In this, one of the strangest books about writing and language you're likely ever to read, fiction writer and philosophy professor Gass spins off into an improvisational inquiry into the nature of words and consciousness, using as his departure point the concept of the color blue--the idea of blue, the state of blue, the uses of blue...the bluenesses of blue. It's kind of hard to sum up, and if it sounds weird, it is--but it's also wonderful.
"'Blue' is poetically reconfigured as a shifting state to which the beholder perpetually attunes." —New Statesman
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"[On Being Blue] is a talismanic, self-contained kind of book that seems more giving, more delicious each time one returns." —Brian Dillon, The Guardian
"The mark of a good essay is its ability to span worlds — illuminate complex ideas with a careful, personal touch. In On Being Blue there is life and death, pleasure, sadness, sex, personhood, theology — worlds of words." —Jaun Vidal, NPR
“A book no person who loves writing and the sound writing makes should be without.” —The New Republic
“Gass is a philosopher-voluptuary, someone who romances language with a roué’s cunning, and isn’t afraid to play with words and ideas for sheer sport." —Diane Ackerman
“On Being Blue is a luminous work, a tour de force on blue, that word (and color) reverberant with what is called experience. On Being Blue celebrates both language and that which it represents and carefully draws our attention to that difficult middle ground on which the writer finds himself in lifelong struggle to join the two without sullying or smearing the clarities of either.” —Gilbert Sorrentino
“This is a tour de force...a virtuoso performance of great imaginative force.” —Los Angeles Times
“An enchanting book.” —John Bayley, The New York Times Book Review
“A blue-black, slightly brackish beauty of a book, a philosophical essay written, for the most part, with the lilt of a Renaissance epithalamium.” —Larry McMurtry, The Washington Post Book World
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.