The Recognitions by William Gaddis
(American Literature (Dalkey Archive))

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Wyatt Gwyon's desire to forge is not driven by larceny but from love. Exactingly faithful to the spirit and letter of the Flemish masters, he produces uncannily accurate 'originals' - pictures the painters themselves might have envied. In an age of counterfeit emotion and taste, the real and fake have become indistinguishable; yet Gwyon's forgeries reflect a truth that others cannot touch - cannot even recognize. Contemporary life collapses the distinction between the 'real' and the 'virtual' world, and Gaddis' novel pre-empts our common obsessions by almost half a century. This novel tackles the blurring of perceptual boundaries, The Matrix and Bladerunner pale in comparison to this epic novel.

About William Gaddis

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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), Agape 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 H. Gass-essayist, novelist, literary critic-was born in Fargo, North Dakota. He has been the recipient of the first PEN/Nabokov Award, the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamondstein Award for the Art of the Essay, three National Book Critic Circle Awards for Criticism, a Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, the Award for Fiction and the Medal of Merit for Fiction from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations. He lives in St. Louis.
Published June 1, 1955 by Harcourt. 958 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Recognitions

But I do think that if we’re going to fetishize books, to turn the concept of loving books into an ideal that transcends individual books, then we’re missing a trick by not being more literal about it.

Feb 11 2015 | Read Full Review of The Recognitions (American Li...

The Paris Review

I have never got through Henry Green’s Living or Concluding, though neither one is a long book, and I have sometimes heard myself call Green my “favorite” postwar English novelist, as if I had read enough to have one.

Jan 24 2012 | Read Full Review of The Recognitions (American Li...

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