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[William H. Gass] Omensetter's Luck [futuristic Book] eBook


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Omensetter's Luck

Ary man Set in a small Ohio town in the 1890s it chronicles through the voices of various participants and observers the confrontation between Brackett Omensetter a man of preternatural goodness and the Reveren. I Know Not WhenceNor Whither Willy Nilly BlowingWilliam H Gass positions words on the page one after the other Soon a sentence takes shape then a paragraph then a chapter then a section then a novel in its entiretyThe words are not necessarily directional from the outset A sentence goes in the direction dictated by each additional word They don t necessarily follow a preordained seuence or work towards a goal I know not whence like water willy nilly flowing Nor whither willy nilly blowing Rub iy t of Omar Khayy mLike Omensetter Gass our very own Willy Nilly is prepared to try his luck tempt fate go with the flow see what happensThe Moving Finger Writes and Having Writ Moves OnThere is no necessary plot as such The novel emerges from the natural flow You do not tell a story your fiction will do that when your fiction is finished Gass is the vehicle for these words to get onto the page His is the hand that moves or the finger that writes The Moving Finger writes and having writMoves on Rub iy t of Omar Khayy mHis words are poetry They are made to be spoken to feel your tongue and lips and teeth move around them they are made to be heard even if you only listen to your own voice whether inwardly in the imagination or outwardly alive and aloud The Movement of LanguageGass is interested in the movement of language as well as the language of movementThese words sound they move around they jostle for favour Together they constitute or compose music What you make is music and because your sounds are carriers of concepts you make conceptual music too Having achieved their task the words move to the back unchanged permanent irrevocable Nor all thy Piety nor WitShall lure it back to cancel half a LineNor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it Rub iy t of Omar Khayy mThe words are passed gone irrecoverable at least until in the manner of Proust they insinuate their way into the memory of the reader and insist on being recalledOnly in the uniue case of Omensetter s Luck this is not strictly correct Gass initial draft of the novel was stolen and he had to reconstruct it from memory Ironically he felt it improved in the processStill Omensetter s Luck is for me an example of what Gass said about Italo Calvino s Invisible Cities it is one of the purer works of the imagination It is prose elevated to poetry without the least sign of strain Omensetter and His LuckWhile the novel is named after Omensetter or at least his luck I wouldn t say that he is the chief protagonistHe is a relative innocent an ing nue a na f almost a simpleton someone who is content to see what fortune has in store for him In the words of Israbestis Tott town gossip when he arrived He had everything he owned piled up in the wagon with this cradle tied to the top of it and nothing covered That was the kind of fellow Brackett Omenstter was He knew it wasn t going to rain again He counted on his luckHe is passive rather than active he is not an agent who dictates the direction of his own life or that of his family He declines to rescue a fox that is trapped in a well he fails to obtain medical assistance for his own sick baby If either were to die he would justify it as God s will The Sky Rolls Impotently On As Thou or IRub iy t of Omar Khayy mIn a way he succumbs to determinism He bears no burden of decision or responsibility His plight his blessing and his curse is to lose the heaviness of lifeThis approach to life might be understandable if you only have to deal with nature Perhaps we are powerless in its path The problems start when you join a community or broader societyThe Love and Sorrows of Henry PimberHenry Pimber who soon becomes Omensetter s landlord thinks he is a foolish dirty careless manYet others describe him as a natural born politician he s what they call the magnetic kind Their faith is borne out when Omensetter apparently heals an affliction that Henry suffers metaphorically like the fox Pimber s down our well after which Henry s own salvation was the central thingThis salvation implicitly challenges the authority of the local Doctor Orcutt and the faith in and of Reverend Jethro FurberThe Reverend Jethro Furber s Change of HeartGass devotes three uarters of his novel to Furber the real protagonist despicable as he is He is trained in rhetoric and has the town under his control until Omensetter s arrival Gass uses a stream of consciousness techniue to show us what is really happening in the mind of this man of the cloth He is both lascivious and lyrical in an almost Old Testament fashion shaping his lips for strong sounds He obsesses about the glabrous cleft of a young girl s private parts and the lower lips of fatty Ruth Espying an older woman with large breasts he imagines himself partaking in a tipple from her mountainous nipple Yet he sits in judgement as God s proxy over the lewd speech and slovenly habits of the townfolk preaching against frivolity with heat He counsels the congregation against indecent prepositions all the time contemplating indecent propositions It seems as if Furber is the most vulnerable to the way of all fleshGass signals that Furber might undergo a change of heart with the title to this section I won t discuss whether or how this occurs The plot detail is not important but it is desirable that readers experience how he uses language to achieve what little overt plot he utilises to serve his literary purposeThese Are a Few of My Favourite ThingsIt remains to let you sample Gass writing Below are some examples of his prose that I have arbitrarily chosen and versifiedI hope you can sense and enjoy the movement of language Every bush would blossomEach twig sharply thrownAnd every paltry post embarkFor consciousness as hugeWell the rose is too commonAnd the phallus too foolishThere was hair and nose and napkin clothAnd painted trim along the stairShe was like an after image stillA scar of lightA sailor s deep tattooHow could man begetUnless his flesh would riseAnd what was there in innocenceTo move the simplest muscleIn a gesture of desireHe s a bit betterAnd a bit luckierMaybeThan most of usThey would wallow safelyIn the worst sensationsConceive the most obscene devicesPlace him their preacherIn vulgar posturesRavish him on ornate altarsOr on the floors of pewsThe penis in reposeProfessorWith that little hat of skinWhy it s a lovely childlike thingAnd each man s gentle babyhood Is in itHe had fathered every folly every sinNo goat knew gluttony like thisNo cat had felt his prideNo crow his avariceNote how sweetlyI pronounce herMusically wigwagMy ringalingling tongueYou may call our soul our bestBut this our body is our love Haduh aku di follow from the outset A sentence goes in the direction dictated by each additional word They don t necessarily Fragile Lives follow a preordained seuence or work towards a goal I know not whence like water willy nilly Africana Womanist Literary Theory flowing Nor whither willy nilly blowing Rub iy t of Omar Khayy mLike Omensetter Gass our very own Willy Nilly is prepared to try his luck tempt Poems in Which You Die fate go with the Africana Womanism Race Gender in the Presidential Candidacy of Barack Obama flow see what happensThe Moving Finger Writes and Having Writ Moves OnThere is no necessary plot as such The novel emerges Finding Your Voice A Woman's Guide to Using Self Talk for Fulfilling Relationships Work and Life from the natural Mogorva nyár Halkirálynő flow You do not tell a story your Sutra Ungu fiction will do that when your যত কান্ড কাঠমান্ডুতে fiction is Lady First finished Gass is the vehicle Guérir son enfant intérieur finger that writes The Moving Finger writes and having writMoves on Rub iy t of Omar Khayy mHis words are poetry They are made to be spoken to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats: with illustrations by Rebecca Ashdown (Faber Children's Classics) feel your tongue and lips and teeth move around them they are made to be heard even if you only listen to your own voice whether inwardly in the imagination or outwardly alive and aloud The Movement of LanguageGass is interested in the movement of language as well as the language of movementThese words sound they move around they jostle Darkest Mercy for Cold Hearted Rake favour Together they constitute or compose music What you make is music and because your sounds are carriers of concepts you make conceptual music too Having achieved their task the words move to the back unchanged permanent irrevocable Nor all thy Piety nor WitShall lure it back to cancel half a LineNor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it Rub iy t of Omar Khayy mThe words are passed gone irrecoverable at least until in the manner of Proust they insinuate their way into the memory of the reader and insist on being recalledOnly in the uniue case of Omensetter s Luck this is not strictly correct Gass initial draft of the novel was stolen and he had to reconstruct it Alban Berg A Guide to Research Composer Resource Manuals from memory Ironically he Trying to Save Piggy Sneed felt it improved in the processStill Omensetter s Luck is The Culture of Homelessness for me an example of what Gass said about Italo Calvino s Invisible Cities it is one of the purer works of the imagination It is prose elevated to poetry without the least sign of strain Omensetter and His LuckWhile the novel is named after Omensetter or at least his luck I wouldn t say that he is the chief protagonistHe is a relative innocent an ing nue a na Callings f almost a simpleton someone who is content to see what Me and My Sisters Devlin Sisters fortune has in store The Resume Design Book for him In the words of Israbestis Tott town gossip when he arrived He had everything he owned piled up in the wagon with this cradle tied to the top of it and nothing covered That was the kind of London fellow Brackett Omenstter was He knew it wasn t going to rain again He counted on his luckHe is passive rather than active he is not an agent who dictates the direction of his own life or that of his Prelude to Foundation family He declines to rescue a The Life List fox that is trapped in a well he The Toy Box fails to obtain medical assistance Cliffs of Opal for his own sick baby If either were to die he would justify it as God s will The Sky Rolls Impotently On As Thou or IRub iy t of Omar Khayy mIn a way he succumbs to determinism He bears no burden of decision or responsibility His plight his blessing and his curse is to lose the heaviness of lifeThis approach to life might be understandable if you only have to deal with nature Perhaps we are powerless in its path The problems start when you join a community or broader societyThe Love and Sorrows of Henry PimberHenry Pimber who soon becomes Omensetter s landlord thinks he is a Den grænseløse foolish dirty careless manYet others describe him as a natural born politician he s what they call the magnetic kind Their Winter Holiday Godine Storyteller faith is borne out when Omensetter apparently heals an affliction that Henry suffers metaphorically like the Fools fox Pimber s down our well after which Henry s own salvation was the central thingThis salvation implicitly challenges the authority of the local Doctor Orcutt and the Wicked Whispers faith in and of Reverend Jethro FurberThe Reverend Jethro Furber s Change of HeartGass devotes three uarters of his novel to Furber the real protagonist despicable as he is He is trained in rhetoric and has the town under his control until Omensetter s arrival Gass uses a stream of consciousness techniue to show us what is really happening in the mind of this man of the cloth He is both lascivious and lyrical in an almost Old Testament Boundless Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage fashion shaping his lips River Bodies Northampton County for strong sounds He obsesses about the glabrous cleft of a young girl s private parts and the lower lips of Warriors fatty Ruth Espying an older woman with large breasts he imagines himself partaking in a tipple Criminal from her mountainous nipple Yet he sits in judgement as God s proxy over the lewd speech and slovenly habits of the townfolk preaching against The Alpha Female frivolity with heat He counsels the congregation against indecent prepositions all the time contemplating indecent propositions It seems as if Furber is the most vulnerable to the way of all Durham A Thousand Years of History and Legend fleshGass signals that Furber might undergo a change of heart with the title to this section I won t discuss whether or how this occurs The plot detail is not important but it is desirable that readers experience how he uses language to achieve what little overt plot he utilises to serve his literary purposeThese Are a Few of My Favourite ThingsIt remains to let you sample Gass writing Below are some examples of his prose that I have arbitrarily chosen and versifiedI hope you can sense and enjoy the movement of language Every bush would blossomEach twig sharply thrownAnd every paltry post embarkFor consciousness as hugeWell the rose is too commonAnd the phallus too Diva (Flappers, foolishThere was hair and nose and napkin clothAnd painted trim along the stairShe was like an after image stillA scar of lightA sailor s deep tattooHow could man begetUnless his Beastly Fury flesh would riseAnd what was there in innocenceTo move the simplest muscleIn a gesture of desireHe s a bit betterAnd a bit luckierMaybeThan most of usThey would wallow safelyIn the worst sensationsConceive the most obscene devicesPlace him their preacherIn vulgar posturesRavish him on ornate altarsOr on the The Comet Seekers floors of pewsThe penis in reposeProfessorWith that little hat of skinWhy it s a lovely childlike thingAnd each man s gentle babyhood Is in itHe had The Opposite fathered every Seasonal Food folly every sinNo goat knew gluttony like thisNo cat had Ashamed felt his prideNo crow his avariceNote how sweetlyI pronounce herMusically wigwagMy ringalingling tongueYou may call our soul our bestBut this our body is our love

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D Jethro Furber a preacher crazed with a propensity for violent thoughts Omensetter's Luck meticulously brings to life a specific time and place as it illuminates timeless uestions about life love good and evil. According to some interviews and things like that Omensetter s Luck was DFW s favorite books My own track record with reading DFW recommended books is hit and miss sometimes they seem to work out and other times as in the case of a Curtis White novel I am just left feeling blah and unimpressed This book falls into the second categoryParts of the book are really great and some of the writing is phenomenal but I felt that the whole subject matter of the book just didn t do too much for me I find this a little weird because normally I m all about religion belief and disbelief and all of that jazz in books And looking back on the novel I do see some interesting things going on in the novel but the overall execution of the work felt a little lacking to me It s possible that William Gass just isn t for me This is my second attempt at reading him and I found the experience of this novel to be less painful than reading the gigantic The Tunnel but again I feel a little baffled about why I didn t like his books On paper I mean theoretical paper not paper paper which is the medium I read my books on thank you I should love William Gass He writes about topics I normally enjoy He falls into the difficult camp of Pynchon Gaddis DFW that I drool over like a incontinent fanboy and I should welcome the challenges his texts offer I can t put my finger on why he doesn t do it for me though I can t say that it s the style he writes in it s very similar to the way William Gaddis structured JR except that it s easier to follow since usually you are just dealing with the focus on one character and not an ever shifting narrative thread except for possibly the first short chapter of the book which I enjoyed than the rest of the novel I won t bore anyone reading this with my stream of conscious attempts at figuring out why Gass doesn t do it for me he just doesn t for some reason One uick note though on the back of the edition I have the copy says that the book is written in an exuisitely shaped prose that marvelously echoes the accents of regional speech I don t think he does this nor is it the point of the book The book is the creation of a mythical mid western small town in the 1890 s There are moments where he does capture what I imagine could be the backwoods speech of his characters but much of the novel is the interior monologue of the town s preacher which is filled with dirty limericks sordid sexual fantasies and thoughts on cleaner subjects that feel achingly modern and not at all authentic whatever that might mean Actually too much of what makes up these thoughts is borderline infantile and seems to me to be witty in an overly intentionally shocking way Sort of the same way that sometimes Thomas Pynchon can get when he really gets going with his songs and some of the weirder SM Nazi sections of Gravity s Rainbow I sometimes feel like authors like John Barth the Barthelme s and Robert Coover can get this way too and it makes me think that it s similar to a little kid getting a kick out of saying a dirty word I picture certain readers of these books as chucking actually guffawing to themselves while thinking something like oh ho look at the dirty dirty thing the man in the tweed coat just wrote in this sinfully delicious piece of literature while rubbing the patches on their own tweed coat down to the threads in a paroxysm of glee I wouldn t recommend this book to anyone I know If they wanted to read this kind of literature there are people out there who I think do it better but for those who like to punish themselves in their reading this wouldn t be the worst you could find and there are moments of greatness here but there is also just too many parts that seem like literary masturbation The Last Kids on Earth and the Skeleton Road for violent thoughts Omensetter's Luck meticulously brings to life a specific time and place as it illuminates timeless uestions about life love good and evil. According to some interviews and things like that Omensetter s Luck was DFW s Lovers Destined favorite books My own track record with reading DFW recommended books is hit and miss sometimes they seem to work out and other times as in the case of a Curtis White novel I am just left Prima che tu dica «Pronto» feeling blah and unimpressed This book Sweeter Than Wine falls into the second categoryParts of the book are really great and some of the writing is phenomenal but I Lady Ariana felt that the whole subject matter of the book just didn t do too much Milk And Honey for me I Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price find this a little weird because normally I m all about religion belief and disbelief and all of that jazz in books And looking back on the novel I do see some interesting things going on in the novel but the overall execution of the work The Substitute Bride felt a little lacking to me It s possible that William Gass just isn t The English Wife for me This is my second attempt at reading him and I What's Great About Puerto Rico? found the experience of this novel to be less painful than reading the gigantic The Tunnel but again I The Octopus Museum feel a little baffled about why I didn t like his books On paper I mean theoretical paper not paper paper which is the medium I read my books on thank you I should love William Gass He writes about topics I normally enjoy He Blood in the Dust falls into the difficult camp of Pynchon Gaddis DFW that I drool over like a incontinent Living to Tell the Tale A Guide to Writing Memoir fanboy and I should welcome the challenges his texts offer I can t put my The volunteer finger on why he doesn t do it Sweet and Sour Milk Variations on the Theme of An African Dictatorship for me though I can t say that it s the style he writes in it s very similar to the way William Gaddis structured JR except that it s easier to The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling follow since usually you are just dealing with the Milk and Honey focus on one character and not an ever shifting narrative thread except Incarcerated Visions of California in the 21st Century for possibly the Rezad por los difuntos first short chapter of the book which I enjoyed than the rest of the novel I won t bore anyone reading this with my stream of conscious attempts at Shriman Yogi श्रीमान योगी figuring out why Gass doesn t do it Kitchen Table Tarot Pull Up a Chair Shuffle the Cards and Let's Talk Tarot for me he just doesn t Sir Alex Ritter ohne Furcht und Ahnung for some reason One uick note though on the back of the edition I have the copy says that the book is written in an exuisitely shaped prose that marvelously echoes the accents of regional speech I don t think he does this nor is it the point of the book The book is the creation of a mythical mid western small town in the 1890 s There are moments where he does capture what I imagine could be the backwoods speech of his characters but much of the novel is the interior monologue of the town s preacher which is Brain Microtuble Associated Proteins Modifications in Disease filled with dirty limericks sordid sexual Paul The Apostle fantasies and thoughts on cleaner subjects that Maisy At the Beach Sticker Book feel achingly modern and not at all authentic whatever that might mean Actually too much of what makes up these thoughts is borderline infantile and seems to me to be witty in an overly intentionally shocking way Sort of the same way that sometimes Thomas Pynchon can get when he really gets going with his songs and some of the weirder SM Nazi sections of Gravity s Rainbow I sometimes Whore ified at Horror Beach HallowKreme 2018 Book 15 feel like authors like John Barth the Barthelme s and Robert Coover can get this way too and it makes me think that it s similar to a little kid getting a kick out of saying a dirty word I picture certain readers of these books as chucking actually guffawing to themselves while thinking something like oh ho look at the dirty dirty thing the man in the tweed coat just wrote in this sinfully delicious piece of literature while rubbing the patches on their own tweed coat down to the threads in a paroxysm of glee I wouldn t recommend this book to anyone I know If they wanted to read this kind of literature there are people out there who I think do it better but Decoding Roulette for those who like to punish themselves in their reading this wouldn t be the worst you could Its Not about You Mr. Santa Claus find and there are moments of greatness here but there is also just too many parts that seem like literary masturbation

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Greeted as a masterpiece when it was first published in 1966 Omensetter's Luck is the uirky impressionistic and breathtakingly original story of an ordinary community galvanized by the presence of an extraordin. Words were superior they maintained a superior control they touched without your touching they were at once the bait the hook the line the pole and the water in betweenI ve always admired the craftsmanship that goes into building a piece of fine furniture or sewing a handmade garment or painstakingly painting a piece of china I guess you could say William Gass is a craftsman of a different kind a craftsman of words It s remarkable to me how this man took 26 simple letters and created with them this masterpiece of postmodern fiction I ve done a little homework and discovered a bit about Gass s writing process how he writes sort of moment to moment sentence by sentence without really knowing in advance how a thing will turn out Interestingly from what I ve read the original manuscript for Omensetter s Luck his only copy was stolen reuiring Gass to begin anew And apparently the character Reverend Jethro Furber did not appear in the initial manuscript and even in the rewriting Furber was to be a minor character But I guess Furber refused to be stifled and we are all lucky for itI ve said that I found Reverend Jethro Furber to be the most despicable villain I ve ever encountered I take that back What we find about Furber along the way as his character develops is that he like everyone else is just a man He s a calculating cunning hideous heinous hedonistic hoodwinking human being Maybe we expect from him as a man of God which is why his behavior is so startling so disconcerting While the characters are interesting and the story is compelling the real reason to read this novel is the writing It s the clanging banging rhythmic sentences the artistry of words It s the kind of book that should be read ALOUD The complexity of form the demands made on the reader the perplexity of it all these are the things I search for Creativity bravery honesty give me these above plot above everything else Make me work for my reward MAKE me start over DEMAND my full attention I expect nothing less from a great writer And Mr Gass is certainly one of the greats


10 thoughts on “Omensetter's Luck

  1. says:

    Words were superior; they maintained a superior control; they touched without your touching; they were at once the bait the hook the line the pole and the water in betweenI’ve always admired the craftsmanship that goes into building a piece of fine furniture or sewing a handmade garment or painstakingly painting a piec

  2. says:

    Israbestis Tott is like a well full to the brim with stories He draws up stories daily hourly first lines spilling from his lips by the minute In the mornings Matt was like a bell Omensetter was a wide and happy man Furber never listened He declaimed Henry Pimber lay with lockjaw in his bedThere is the story of Kick’s cat the s

  3. says:

    when I was a little boy and learning letters — A B C love was never taught to me I couldn't spell it the O was always missing or the V so I wrote love like live or lure or late or law or liar Omensetter’s Luck is an ode to words While in most of the fiction writing the characters the plot the beginning the middle the end all gives rise to the words it’s the other way round in case of this book and William Howard Gass is a w

  4. says:

    A wonderful postmodern novel set in Gilean Ohio in the 1890s Brackett Omensetter arrives in the town with his family He appe

  5. says:

    In his afterword Gass kibitzes about the strange route to finally scorch Omensetter’s Luck into print His original MS was filched by a creepy colleague a possible candidate for the punning Culp in The Tunnel and rewritten tirelessly over the unhappy fifties and sixties with the occasional interlude for prawn po

  6. says:

    I Know Not WhenceNor Whither Willy Nilly BlowingWilliam H Gass positions words on the page one after the other Soon a sentence takes shape then a paragraph then a chapter then a section then a novel in its entiretyThe words are not necessarily directional from the outset A sentence goes in the direction dictated by each additional word The

  7. says:

    Word word what is a wordCan it be seen can it be hearddown with the fish up with the birdfloating obscene flying absurd? A word is

  8. says:

    According to some interviews and things like that Omensetter's Luck was DFW's favorite books My own track record with reading DFW recommended books is hit and miss sometimes they seem to work out and other times as in the

  9. says:

    If you are like me one who loves the sounds of words how they sing sentences that embed in the mind with their craft this is a book to relish Phrase after phrase to read out loud to listen This is not completely accurate the story spoke itself out loud to me as I read It spoke in its voice This was the voice it seemed to me of the work not of

  10. says:

    This book is elegant madness Beauty given meaning both because and in spite of life's brutality Chaos in 300 pages of one gorgeously rendered sentence chasing another and another and another down the spiral of ebbing sanity and diminishing credibility The Writer is God Don't you ever forget that as this has always been the case Much in the fashion of a lonely deity or at the risk of redundancy a scientific force dividin

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Tessa Young is an 18 year old college student with a simple life, excellent grades, and a sweet boyfriend She always has things planned out ahead of time, until she meets a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings who shatters her plans.