On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry by William H. Gass

By William H. Gass

On Being Blue is a booklet approximately every thing blue--sex and sleaze and disappointment, between different things--and approximately every little thing else. It brings us the realm in a observe as simply William H. Gass, between modern American writers, can do.

Gass writes:
Of the colours, blue and eco-friendly have the best emotional diversity. unhappy reds and depression yellows are tricky to show up. one of the historical parts, blue happens in every single place: in ice and water, within the flame as simply as within the flower, overhead and within caves, overlaying fruit and oozing out of clay. even though eco-friendly enlivens the earth and mixes within the ocean, and we discover it, copperish, in fireplace; eco-friendly air, eco-friendly skies, are infrequent. grey and brown and greatly dispensed, yet there are not any cheerful swatches of both, or any of the exuberant black, sullen purple, or acquiescent orange. Blue is accordingly best suited because the colour of inside existence. even if slick gentle sharp excessive shiny imagine fast bitter new and funky or low deep candy darkish smooth sluggish gentle heavy outdated and hot: blue strikes simply between all of them, and all profoundly qualify our states of feeling.

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Extra resources for On Being Blue: A Philosophical Inquiry

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For each instalment he was paid £460–£680, according to length. In the front of the book he acknowledges Robinson’s help: ‘This story owes its incep• 64 • THE CANON tion to my friend, Mr Fletcher Robinson, who has helped me both in the general plot and in the local details. ’ Barrymore is one of the chief suspects in Sir Charles’ murder, and Doyle subtly hints at this when he writes the butler was ‘the first to dog the new heir when he returned to England’ (emphasis mine). Beryl, wishing to be free of her cruel and philandering husband, is used to highlight Doyle’s ongoing campaign against outmoded divorce laws.

Problems: It is never explained how Arthur Pinner knew of Pycroft’s new job. It seems odd that a large financial house would employ a clerk without an interview. Observations: Published originally as The Stock-broker’s Clerk, the story takes place a few months after Watson’s marriage and the events of The Sign of Four. Verdict: A clever conundrum – albeit virtually identical to The Red-Headed League – which remains pleasantly puzzling up to the gratifyingly unexpected conclusion. 4/5 19) The Adventure of the ‘Gloria Scott’ UK: The Strand Magazine (April 1893, SP); USA: Harper’sWeekly (15 April 1893,WHH) The Case: Holmes’ student friend’s father faces a sinister man from his shady past… Date: Summer-autumn 1885.

2/5 18) The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk UK: The Strand Magazine (March 1893, SP); USA: Harper’s Weekly (11 March 1893,WHH) The Case: A City worker grows suspicious when two employers turn out to be the same man in disguise… Characters: Hall Pycroft, Arthur and Harry Pinner, the Beddington brothers, Mary Watson, landlady, Parker, Sergeant Tuson, Constable Pollock, Dr Farquhar. Locations: Watson’s practice, Paddington; Franco-Midland Hardware Company Ltd, 126B Corporation Street, • 48 • THE CANON Birmingham; Coxon and Woodhouse, Drapers’ Gardens; Mawson and Williams, Lombard Street; 17 Potter’s Terrace, Hampstead; New Street hotel, Birmingham.

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