William H. Gass: Life & Legacy — Tributes from St. Louis Magazine

Photo by Michael Eastman, color print with hand applied encaustic

Earlier this month Washington University paid tribute to the life and legacy of author and professor William H. Gass. Two of the remembrances from the April 6th celebrations, delivered by Gass’ friend the photographer Michael Eastman and Gass’ philosophy department colleague Mark Rollins were recently posted by St. Louis Magazine.

Eastman’s tribute, given in Holmes Lounge, recounts his 30 year friendship and artistic collaboration with Gass, which began with a cold call from Eastman requesting an essay for a book of photographs documenting St. Louis’ Forest Park and continued with a series of projects that brought together photography and the written word.

Mark Rollins, in remarks given in Olin Library, remembers Gass from their days teaching in Washington University’s Department of Philosophy. While much has justifiably been said and written about Gass’ importance as a writer of fiction, Rollins sets himself to the task of answering a question he sees as somewhat neglected: just what kind of philosopher was William Gass? In reflections both personal and illuminating he traces the development of Gass’ philosophies of literature and metaphor.

And in this article, Washington University alumnus and journalist Chris King remembers Gass from five “vantages”, detailing different relationships he had to Gass from his time as his student to becoming a writer himself.

Stay tuned for more updates on and tributes to the life and work of William H. Gass in the weeks to come.

About the author