"The sirens had hoarse throats"

From William H. Gass’ forthcoming novel, Middle C:

Joey … rails ran across France then, rails ran through the mountain passes and through tunnels into and out of the mountains, rails ran along the Mur, through forests of fir trees, because the war was over, the sirens had hoarse throats, all the bombs they’d dropped on one another had gone plode, and so we could have traveled home together, because there were no more warplanes, no more lights fingering the sky, no more Nazis; it was, we used to say when we slunk from our underground huddle, the large lot of us, and looked to see if our rubble was still standing, we used to say that the sirens said — the sirens said, All clear.

“The Gass Sentences: A Top 50”

Today is William Gass’ 88th birthday. For the Big Other website, John Madera asked some writers, readers, and publishers to name their own “literary pillars,” as a tribute to Gass and his “50 Literary Pillars” project from the early 1990s. After being invited to contribute, I went in a slightly different direction.

Michael Silverblatt Interviews William H. Gass

The Bookworm host has previously referred to Gass as “our greatest living writer of prose in America.” Here, he calls him "one of my true living heroes.”

Speaking of admiration, I love this interview bit from Gass about Henry James:

James’ world is not to be found anywhere in the world. It’s too wonderful for that.