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“Bill was my thesis director at DU from 1986 through 1988. He was a wonderful human being and a gifted teacher. We all loved him very much. ”
1 of 9 | Posted by: John Murray - Denver, CO

William Wiser in Playboy magazine in the late sixties for an article on the Cannes Film Festival “One year ago William Wiser disappeared, to reappear in this old Playboy magazine found by my friend Yves Legrain-crist Thank you Yves for this rare...Read More »
2 of 9 | Posted by: Paco Wiser - NEW DELHI - Son

“Bill was my teacher at the University of Denver in the late 1980s and early 1990s. All the English department graduate students waited for the...Read More »
3 of 9 | Posted by: Jennie Ward - Burke, VA - Student

“We knew Bill in the sixties when he was teaching at the University of Texas in Austin and doing research on Disappearances at the Humanities Research...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Carolyn Osborn - Austin, TX

“I knew Bill when he was writer-in-residence at the Queens's University of Belfast (and I a callow undergraduate) at the end of the seventies. He was...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Frankie Meehan - Singapore

“As I was telling you a few weeks ago Paco, fo me he will remain the man writting in his small "garden room" he had built for being far from our noise...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Bernard Leynaud - Grasse

“When I was a kid I knew Bill as Uncle Bill. But with my father's father having passed away when I was just 4 years old and my mother completely...Read More »
7 of 9 | Posted by: Nic Ramke - Denver, CO - friend

Bill & Oriane, one of his grand daughters, in 1999 “Thanks to Bill I have been introduced to English literature; but not as a student. This goes back all the way to the early nineties, when Anou (my...Read More »
8 of 9 | Posted by: Véronique WISER - NEW DELHI

“I always enjoyed the visits to Florida that uncle Bill was able to make and my most favorite was my dad's (his brother) 70th birthday when all the...Read More »
9 of 9 | Posted by: LeeAnn Dinuzzo - Orlando, FL


William Wiser passed away quietly on June 3rd 2012 in Iowa City, as he had, in his own words, lived a good life. A writer's life. A life that took him wishfully in exile to France, following the steps of Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Fitzgerald, and Nabokov, some of his mentors in literature.
If he had not done so he would have not met his wife Micheline, and we, his children, would not have been born, nor one of his most acclaimed novel taking place in Paris in the twenties: Disappearances, been written. This novel starts with a sentence of a few striking words: "Consider these bones." not something to put ordinarily in an obituary. But the rhythm of this sentence as the beginning of Moby Dick "Call me Ishmael" starts a journey that will stir life back into the most apathetic reader: following the mystery of Landru "the bluebird of Gambais" the famous French supposed murderer of 12 women and one young man, the protagonist of this story, a young 18 years old American boy is thrown into Parisian intellectual life through Gertrude Steins' salon in the early crazy years of the twenties, then into his own discovery of the mysteries of sex, love, lies and loss.
So Bill knew all about grief and resurrection. Here is, if proof need be, a small extract of another book set in Europe "The Circle Tour" that we believe, my sister and I, to be a vision of the two children we were to him: "I opened the window blinds to a watery reflection of pale blue and bright green. A little spit of land extended like a finger into the misty blue of the Mediterranean: two children, a boy and a girl, stood on the balcony of a tiled cream-stucco villa; they were waving together, at the blue train or at me. The sun broke directly behind them, shadow and gold. I was granted the gratuitous insight that rebirth is forever possible."
He's had great praise all through his literary carrier, one of his favorite being that his style matched the interweaved construction of Bach's fugues. As Bach's music was the only one he loved, and could listen to while he wrote, this compliment went to his heart.
As we stand now having lost his carnal presence we of course turn to his words to be reminded of his wits and skill, but I would like to share with everyone a few words from one of his latest neighbor Jo Conroy who wrote "I felt it was a privilege to know him. He was a gifted and gracious man. I enjoyed our conversations and enjoyed his books." This is the man we will remember. He loved to walk, to observe his fellow humans in their ordinary life. He was an unusual American longing to stay a common man, following Thoreau's example, living as free and as simply as he could.
William Wiser loved famous last words. Here are his written ones: (View "life images" section to see William's original typed wishes)

To Whom it May Concern:
Having reached the biblically allotted life span of three0score and ten (plus three, at the time of this writing) I face the inevitability of life's closing down and the arrangements that I will have no part in after death.
1. That my remains be cremated at the least possible expense and the ashes scattered, no burial or grave plot necessary...
2. That no ceremony or service be held, since my family is scattered over two continents and the inconvenience of assembly would be expensive and stressful...
3. That any usable parts of my body be removed and donated to the afflicted (though I doubt the body parts of a man past 70 years will be of any use), especially to those least able to pay for transplant.
These are my wishes, a request meant to forestall needless expense and stress for my survivors. I have had, and am still having (at the time of this writing), a good life, much of the goodness due to family and friends. I will bid adieu with few regrets.
Clarence William Wiser
Denver, Colorado 11 February
2003

Ah and Bill, Oriane your grand-daughter turned thirteen just a few days after you left on June 10th, she is shining with health and remembers you sipping and savoring your whiskey. I know it was one of your last wishes to see your grand daughters become teenagers. Nikita and Olivia will soon follow. We are working on those few regrets of yours. So take care on this last trip. You told me you were curious about this destination, those shores from which no traveler returns. I picture you to "melt thaw and resolve yourself into a dew", to quote Hamlet and Shakespeare that you kindly read to me when I was only a few hours old.
Obituary written by his son, Paco Wiser.

*photograph of William Wiser taken by Leo Buzkin