Tags » William Gaddis
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[V]arious reports were received at home concerning the pastor’s sabbatical: rococo tales, adorned with every element but truth. It was not true that […] he had dressed himself in rags, rented three pitiful children, and was to be encountered daily by footloose tourists in a state of mendicant collapse before the Ritz hotel in Madrid; it was not true that he had stood the entire population of Malaga to drinks for three days and then conducted them on an experimental hike across the sea toward Africa, intending that the One he sought should manage it dry-shod; it was not true that he had married a hoary crone with bangles in her ears, proclaimed himself rightful heir to the throne of Abd-er-Rahman, and led an insurrection of the Moors on Cordoba.
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“–Reading it? Christ no, what do you think I am? I just been having trouble sleeping, so my analyst told me to get a book and count the letters, so I just went in and asked them for the thickest book in the place and they sold me this damned thing, he muttered looking at the book with intimate dislike.
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