This was Gaddis’s first novel published when he was 32 and more than 40 years on it is at the very heart of his enviable literary reputation. It has now come to be. The Recognitions (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) [William Gaddis, MR William H Gass PhD] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. 17 Feb William Gaddis, in the closing pages of his colossal novel “The Recognitions,” inserts a brief scene that manages to be at once.

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Wallace’s style of dialogue is lifted straight from this book, even down to the recognigions used to indicate a character’s silence. Or, more accurately, too much room—a remoteness from the major characters and a lack of palpable humanity or believable human insight.

Christ, I could have given it to you, all I need is the jacket blurb to write the review. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

William Gaddis, the Last Protestant

Before Otto could answer fecognitions went on, lowering her eye again, – No, how did he know what he meant. He comes to produce his masterpieces for Recktall Brown, a wealthy dealer, taking great pride in his work. Gaddis says in an interview somewhere that he re-read this novel after its publication and was embarrassed by its youthful arrogance, its narcissism, its desire to demonstrate great learning. What really spurred me on to read it was a fellow Goodreader; Bonnie, whose review of this book is magnificent.

Echoes, motifs and repetition of statements, phrases and even dialog reinforce these multiple viewpoints and encourage one to scrutinise who is the originator of the thought and the theme and reiterates the question of authenticity.

But it becomes repetitive and occasionally over-obvious: View all 25 comments. Gass a man occasionally mistaken for Gaddis. I loved the trails that Gaddis leaves and following links and it is reecognitions a literary masterpiece, worthy of its place in all the lists.

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It’s making your own life. The Recognitions is a We live in Rome, he says, turning his face to the room again, -Caligula’s Rome, with a new circus of vulgar bestialized suffering in the newspapers every morning.

William Gaddis, the Last Protestant | Quarterly Conversation

View all 14 comments. Yes, you should read it. And a titanic novel like The Recognitions demonstrates his talent not only through its wonderful prose, but also in its astounding diversity and scope of ambition.

Gaddis actually anticipated that. Life proved terrible enough by the s to produce in The Recognitions the most “Russian” novel in American literature. It is narrated by Nick Sullivan and he made the parts of dialog much more understandable but I’m also really glad I had the book because I ended up either reading along with or re reading most of what I listened to.

I want to tell what I mean, what my truth is, without fearing what came out is not what I meant, without hoping what came out sounde Is that how he meant it? Images surround us; cavorting broadcast in the minds of others, we wear the motley tailored by their bad digestions, the shame and failure, plague pandemics and private indecencies, unpaid bills, and animal ecstasies remembered in hospital beds, our worst deeds and best intentions will not stay still, scolding, mocking, or merely chattering they assail each other, shocked at recognition.

I’ll confess that I was better prepared for it than most people.

Otto is too pathetic, Wyatt is too broken, Gqddis disappears before the end I feel like this is a book that would be impossible to get the most out of without repeated readings. There is the same obsessive infiltration and exploration of Catholic ritual, that ritual extended recognitios the secular world, there is the same brooding over the spirit and the Ideal as represented in religious texts and contrasted with their representation and use in secular artworks, there is the exploration of the suffering caused by seeking perfection and coming into contact with beauty, the suffering of the artist and the conflict of attempting the spiritual within the material world.


This is an incredibly confusing book and to be honest, the annotations didn’t actually enlighten me. While the entire book is incredible the two opening chapters are especially captivating and I knew early on I was reading a writing style which is the DNA of so much of the writing I admire. View all 12 comments. Because maybe God isn’t watching. Everything in The Recognitions is a palimpsest, from the painting on the museum wall to the inner working of the soul.

Of course it is not perfect, nothing is, and of course one could point to paragraphs where the cogs can be seen, but this does not matter in the least, and does nothing to diminish the Work. One can see the influence of James Joyce throughout the writing in an experimental style that is breakthrough.

The Recognitions

Directly he was alone, he was assailed by her simulacra, in all states of acute sorrow, or smiling, of complete abstraction or painful animation, of dress and undress, as he had seen her these last few days: Eddie Zefnic – office boy in Pivner’s office building I started reading this book the same way I assume many others did: I would copy and not even know I was doing it. Many sentences, especially those at the beginning and the end of chapters, are quirky and knotted, requiring a few minutes to unwind and comprehend-something that I generally, masochistically enjoy.

This book has impacted me in ways which I’ve only provisionally understood. Wyatt is not painting copies, he is painting originals.