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William Gaddis (1922–1998)

Teoksen The Recognitions tekijä

10+ teosta 6,414 jäsentä 88 arvostelua 56 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

William Gaddis was born on December 29, 1922, in Manhattan, New York City. He was an American novelist. In Recognition of William Gaddis (1984) is a collection of essays supporting the view that Gaddis is the Herman Melville of the twentieth century. The comparison may prove justified, not only näytä lisää because of artistic similarities, but also because both writers suffered from years of neglect before achieving fame. Gaddis' novel The Recognitions (1955) baffled and angered most of its initial reviewers, but it has slowly, steadily attracted a growing number of appreciative readers willing to work through its more than 900 demanding pages. Its length and encyclopedic complexity caused some critics mistakenly to hail it as the American Ulysses, but Gaddis disclaimed much knowledge of James Joyce. It was named one of TIME magazine's 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005. As if to make amends for the neglect of The Recognitions, most reviewers greeted Gaddis' second novel, JR (1975), with respectful attention. Although not a popular success, it won the National Book Award. Gaddis won a second National Book Award in 1994 for his book, A Frolic of His Own. Gaddis died at home in East Hampton, New York, of prostate cancer on December 16, 1998. näytä vähemmän
Image credit: William Gass / Washington University

Tekijän teokset

The Recognitions (1955) 2,233 kappaletta
J R (1975) 1,389 kappaletta
A Frolic of His Own (1994) 1,135 kappaletta
Carpenter's Gothic (1985) 814 kappaletta
Agape Agape (2002) 601 kappaletta
Letters of William Gaddis (2013) 86 kappaletta
Gaddis William 1 kappale

Associated Works

Legal Fictions: Short Stories About Lawyers and the Law (1992) — Avustaja — 48 kappaletta
Writers in Revolt: An Anthology (1963) — Avustaja — 32 kappaletta
Self-portrait: Book people picture themselves (1976) — Avustaja — 27 kappaletta
New World Writing: First Mentor Selection (1952) — Avustaja — 11 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




Gaddis, Le Salon Littéraire du Peuple pour le Peuple (kesäkuu 2012)


technical tour-de-force, written entirely in dialog
Merkitty asiattomaksi
lidaskoteina | 18 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 2, 2024 |
My edition of William Gaddis' The Recognitions is 1,021 pages long. Dense pages of small type, often with only one break between paragraphs. And unfortunately (or perhaps appropriately) was mildly infested with book mites (which a couple days in a zip-lock bag in the freezer took care of) and the musty smell of an attic (which nothing cured) that left my eyes watering on occasion like the effect of bad allergies.

I want to hate this book but am unable to. There are incredibly well-written scenes that are almost poetic in their word choices, and in spite of its unusual writing style in which characters commit dialogue demarcated only by em dashes it is rarely difficult to determine who is speaking (what they're talking about is a different issue). I want to like this book but am equally unable to. It contains so many references to obscure books and songs and works of art, often in languages other than English, along with a wealth of Latin and German phrases, that a reader could spend as much time googling as it takes to read this book and probably still not appreciate what Gaddis intended by including the reference. Mainly I want to understand this book, but seriously doubt anyone is able to because The Recognitions is populated with so many certifiable characters it should have a copy of the DSM-5 appended as a bibliography.

I would love to provide a plot summary but there are too many narratives and no clear protagonist. The man my dust jacket refers to as the "central quester" disappears for the middle third (or more) of the story, and when he reappears he is either described but unnamed (as many of the characters are in various parts of the novel) or called by the name of a man on a forged passport. I would love to explain why he is called that name but it would take as long to explain as for you to read, and like me you probably still wouldn't be able to say why, exactly.

If you enjoyed Finnegans Wake, this is a book for you. If you liked Naked Lunch, this is a book for you. If you can read about a Christmas Eve party given by either the wife or ex-wife (it is never made clear) of that same central quester, a woman who has either just had an abortion directly before the party or has been pretending to be pregnant and had a pretend abortion (again, never made clear), where a child appears repeatedly, asking for and receiving sleeping pills for her mother, where one guest has left another guest's six-year-old daughter either at a movie theater or a church (again, never made clear) and Hemingway may or may not make an appearance (we are never provided clear evidence it is Hemingway, although it is clear regarding his earlier appearances in the novel) and the hostess winds up in bed with a man who may or may not be the one who may or may not have impregnated her and either has sex with him or is forced to watch him masturbate (ibid), and not worry that you didn't really understand the point of this scene, this is a book for you. If you aren't up for 1,021 pages of that don't feel bad - you aren't missing a masterpiece but rather a book that will leave you asking yourself how many people can attempt suicide in one book (particularly people who all know each other).
… (lisätietoja)
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skavlanj | 33 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 18, 2023 |
I didn't read this book i experienced it. It got into my dreams. It is the funniest classic book i have ever read, laugh out loud funny. The settings were indelible. At times it annoyed the hell out of me. There are pages and pages of people talking on and on while someone tries but can't get a word in edgewise. In some ways it is a 700+ page Bob Newhart on the telephone skit.
I don't think it was as hard to read as i have heard. It's like a lot of more modern books if it was a film no one would complain about it being difficult. The difficulty of most modern fiction would even be commented on if it were in a film. People are a lot more sophisticated when it comes to decoding film.
It shines out in the wasteland that is american fiction. One has many more fingers than necessary to count the number of books written in america since this was published that deserve to be read more.
… (lisätietoja)
1 ääni
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soraxtm | 18 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Apr 9, 2023 |
Un hombre que yace en cama moribundo se embarca en un monólogo mental a partir de la mecanización de las artes, representada en la aparición de la paniola. Su reflexión termina por ser una punzante diatriba contra la sociedad moderna, con sus arraigados anhelos de fortuna y reconocimiento.
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Natt90 | 7 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 14, 2023 |



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