My review of William Gass's Middle C is now available at Identity Theory:
If writers such as Gary Lutz, Diane Williams, and Christine Schutt have brought increased attention to the sentence as the fundamental, perhaps even self-sufficient, source of aesthetic interest in fiction, the most important precursor to their particular kind of inspired sentence-making must be William H. Gass. While these writers cite Gordon Lish and his notion of “consecution” as the most immediate influence on their own practice of allowing form to evolve from the serial progression of meticulously constructed sentences rather than regarding form as the pre-existing container to be filled with the writer’s words, Gass was exploring the potential of the sentence as the focus of the writer’s art before Lish began exhorting his cadre of students to embrace this approach. . . .