Synopses & Reviews
The late William Gaddis wrote four novels during his lifetime, immense and complex books that helped inaugurate a new movement in American letters. Now comes his final work of fiction, a subtle, concentrated culmination of his art and ideas.
For more than fifty years Gaddis collected notes for a book about the mechanization of the arts, told via a social history of the player piano in America. In the years before his death in 1998, he distilled the whole mass into a fiction, a dramatic monologue by an elderly man with a terminal illness. This "man in the bed" lies dying, thinking anxiously about the book he still plans to write, grumbling about the deterioration of civilization and trying to explain his obsession to the world before he passes away or goes mad.
Agape- Agape continues Gaddis's career-long reflection via the form of the novel on those aspects of the corporate technological culture that are uniquely destructive of the arts. It is a stunning achievement from one of the indisputable masters of postwar American fiction.
About the Author
William Gaddis (1922-1998) was twice awarded the National Book Award for his novels J R
and A Frolic of His Own
. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the recipient of a MacArthur Prize. His other novels are The Recognitions
and Carpenter's Gothic
Joseph Tabbi is a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.