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Middle C

Join us for the July book club to discuss Middle C by William H. Gass.

Renowned postmodern fiction writer, essayist and Washington University professor William H. Gass (1924-2017) would have turned 100 on July 30. His last novel Middle C (2013) was originally envisioned as a novella (the second among three), but as he published it in sections over the years it turned into a full-length novel—his first since the 1995 behemoth, The Tunnel. The story centers on the changing and elusive nature of identity in the main character, Joseph Skizzen, a music professor who struggles with purpose and guilt, not only in himself but in all of humanity. Gass presents a mosaic of a life arranged in an array of vocabularies, altered rhythms, forms and tones, with music as both theme and structure, and with meditations on libraries and gardens along the way.

Guest host Joel Minor, Curator of the Modern Literature Collection will begin book club with a showcase of original Gass drafts and materials, followed by a discussion of the book.  

Free and open to all, registration requested for Zoom link.

Manuscript CollectionsModern Literature Collection
William H. Gass giving a speech at a podium.

William H. Gass

William H. Gass founded the International Writers Center at Washington University; this collection hopes to honor him while highlighting his own prolific contribution to literature.

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