Saturday, March 31, 2018

Gass's Good Opinion on Opinions (the adjective is my opinion)

The compulsively quotable William Howard Gass, American author and word magician (and, in the interstices of that vocation, a professional philosopher), died a few hours before last Infamous Day at the age of infinity (or 93, close enough). The man is four months gone but the books still speak and sing (and now I'll Gass up and go for baroque) like so many Ovidian Orpheus heads scattered across the globe. Here, in a single short paragraph from his late essay "Influence" (collected in A Temple of Texts), Gass delivers an unsettling warning to anyone who reads and thinks. (Folks named Trump need not apply.)

"If you enjoy the opinions you possess, if they give you a glow, be suspicious. They may be possessing you. An opinion should be treated like a guest who is likely to stay too late and drink all the whiskey."

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