The Recognitions

The Recognitions

5.0 4
by William Gaddis
     
 

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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.

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Michiko Katukani
In The Recognitions, his monumental first novel published [in the 50s], William Gaddis used the story of a would-be priest turned master forger to explore the loss of authenticity in the modern world, and the shifting relationships between life and art, art and faith. -- The New York Times
Cynthia Ozick

The Recognitions is always spoken of as the most overlooked important work of the last several literary generations... Through the famous obscurity of The Recognitions, Mr. Gaddis has become famous for not being famous enough.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140187083
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/28/1993
Series:
Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
976
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.42(h) x 1.74(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet 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), "Agap? 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 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), "Agap? 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.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 29, 1922
Date of Death:
December 17, 1998
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
East Hampton, New York
Education:
Attended Harvard University (no degree)

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The Recognitions 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a habit I sustained in college I make it a practice to underline the most quotable lines of novels I read: The Recognitions has underlines on every page. Gaddis is a major literary talent who hasn't yet even begun to receive the following of which he is worthy. This novel concerns the discoveries, both major and minor, of what is authentic in life: The Recognitions is enlightening, almost beatific, in the way in which it focuses upon the shortcomings and moral lapses of humans in pursuit of true art. From the starving painter whose unappreciated genius leads him to forge Flemish masters to a musician whose copied work played upon a great pipe organ brings down a chapel to counterfeitors of money and plagiarists of drama, this of work of Gaddis is the real thing. It is brilliant, witty, original and his command of the language is breathtakingly stunning in its execution. One can see the influence of James Joyce throughout the writing in an experimental style that is breakthrough. It is incredibly inventive and funny and astonishingly intelligent. It's no wonder that The Recognitions went unrecognized for so tragically long -- Gaddis is, without doubt, one of the top ten American literary novelists of the 20th century ranking with Bellow, Barth, Vonnegut, Hemingway, Gass, Alexander Theroux, Bernard and Faulkner. The writing is work by a fellow of verifiable genius: I strongly recommend that you to discover Gaddis -- he will enrich your life and help you better understand the nature of the personal epiphanies that give meaning to life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
one of the best books ever written. funny, thrilling, moving, powerful, intelligent & compassionate. gaddis gets a reputation for being a misanthropic old grump, but anyone who believes that completely missed the point of his work.
guitaoist3 More than 1 year ago
i found out about this book months ago and was disappointed that i couldnt buy it right away..out of print! until now thank you! frolic of his own I began and liked immediately, but i hear this one is more epic:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago