William H. Gass (Pdf kindle) Omensetter's Luck

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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. 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 story of the man who went to pieces the story of the high and iron fence There is the story of the Hen Woods burning the story of the hunt for Hog Bellman the story of the cut rate tonsillectomy But no one wants to hear Tott s stories they are an odd lot he can t even auction them offSo Tott tells them to himself as he rambles about his old haunts or while lying on his bed when he is too tired to ramble And depending on how he tells them the stories are different because Tott knows and we know that there are almost as many ways to tell a story as there are stories told and that every time it gets a telling the story becomes a new and different story while always remaining or less the same storyTake the story of Henry Pimber and Jethro Furber for exampletell the story from Henry s side it is the story of the fox the well and the great white oak tell it from Jethro s point of view it is the story of the stalking stiff legged jackdaw clacking futilely tell it through the bulk of Omensetter it becomes another story a bitter story an ancient story There could have been ten a hundred stories in this book We know they are waiting to be drawn from the well we see them glint and shimmer at the bottom But Tott decides to give us only three Henry s story Furber s story and wrapping itself around them both the story of Omensetter So the three become one the end of innocence story the leave taking story the very first storyI like the pale geometry of the windows in the dark church like space William Gass has created in this book I like the uality of the light that pours in sometimes clear and bright sometimes hazy and murky I follow the dust motes as they float erratically erotically making shapes and breaking apart ditties and couplets Shakespeare and the Old Testament all caught up in a very unmerry but mirthful dance while Joyce underneath the blood about its business looks on from the side aisleWilliam Gass I am happy to have met you at last Detective Wanda Wolfe extraordin. 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 story of the man who went to pieces the story of the high and iron fence There is the story of the Hen Woods burning the story of the hunt for Hog Bellman the story of the cut rate tonsillectomy But no one wants to hear Tott s stories they are an odd lot he can t Riverside. Sen w wysokiej rozdzielczości even auction them offSo Tott tells them to himself as he rambles about his old haunts or while lying on his bed when he is too tired to ramble And depending on how he tells them the stories are different because Tott knows and we know that there are almost as many ways to tell a story as there are stories told and that Dreams of Glass every time it gets a telling the story becomes a new and different story while always remaining or less the same storyTake the story of Henry Pimber and Jethro Furber for Zawieszenie niewiary exampletell the story from Henry s side it is the story of the fox the well and the great white oak tell it from Jethro s point of view it is the story of the stalking stiff legged jackdaw clacking futilely tell it through the bulk of Omensetter it becomes another story a bitter story an ancient story There could have been ten a hundred stories in this book We know they are waiting to be drawn from the well we see them glint and shimmer at the bottom But Tott decides to give us only three Henry s story Furber s story and wrapping itself around them both the story of Omensetter So the three become one the Healing Sex end of innocence story the leave taking story the very first storyI like the pale geometry of the windows in the dark church like space William Gass has created in this book I like the uality of the light that pours in sometimes clear and bright sometimes hazy and murky I follow the dust motes as they float Spark (Stronger, erratically Wonder Woman and Philosophy erotically making shapes and breaking apart ditties and couplets Shakespeare and the Old Testament all caught up in a very unmerry but mirthful dance while Joyce underneath the blood about its business looks on from the side aisleWilliam Gass I am happy to have met you at last

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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. A wonderful postmodern novel set in Gilean Ohio in the 1890s Brackett Omensetter arrives in the town with his family He appears to be at one with the world I ve seen the word congruity used to describe his relationship with the world His wagon is open and rain seems inevitable but does not come He moves into a property which is flooded regularly but while Omensetter is there the land floods around his property but he remains dry He disturbs the locals his landlord Henry Pimber seems to become envious of Omensetter The local preacher Jethro Furber the central voice in the book is in some senses Omensetter s opposite pole Furber is in my opinion one of the great literary creations and as you spend a good deal of the novel inside his head you get to know him uite wellThe novel opens with Israbestis Tott don t you live those names looking back then Henry Pimber soon to be deceased has his say The bulk of the novel belongs to Furber It must be said that they are all to a man unreliable narrators They describe Omensetter s arrival his effect on the community and especially on Furber his healing of Henry with a makeshift poultice Henry s disappearance Furber s successful attempt to turn people against Omensetter Henry s death and the loss of Omensetter s luck The whole is written in magnificently constructed prose to put in uotes here would be difficult without putting in most of the book but here is how Brackett Omensetter is introduced Brackett Omensetter was a wide and happy man He could whistle like the cardinal whistles in the deep snow or whirr like the shy white rising from its cover or be the lark a chuckle at the sky He knew the earth He put his hands in water He smelled the clean fir smell He listened to the bees And he laughed his deep loud wide happy laugh whenever he could which was often long and joyfully Earth air and water Omensetter is a bit of a conundrum he is on the surface seen as good moral and a symbol of innocence Almost a force of nature with his luck However there are a couple of interesting incidents When the fox is stuck in the well it is Henry Pimber s instinct to free him Omensetter refuses to release the fox saying it is natural to leave him there to starve if fate doesn t help him out It never occurs to Omensetter that he might be an instrument of fate The same situation applies when at the end of the book Omensetter refuses to fetch a doctor to his baby son who has diphtheria Omensetter unlike the rest of the community does not attend Church on Sunday preferring to walk with his family Goodness does not seem to me to be the right word for Omensetter There is perhaps the beginning of the idea that although this is all about good and evil life and death love and hate these concepts cannot be represented separately Innocence is ultimately corruptThen we come to Furber Jethro Furber is a tormented crazed sex obsessed unbelieving preacher His interior monologue is scatological blasphemous colourful and full of rhymes and doggerel Many of these are the sort of playground rhymes that we all learnt at school but funny for all that As Omensetter s life begins to fall apart Furber moves towards redemption Furber s language and metaphors are startling The words popped from their rounded cheeks like half eaten figs that from the first page I opened and the first sentence I looked at Furber does eventually express his unbelief from the pulpit We are here yes yet we do not belong This my friends is the source of all religious feeling On this truth everything depends We are here yet we do not belong and though we need comfort and hope and strength to sustain us anything that draws us nearer to this life and puts us in desire of it is deeply wrong and greatly deceives usI ask you now to ask yourselves one simple foolish uestion to say was I born for this and I ask you please to face it honestly and answer yea if you can or nay if you mustFor thisYou rise in the morning you stretch you scratch your chestFor thisAll night while you snored the moon burned as it burned for Jesus or for CaesarYou wash you dressFor thisSo you were meant for this You ve your eyes your human consciousness for this It is a magnificent tour de force throughout I do feel I understand something about Furber In my younger days I was an Anglican priest Episcopalian in the US I had been brought up Pentecostal moved away from fundamentalism at university and became an Anglican By my late 20s I gradually came to the conclusion I no longer believed in God or the Church and I was a priest My house job and wage all tied up in it I could have done what many clergy do decided God was immanent within rather than transcendent and the language was symbol and metaphor with no life everlasting just be nice to each other The tension created madness in Furber and I recognize that stress and the anguish I left the church as I could not contemplate living and preaching what I did not believe Furber ends up defending Omensetter after trying to destroy him and goes on to have a breakdownThe whole book is a delight it is hard work at times but well worth the effort it considers the very basic and important human uestions and deals with them in a uniue and poetic way A great American novel

Summary Omensetter's Luck

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. 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 the author All I was reuired to do was read and listen Something similar generally happens but it is in the end my voice reading the work in my mind the reader s voice As Omensetter s Luck progressed my voice vanished I believe I could have taken a break gotten some popcorn and the novel s voice would have continued on without meThe artistry of this language unfurled itself against the largest rock shorn uestions which could be found death pain resurrection belief veracity history and whether to live There are no signs announcing such is being done Even when bejeweled with the brilliance of metaphor we are too occupied living the unfolding story which is leaping and shifting through time residing within the complexities of characters to notice any traceGass s opening section The Triumph Of Israbestis Tott is remarkable for all that it accomplishes in inviting us into the story and foretelling what is to come Elderly he is attending the auctioning off of Missus Lucy Pimber s possessions following her death He does not recognize those who peopled this small country town in the late 1880 s with him They are dead or ailing As one of the last survivors of the time he is left with the mantel of inscribing its history Even Israbestis can see his accounts are stories passed down by the the malleable craft of storytelling Stories change over time bend to the flourishes of need and gratificationThis story is one where a stranger comes to a town settled in its ways so that time can be passed relatively unperturbed His easy manner non participation in the rituals and cliches performed to establish the agreed upon blanket of security dimming their fears results in much gossip and speculation We know about him mainly through others about his unexplained luck everything effortlessly working out and confounding the established beliefs and rules They do not consider the reasoned possibility that when someone goes through a lucky streak their confidence builds they relax and are like to perform at a level above their normal set of skills at least until reality sets back in As we know from our current lives through the conversation of history over time whether it is the growing murmurs of religion sport or humanity has shown the need to make the ordinary extraordinary to seek the miraculous and conjure the iconic It is hope that is sought throughout these words not as a delicacy or dessert but as an earthbound need to gather what is needed to survive Since the materials left to us are words letters ordered at discretion the results are stories passed on into reverenced legend which builds and expands and becomes an integral part of lore The underside of this since at some level we know stories are simply lettered words how they expand and how often they divert into tributaries that seemingly are discovered at the moment of need is doubt Doubt is what is to be snuffed out if fear is to be minimized comfort and security maximized Yet doubt is closer to the reality that the world has to offerThis is why my favorite character was the Reverend Jethro Furber Presented as an inner volcano readying to explode in contradicting beliefs at times paralyzing he was for me the only character who was at least aware of the complexities of his inner contradictions and doubts While on the surface someone to scoff at someone who suffered and may also have served as a precautionary tale was the most courageousIn my hands I was reading a book a story it too made of letters and words which for me was offering the tougher existence of facing and pursuing doubt not counting on and settling for the vagaries of history belief the muteness of cliches This story in my hands was in my account an anti story It told of the possible future dangers of itself though in its charmed fashionWhat happened to the lost 5th star then After page 150 when I was reading I was completely under the spell of the book However when I was away from the book those nasty calls back into the flatness of life I was not called back to the book That usually doesn t happen Typically I have to fend off the return to the book to get responsibilities done and out of the way At first I thought it was that the prose had become the writer s and was now too good too polished too smooth a gloss with no sharp edges After a good deal of thought I realized it was a passivity which crept into the writing After finishing the novel and reading Gass s Afterword he complains of a personal passivity I gave myself the much earned accolades for depth of insight self enlightenment the humility of my giftsIn the middle of the night I woke proclaimed Oh shit and went back to sleep Now later in this next day I sit here with you and my laptop Not easy but I think I was wrong Being wrong happened three years ago and three years before that so I think I am establishing a pattern Gass is a much smarter guy than I will ever be and a stellar craftsman hard to find his eual His style shift into a gradual thinning passivity was conforming the style to the growing passivity of the town s people our ritualized and cliched characters We are forced due to the style to read and experience it as such How perceptive of me in the end to realize this I can build on it Over time create for me an icon of me It s possible to lower the freuency of my being wrong to every four years I can revere me I candamn it s easier to make an icon of someone else Besides I ve got some laundry to do Oh and I have to find and post that missing star


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 piece of china I guess you could say William Gass is a craftsman of a different kind a craftsma

  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

  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 m

  4. says:

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

  5. says:

    In his afterword Gass kibitzes about the strange route to finally scorch Omensetter’s Luck into print His original MS was filched

  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

  7. says:

    Word word w

  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 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

  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 i

  10. says:

    This book is elegant madness Beauty given meaning both because and in spite of life's brutality Chaos in 300 pages

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