William Gaddis


One of the top five novels of the 20th century is gaddis' "The Recognitions", a novel about gnosticism, art forgery, counterfeiting and so much more, set in the 40s and 50s in New York, a massive tour de force of over half a million words and 900+ pages. You think Holden Caulfield was the king of phoney? Wait until you read this. Totally neglected when it was published (Jack Green fully documents this in his Dalkey Archive book "Fire the Bastards"), Gaddis was finally granted belated recognition (excuse the pun) with his later works. This book ranks with "Ulysses", "Under the Volcano", "Light in August", and "One Hundred Years of Solitude" as my top 5 20th century novels.

>>By runner   (Tuesday, 7 Nov 2006 15:15)

I actually got around to reading "Recognitions" earlier this year . . .I had bought a copy
sometime in the 70's I believe . . .but the whole thing is a bit daunting . . .I primarily
bought the book [many many years ago vide above] because of Stuart Gilbert's
[Gilbert Stuart? . . . these names I constantly confuse] solid recommendation.
I've long since lost the paperback edition that I picked up decades ago . . .and
just got around to reading a library copy of the book this year due to the "solid"
plug for the book by William Gass . . .and author I've admired for some time . . .
I also used the Annotations to the book [by Stephen Somebody-or-other . . .not a
good day for names for me . . .Ha Ha!] which I found quite useful and I noted many
of the entries from the Annotations given as "unascribed" where the annotator had
just "drawn a blank". So I'm pursuing those "unascribed" entries also . . . I think
I already have some good leads . . .I even got into some of Robert Graves' work
looking for possible tie-ins there [other than "White Goddess" . . . which appears
to have been one of Pynchons' sources also].
So . . .I was pleased to see that there's a Discussion HQ for this particular
quite-cerebral writer . . . there are a number of passages in the novel which are
really quite MEMORABLE . . . and being a bit of a Joycean myself, I do enjoy
the Game of Literary Detection . . .just looking for LINKS and CLUES etc

>>By satorotas   (Wednesday, 13 Dec 2006 22:38)

Further Notes for any who have an interest:
I think it would be quite involving [meaning lots of cerebral FRISSON going down]
to consider Pynchon's Gaddis Reception . . .and similarly Joseph McElroy's
G-Reception . . .noting McElroy has let it be known that "Recognitions" was a major
"inspiration" [if that word's not too "corny" here] . . .putting wind into the sails
of "A Smuggler's Bible" . . .and one would like also to carefully consider
Gaddis's Joyce's Reception [the whole "Stephen" thing in RECOGs] .
Pynchon's "V" seems to be very much Under the Aegis of Gaddis . . . and one might
easily imagine many similarities between Gaddis & Pynchon in TONE, IRONIC
VOICINGS etc . . .perhaps even politically [is there a POLITICAL dimension
to Gaddis at all?!?!?].
The above are just some "jumping-off" points . . .hopefully leading
to future discussions/exchanges here.
Submitted by the SATOR . . .
Somebody pick up the ball please . . .
like . . .KEEP IT ROLLING even!

>>By satorotas   (Thursday, 14 Dec 2006 23:30)

The discussion board is currently closed.