Emily Temple in Literary Hub:

ScreenHunter_2900 Dec. 09 20.35William H. Gass, author of Omensetter’s Luck, In the Heart of the Heart of the Country, and Middle C, died on Wednesday at the age of 93 at his home in St. Louis. Gass was a boundary-breaking experimental writer (please read In the Heart of the Heart of the Country) as well as a critic, essayist and philosophy professor. Most importantly, Gass was a reigning master of the art of the sentence, and every one he wrote, he wrote with singular purpose. “If I am anything as a writer, that is what I am: a stylist,” he told The Paris Review. “I am not a writer of short stories or novels or essays or whatever. I am a writer, in general. I am interested in how one writes anything.” His work is invested in exploring the possibilities of literature as a form, in cadence, in sound, in weight and rhythm—which makes it sometimes impenetrable but often transcendent. To celebrate his life and art, here are a few of Gass’s instructions for writers and thoughts about the craft.

Put all those nasty thoughts you have to use:

If someone asks me, “Why do you write?” I can reply by pointing out that it is a very dumb question. Nevertheless, there is an answer. I write because I hate. A lot. Hard. And if someone asks me the inevitable next dumb question, “Why do you write the way you do?” I must answer that I wish to make my hatred acceptable because my hatred is much of me, if not the best part. Writing is a way of making the writer acceptable to the world—every cheap, dumb, nasty thought, every despicable desire, every noble sentiment, every expensive taste.

More here.