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ISBN: 1101176970
ISBN 13: 9781101176979
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.84 MB
The author of the book: William Gaddis
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: October 1st 2002
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Reader ratings: 4.7

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William Gaddis published only four novels during his lifetime, but with those works he earned himself a reputation as one of America's greatest novelists. Less well known is Gaddis's body of excellent critical writings. Here is a wide range of his original essays, some published for the first time. From "'Stop Player. Joke No. 4, '" Gaddis's first national publication and the basis for his projected history of the player piano, to the title essay about missed opportunities in America during the past fifty years, to "Old Foes with New Faces," an examination of the relationship between the writer and the problem of religion-this diverse collection displays the power of an autonomous literary intelligence in an age increasingly dominated by political and religious conservatism.


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Ebook The Rush for Second Place: Essays and Occasional Writings read Online! William Gaddis was the author of five novels. He was born in New York December 29, 1922. The circumstances why he left Harvard in his senior year are mysterious. He worked for The New Yorker for a spell in the 1950s, and absorbed experiences at the bohemian parties and happenings, to be later used as material in The Recognitions. Travel provided further resources of experience in Mexico, in Costa Rica, in Spain and Africa and, perhaps strangest to imagine of him, he was employed for a few years in public relations for a pharmaceutical corporation.

The number of printed interviews with Gaddis can be counted on one hand: he wondered why anyone should expect an author to be at all interesting, after having very likely projected the best of themselves in their work. He has been frequently compared with Joyce, Nabokov, and especially Pynchon.

Gaddis’s first novel, The Recognitions (1955) is a 956-page saga of forgery, pretension, and desires misguided and inexpressible. Critical response to the book ranged from cool to hostile, but in most cases (as Jack Green took pains to show in his book of rebuke, Fire the Bastards!). Reviewers were ill-prepared to deal with the challenge, and evidently many who began to read The Recognitions did not finish. The novel’s sometimes great leaps in time and location and the breadth and arcane pedigree of allusions are, it turns out, fairly mild complications for the reader when compared with what would become the writer’s trademark: the unrestrained confusion of detached and fragmentary dialogue.

Gaddis’s second book, JR (1975) won the National Book Award. It was only a 726 pages long driven by dialogue. The chaos of the unceasing deluge of talk of JR drove critics to declare the text “unreadable”. Reading Gaddis is by no means easy, but it is a more lacerating and artfully sustained attack on capitalism than JR, and The Recognitions.

Carpenter's Gothic (1985) offered a shorter and more accessible picture of Gaddis's sardonic worldview. The continual litigation that was a theme in that book becomes the central theme and plot device in A Frolic of His Own (1994)—which earned him his second National Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. There are even two Japanese cars called the Isuyu and the Sosumi.

His final work was the novella Agapē Agape which was published in 2002. Gaddis died at home in East Hampton, New York, of prostate cancer on December 16th, 1998.


Reviews of the The Rush for Second Place: Essays and Occasional Writings


FINLAY

An enticing cover and a controversial story.

MILLIE

Rarely do the books make me cry, but this one could.

SAMUEL

Perfect Design and content!

ESME

Interesting read for true fans




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