Synopses & Reviews
Although this monumental novel is now generally regarded as one of the few indisputable milestones of contemporary American fiction, its original reviews were overwhelmingly negative. Combining meticulous research with savage indignation, Green exposes the inaccuracies, prejudices, and outright incompetence of Gaddis's reviewers to argue that the review media is ill-equipped to deal with masterpieces of innovative fiction, much preferring safe, predictable books that reassure (rather than question) conventional literary expectations. Despite his careful scholarship, Green is not a dispassionate commentator but an impassioned satirist, working in a rogue tradition that looks back to Swift's ferocious pamphlets. Originally published as a three-part series in his own magazine called newspaper--which Gilbert Sorrentino has described as "one of the authentic minor splendors of New York literary life in the late fifties and early sixties." Gaddis scholar Steven Moore has written an introduction filling in the background to this unique work and comparing the book-reviewing media of today with that of the fifties.
is a scorching attack on the book-review media using the critical reception of William Gaddis's 1955 novel as a case study.
About the Author
Jack Green attended Princeton and worked for an insurance company before supporting himself fulltime as a freelance proofreader. Seventeen issues of his newspaper appeared between 1957 and 1965, and since then he has published various chapbooks. He lives in New York's Greenwich Village.Steven Moore earned his Ph.D. at Rutgers University. He is a noted William Gaddis scholar and wrote William Gaddis, the first comprehensive critical guide to his work, and A Reader's Guide to William Gaddis's The Recognitions. Moore has edited a number of books, including Beerspit Night and Cursing: The Correspondence of Charles Bukowski & Sheri Martinelli 1960-1967 and In Recognition of William Gaddis. He has also contributed essays, articles, and reviews to a number of newspapers, journals, and magazines.