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William H. Gass: His Life and Legacy — Tributes from Holmes Lounge and Olin Library

Plexagraph by Michael Eastman depicting the logo from The Tunnel and text from Middle C. Eastman gave the artwork to Gass, who kept it in his study for years. It was donated to Special Collections by his widow Mary Gass on the day of the tribute.

On April 6th Washington University in St. Louis hosted family, friends, colleagues, former students and fans of William H. Gass to pay tribute to the life and legacy of the esteemed author and Washington University philosophy professor. In both the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections in Olin Library and in Holmes Lounge, attendees heard tributes to Gass’s achievements as a novelist, essayist, philosopher, teacher, and artistic collaborator. The speakers in Olin Library were novelist and Hurst Writer in Residence Kathryn Davis; Chair of Department of Classics Catherine Keane (reading remarks by John Biggs); writer and lecturer Martin Riker; and professor of philosophy, Chair of Performing Arts, and Dean of University College Mark Rollins. Speakers in Holmes Lounge were Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton; fiction writer Joy Williams; novelist Garth Risk Hallberg; International Writers Center co-founder Lorin Cuoco; novelist, poet and William H. Gass Fellow Matthias Goeritz; and photographer Michael Eastman.

We are pleased to share videos of their tributes with you. The embedded playlist below will play videos of all the speakers. Click on the upper left corner to jump to any particular speaker you wish. You can also view them on the Modern Literature Collection’s YouTube channel.