In a series of brilliant variations, William Gass presents a manâs lifeâfutile, comic, anarchicâarranged in an array of vocabularies, altered rhythms, forms, and tones, with music as both theme and structure.
It begins in Graz, Austria, in 1938, when Joseph Skizzenâs father pretends to be Jewish and emigrates to avoid the Nazis. In London with his wife and children for the duration of the war, he mysteriously disappears and the rest of the family relocates to a small town in Ohio. Here Joseph Skizzen grows up and leads a resolutely ordinary life, but one that is built on a scaffold of forgery and deceit. Outwardly he is a professor of music at a mediocre college; secretly he is the earnestly obsessive curator of a private Inhumanity Museum, meant to contain the guilt of centuries of atrocities. Middle C tells the story of his journeyâa story that is also an investigation into the nature of identity and the ways in which each of us is several selves.
About: A literary eventâthe long-awaited novel, almost two decades in work, by the acclaimed author of The Tunnel (âThe most beautiful, most complex, most disturbing novel to be published in my lifetime.
About: In a series of brilliant variations, William Gass presents a manâs lifeâfutile, comic, anarchicâarranged in an array of vocabularies, altered rhythms, forms, and tones, with music as both theme and structure.
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