what Vladimir Nabokov once called 'an indescribable tingle of the spine' " (Publisher's blurb). For Gass, writing IS thinking: While one cannot write without being able to think first, one writes in order to understand, refine, focus, and finally, change one's way of thinking. He does the same for us, his grateful readers. An absolute "must-have" title for Willam H. Gass collectors. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce copy thus. One of the greatest American writers of our time. (SEE ALSO OTHER WILLIAM H. GASS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0375412573. $30.00

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