William Gaddis’ The Recognitions is a stylistically and generically conflicted novel. On one hand it is, as it is billed by Jonathan Franzen in its blurb, the “ur-text of postwar fiction,” initiating the noble tradition of ‘the penis novel’ (here being a synonym for maximalist, encyclopaedic, post-thing) in contemporary American letters, a tradition extended by William Gass, the aforementioned Franzen, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, Don De Lillo &c. 881 more words
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From Washington University’s marvelous Modern Literature Collection YouTube channel.
"First—listen. Listen to Joyce, to Woolf, to Faulkner, to Melville" | On Audiobooks of "Difficult" Novels
I am a huge fan of audiobooks. I’ve pretty much always got one going—for commutes, jogs, workaday chores, etc. The usual. I love to listen to audiobooks of books I’ve already read, in particular, but I of course listen to new stuff too, or stuff that’s new to me, anyway. 1,083 more words
Paul Griffiths reviews the volume in the TLS
“Another damned thick, square book.” It is easy to imagine William Gaddis responding thus to the publication of his letters, quoting, as he regularly did in connection with his novels, a remark thrown at Edward Gibbon by a royal duke of the time. 110 more words
William Gaddis’s cut-and-paste notes toward composing his novel J R. Check out more of Gaddis’s notes for J R at the Modern Literature Collection at Washington University. 62 more words