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The Recognitions (American Literature)

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The Recognitions (American Literature) Cover

ISBN13: 9781564786913
ISBN10: 1564786919
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The book Jonathan Franzen dubbed the “ur-text of postwar fiction” and the “first great cultural critique, which, even if Heller and Pynchon hadn’t read it while composing Catch-22 and V., managed to anticipate the spirit of both”—The Recognitions is a masterwork about art and forgery, and the increasingly thin line between the counterfeit and the fake. Gaddis anticipates by almost half a century the crisis of reality that we currently face, where the real and the virtual are combining in alarming ways, and the sources of legitimacy and power are often obscure to us.

Synopsis:

A great masterpiece by William Gaddis, with a new introduction by William H. Gass.

Synopsis:

The book Jonathan Franzen dubbed the “ur-text of postwar fiction” and the “first great cultural critique, which, even if Heller and Pynchon hadn’t read it while composing Catch-22 and V., managed to anticipate the spirit of both”—The Recognitions is a masterwork about art and forgery, and the increasingly thin line between the counterfeit and the fake. Gaddis anticipates by almost half a century the crisis of reality that we currently face, where the real and the virtual are combining in alarming ways, and the sources of legitimacy and power are often obscure to us.

About the Author

William Gaddis (1922-98) stands among the greatest American writers of the twentieth century. The winner of two National Book Awards (for J R [1976] and A Frolic of His Own [1995]), he wrote five novels during his lifetime, including Carpenter's Gothic (1985), Aga“ Agape (published posthumously in 2002), and his early masterpiece The Recognitions (1955). He is loved and admired for his stylistic innovations, his unforgettable characters, his pervasive humor, and the breadth of his intellect and vision.William H. Gass--essayist, novelist, literary critic--was born in Fargo, North Dakota. He has been the recipient of the first PEN/Nabokov Award, the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamondstein Award for the Art of the Essay, three National Book Critic Circle Awards for Criticism, a Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, the Award for Fiction and the Medal of Merit for Fiction from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations. He lives in St. Louis.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

August Preston, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by August Preston)
This would be the book I'd take with me to a deserted island..."I'd happily read this novel over and over. Simply one of the most beautifully complex books I have ever read.
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Rachel King, September 3, 2012 (view all comments by Rachel King)
This challenging and rewarding masterpiece follows the lives of three artists: Wyatt, Otto, and Stanley; a painter, a writer, and a musician, respectively. Although Wyatt is the primary character, the book ends on a statement regarding Stanley's work: "... it is still spoken of, when it is noted, with high regard, though seldom played." (A statement an earlier reviewer rightly applies to this book.) If you are an artist who enjoys expansive novels or a non-artist who has studied art and enjoys expansive novels, you will like this book. The allusions can be overly erudite, but, most of the time, they seem intended to illuminate the characters or the themes, not to show off Gaddis’s knowledge. The main theme is authenticity: how do you know what is authentic, is it possible to create something authentic or to have authentic relationships? Instead of coming at this theme and others primarily through language or structural techniques, like some moderns and postmoderns, Gaddis comes at it through the lives of his characters. In many places it’s just good storytelling, at once funny and heartbreaking and disturbing. And besides creating masterful, interweaving plots and varied, interesting characters, Gaddis consistently writes beautiful and insightful sentences on every page for almost 1000 pages. A few of the more poetic: “The great misfortune of the sun, it has no history.” “It’s only the living it through that redeems it.” “Change a line without touching it.” “The sky, it has been noted, is a safe distance away.” “Everything moves, and even falling, soars in atonement.” “Every work of art is a work of perfect necessity.” “Everyone today is conscious of being looked at by someone else but not by God.” “I wonder, when I step out of doors, how the past can tolerate us.” I am afraid of stating more specific scenes, plots, characters, etc., because I may leave something important out. I understand why this novel wasn’t and isn’t a mainstream hit, but more literature lovers should read it.
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HumphreyKing, May 3, 2012 (view all comments by HumphreyKing)
It is still spoken of, when it is noted, with high regard, though seldom read.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781564786913
Author:
Gaddis, William
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Author:
Gass, William H.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Publication Date:
20120231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
976
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Recognitions (American Literature) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 976 pages Dalkey Archive Press - English 9781564786913 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A great masterpiece by William Gaddis, with a new introduction by William H. Gass.
"Synopsis" by , The book Jonathan Franzen dubbed the “ur-text of postwar fiction” and the “first great cultural critique, which, even if Heller and Pynchon hadn’t read it while composing Catch-22 and V., managed to anticipate the spirit of both”—The Recognitions is a masterwork about art and forgery, and the increasingly thin line between the counterfeit and the fake. Gaddis anticipates by almost half a century the crisis of reality that we currently face, where the real and the virtual are combining in alarming ways, and the sources of legitimacy and power are often obscure to us.
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