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Paper Empire: William Gaddis and the World System / Edition 2
     

Paper Empire: William Gaddis and the World System / Edition 2

by Joseph Tabbi
 

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ISBN-10: 0817315489

ISBN-13: 9780817315481

Pub. Date: 02/28/2007

Publisher: University of Alabama Press

Celebrates and illuminates the legacy of one of America’s most innovative and consequential 20th century novelists.

In 2002, following the posthumous publication of William Gaddis’s collected nonfiction and his final novel and Jonathan Franzen’s lengthy attack on him in The New Yorker, a number of partisan articles appeared in support of

Overview

Celebrates and illuminates the legacy of one of America’s most innovative and consequential 20th century novelists.

In 2002, following the posthumous publication of William Gaddis’s collected nonfiction and his final novel and Jonathan Franzen’s lengthy attack on him in The New Yorker, a number of partisan articles appeared in support of Gaddis’s legacy. In a review in The London Review of Books, critic Hal Foster suggested a reason for disparate responses to Gaddis’s reputation: Gaddis’s unique hybridity, his ability to “write in the gap between two dispensations,—between science and literature, theory and narrative, and —different orders of linguistic imagination.—

Gaddis (1922-1998) is often cited as the link between literary modernism and postmodernism in the United States. His novels—The Recognitions, JR, Carpenter’s Gothic, and A Frolic of His Own—are notable in the ways that they often restrict themselves to the language and communication systems of the worlds he portrays. Issues of corporate finance, the American legal system, economics, simulation and authenticity, bureaucracy, transportation, and mass communication permeate his narratives in subject, setting, and method. The essays address subjects as diverse as cybernetics theory, the law, media theory, race and class, music, and the perils and benefits of globalization. The collection also contains a memoir by Gaddis’s son, an unpublished interview with Gaddis from just after the publication of JR, and an essay on the Gaddis archive, newly opened at Washington University in St. Louis.

The editors acknowledge that we live in an age of heightened global awareness. But as these essays testify, few American writers have illuminated as poignantly or incisively just how much the systemic forces of capitalism and mass communication have impacted individual lives and identity—imparting global dimensions to private pursuits and desires—than William Gaddis.

Contributors: Crystal Alberts, Klaus Benesch, Nicholas Brown, Stephen Burn, Jeff Bursey, Anne Furlong, Tom LeClair, Joseph McElroy, Steven Moore, Stephen Schryer, Rone Shavers, Nicholas Spencer, Joseph Tabbi, Michael Wutz, Anja Zeidler

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780817315481
Publisher:
University of Alabama Press
Publication date:
02/28/2007
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Contents
Illustrations....................vii
Introduction Joseph Tabbi....................1
PART I: AESTHETICS 1. An Interview with William Gaddis, circa 1980 Tom LeClair....................17
2. In the Diaspora of Words: Gaddis, Kierkegaard, and the Art of Recognition(s) Klaus Benesch....................28
3. The Collapse of Everything: William Gaddis and the Encyclopedic Novel Stephen J. Burn....................46
4. Gaddis Dialogue Questioned Joseph McElroy....................63
PART II: SYSTEMS 5. The Aesthetics of First- and Second-Order Cybernetics in William Gaddis's J R Stephen Schryer....................75
6. William Gaddis and the Autopoiesis of American Literature Joseph Tabbi....................90
7. Cognitive Gothic: Relevance Theory, Iteration, and Style Jeff Bursey and Anne Furlong....................118
PART III: CAPITAL 8. Critical Mimesis: J R's Transition to Postmodernity Nicholas Spencer....................137
9. Cognitive Map, Aesthetic Object, or National Allegory? Carpenter's Gothic Nicholas Brown....................151
10. The End of Agape: On the Debates around Gaddis Rone Shavers....................161
PART IV: MEDIA 11. Writing from between the Gaps: Agape Agape and Twentieth-Century Media Culture Michael Wutz....................185
12. Mark the Music: J R and Agape Agape Anja Zeidler....................211
PART V: BIOGRAPHY 13. Valuable Dregs: William Gaddis, the Life of an Artist Crystal Alberts....................231
14. The Secret History of Agape Agape Steven Moore....................256
WorksCited....................267
Contributors....................277
Index....................281

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