The Recognitions is a sweeping depiction of a world in which everything that anyone recognizes as beautiful or true or good emerges as anything but: our world. The book is a masquerade, moving from New England to New York to Madrid, from the art world to the underwor ...more
That said, it is an excellent novel if you are up for the challenge. It holds many rewards once you work your way through. A big help was williamgaddis.org/recognitions/trguid....(less)
I heard somewhere while reading this that Gaddis is praised for this work in that he made it the ultimate challenge for the reader. Yay! Let's make reading hard! #sarcasm
You know how you might read a book with 5 storylines that will change each chapter. It might be a bit confusing, but at least chapter breaks give you the chance to regroup. This book frequently mixes many storylines, ...more
– He invited me there, in fact, to see the mummy. He had made one himself for me! Oh, but with such ingenuity, it was really a masterpiece…...more
– Really, my dear fellow…
– I confess I did not have heart to finish our business so immediately, I spent a few minutes congratulating him. He became very angry when I appeared to question the… aut
This book has me in its grip.
Reading The Recognitions is like wandering in a labyrinth, and around each corner there's a new revelation. One feels a little lost at times, but there are familiar sights. Can we trust our guide? Gaddis gives you the sense he knows the way...until he lets go of your hand...and pushes you into the darkness saying, dilige et quod vis fac. You must cling to those words, because that's the only thread this Ariadne offers - except for the follow up text message he sends: ...more
Images surround us; cavorting broadcast in the minds of others, we wear the motley tailored by their bad digestions, the shame and failure, plague pandemics and private indecencies, unpaid bills, and animal ecstasies remembered in hospital beds, our worst deeds and best intentions will not stay still, scolding, mocking, or merely chattering they assail each other, shocked at recognition.Shocked, surprised and mesmerized by these Recognitions. Sometimes reading of a book happens without any ...more
The purpose of both Religion and Alchemy is to realise Perfection.
Christianity places an obstacle in the path: Original Sin. We are born with an Inherent Vice. Nobody will give us assurance.
Our need for meaning and happiness is so great that we fall victim to fraud and pretence.
Gaddis suggests we must love and we must be active, in order to be happy.
We need to construct an undivided Self, a Whole, not a Soul.
There is only the Self that Lives, therefore the Life th ...more
LITERARY STOCKHOLM SYNDROME
by Mark O'Connell which uses The Recognitions as its main example - here is the bit I liked, but the whole article is worth a read (http://www.themillions.com/2011/05/th...)
the greatness of a novel in the mind of its readers is often alloyed with those readers’ sense of their own greatness (as readers) for having conquered it. I don’t think William Gaddis’s The Recognitions, for instance, is nearly as fantastic a novel as people often claim i ...more
This is not a book that you can pick up and casually read; it demands work of the reader. However erudite or well read you are you will not get all the references because they ...more
Overlong? Probably. Grandiose? Almost certainly. Brilliant? Most definitely. This swollen, acerbic cult classic bursts with such wild imagination, vivid characterization and profound eloquence that I couldn't help but love it. Its many characters swirl in and out of each other's lives throughout the nearly thousand-page text, their paths and conversations overlapping like a most rambunctious Altman ensemble film (though with Gaddis's relentless and sometimes hallucinatory skewering of organized...more
What I get a kick out of is serious writers who write a book where they say money gives a false significance to art, and then they raise hell when their book doesn’t make any money.
- William Gaddis, The Recognitions
I’ve never seen novel by William Gaddis available in any library or bookstore, and the fact that he is not more widely known is something of a crime. You could compare his prose against that of any of the great writers of the last century without exception, and it would more than hold ...more
Robert anglicised himself and veiled his roots. Zimmerman changed to Dylan...
What is Authenticity then?
The dictionary definition: true to one’s personality, spirit, or character.
The Recognitions is many things, but ultimately, it's an artist’s quest of for an authentic self, told stylistically through satire and the exploration of forgery on all levels.
Wyatt Gwyon is an artist, who after meeting a rather dubious character with a fabulously dubious name, Rektall Brown, make ...more
The first few chapters in this bogged-down book were medievally dark and delectably eldritch, as stimulating as the electricity within the Frankenstein monster’s grave ...more
But in the words of the one of the characters:
“A man having, or about to have, or at the very least valiantly fighting off, a religious experience”
That is how i feel. “Religious” not in the sense of a certain system of beliefs, but in the sense of a mixture of exultation and awe:-).
Any comparisons are always reductive, but just for the sake of impression: it has started as a Moby Dick, but then swayed all the way to Dostoyevsky but with much more intellectual streak and such a ...more
Written Review: https://www.thisissplice.co.uk/2020/1...
- Group reading on Instagram with @therecognitionsbookclub this November-December.
- Group reading on #BookTwitter with #Gaddis2020 this November-December (thanks, @ReemK10).
READ THIS BOOK! ...more
"It rained; then it snowed, and the snow stayed on the paved ground for long enough to become evenly blacked with soot and smoke-fall, evenly but for islands of yellow left by uptown dogs. Then it rained again, and the whole creation was transformed into cold slop, which made walking adventuresome. Then it froze; and every corner presented opportunity for entertainment, the vastly amusing spectacle of well-dressed people suspended in the indecorous positi ...more
And you know what? It's pretty good. Definitely a work of genius, extremely well put together, chock-full of symbolism and flattish characters and all sorts of other pomo English-majory stuff. Endless riffs on frau ...more
The principal characters in Gaddis ...more
I want to tell what I mean, what my truth is, without fearing what came out is not what I meant, without hoping what came out sounde ...more
Reasons for ...more
What I understood was brilliant, what I didn't understand is most likely obscene. This is not a novel for the casual beach read, although as I write this, I am on a beach...washing sand out of my ebbs and salt off my flow, so never mind. ...more
- THE HUMOR. This book doesn’t get enough credit for being funny, and Gaddis doesn’t get enough credit for writing brilliant comedy, but Gaddis wrote BRILLIANT comedy and The Recognitions is no exception. It’s also dramatic, deeply sad, c ...more
It was in fact quite a thick book. A pattern of bold elegance, the lettering on the dust wrapper stood forth in stark configurations of red and black to intimate the origin of design. (For some crotchety reason there was no p...more
-Caligula's Rome, with a new circus of vulgar bestialized suffering in the newspapers every morning. The masses, the fetid masses, he says, bringing all his weight to his feet.-How can they even suspect a self who can do more, when they live under absolutely no obligation. There are so few beautiful things in the world.
Such higher machinations proved beyond me. So much was required. Too often I was found wanting. The Recognitions is a ...more
|Goodreads Librari...: Change page count||4||16||Jan 09, 2021 11:55AM|
|Reading List Comp...: The Recognitions - General Discussion||14||56||Mar 27, 2017 06:52AM|
|Reading List Comp...: The Recognitions - Part III||4||15||Mar 21, 2017 04:17PM|
|Reading List Comp...: The Recognitions - Part II||33||21||Mar 14, 2017 02:17PM|
|Mystery/Suspense/...: Quarterly Read - Jan-March 2017 - The Recognitions||3||7||Feb 01, 2017 05:55AM|
|Reading List Comp...: The Recognitions - Part I||28||35||Jan 26, 2017 06:07AM|