why is this barely talked about? its a masterpiece rivaling all other postmodernist literature.

why is this barely talked about? its a masterpiece rivaling all other postmodernist literature. does it filter most people, is that why no one talks about it?

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I own it but Ive only read 50 or so pages so far. I liked what I read though.

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It’s in my backlog but I’m intimidated by it’s girth

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I want to read it, but I want to read more 19th century writers + modernists first. At the pace I'm going I think I'll get around to it sometime next year.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's consistently on IQfy top 100's. It's pretty popular on IQfy considering it's a book famous for not being famous enough. Of course there is a filter barrier because not only do you have to be interested in difficult American postmodern novels to want to read it, but also most people read the other famous postmodern authors (Pynchon and Wallace) before it. I don't think it's unjustly looked over at all for what it is, which is a purposefully demanding book for bibliophiles. I think there are probably lots of masterpiece novels more looked over than this one.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >I think there are probably lots of masterpiece novels more looked over than this one.
      I think Melville's Pierre and Mann's Doctor Faustus are greatly overlooked, in the sense that they do not appear on the top 100 list. And those are from well-known authors and are at least mentioned in the threads from time to time. Who knows how many great novelists or poets get little to no recognition here.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I like Pierre as well, that pamphlet he reads is one of my favorite pieces of literature, those little candid lectures. have you read the real life of sebastian knight?

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Nope, but definitely adding it to my list.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            why?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            I like Nabokov and I like the subject matter:
            >A work centred on language and its inability to convey any satisfactory definition, it has been identified as a forerunner of the postmodernist novel.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      It definetly gets passed up for reading DFW and Pynchon first(as I am doing). I also still need to read Faust before I can start The Recognitions. It's on my bookshelf though.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Make sure to get a full version of Faust. The one usually recommended as the best translation (Kaufmann) only has part 1 in full. Part 2 was only partially translated by him.

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    yeah, it's a shame, isn't it? most people seem to miss its most notable attribute.
    anyway, the reason people don't talk about it is because it's obscurantist. it has layers, not everything is fully explained. even when he was interviewed on tape, the interviewer had clearly no idea what to say or what to ask, it seemed to me. thankfully it's all there, and yes, it's quite the masterwork. it changed my life, in fact. what do you think of the climax? i wonder what you think the climax i might be referring to even is? have you read it?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >what do you think of the climax
      you missed the book completely. i suggest rereading it.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        i didn't miss the book at all. in fact, my interpretation was confirmed on my second, more close reading, where there is a disembodied cameo of the author talking to basil valentine trying to get advice about some of the themes which quite clearly confirms my interpretation of the work.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        i dread giving you any pearls, quite seriously, but i have to share it at some point, i suppose, but i would consider the climax the return of wyatt to his familial abode, where his father resides, the "confrontation" with lightning exploding in the background, revealing the sacrifice of a blithe and ignorant woman with lead in her brain, yeah, i gotta tell you, it seemed like a frickin climax to me.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          it's an iconic scene but i didnt consider it the climax, you still have another 500 pages left of the book to go through after that point

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            I didn't notice that there WAS a climax in the book

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    i mean, let's talk about it now. let's talk about esme, or otto, what a failure, a true phony, but they're all phonies, wandering around repeating what everyone else says, there are moments but you miss them as you push past crowds of infinitely repeating reels of slogans, it all seems like a damn full pitch cento poem, where nothing is original to begin with, makes me think a lot of smuggler's bible, how things are compartmentalized lies within the context, but you can see how wyatt goes through his life, how it becomes a sin through his aunt's lecturing, a sin to copy god's work, and how that emanated from him staring down at the original masters of those who rebel, and that fly chapter opening, man alive what a work of art the thing is. yeah let's talk about it, i talk about it alone to myself, i even got my ma to read it, i don't know what she thought, i know people talk about the ending, but i mean what do you think about it

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    can you post a page or two so I can see what the prose is like, pretty please?

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    (spoilers)
    >"You're the by-Goddest rabbit I ever damn saw!"
    >Wyatt in his illness standing up and feeling the pain like nails through his feet and unable to recognize his own father while he was being laid back in bed by him.
    >In Paris, Crémer extorting Wyatt for money in exchange for good reviews for Wyatt's art, and later lambasting Wyatt's art after he refuses to pay.
    >The scene with Esther and Wyatt, where Wyatt plays with the yolk of the last egg in the house, and then scares Esther by accidently cutting up his face after trying to shave with his straight razor.
    >The black poodle that runs in the house after Wyatt and Otto's walk, then the scene where Wyatt is alone with the dog and gets pissed at it, and then Recktall Brown's introduction scene.
    >The Jesse guy coming in while Otto is writing and asking if the hero of Otto's play is going to slip it to the woman, then trying to make up his own idea for Otto to write.
    >Otto crudely (and comically) trying to overcome the language barrier when speaking with the cleaning ladies on where his play is.
    and of course:
    >The very fine use of language in the prose
    >The life-like characterization and expression of the characters in their psychology, dialogue and actions
    >The weaving of mythological and Christian imagery through allusion and reference
    I'm only 160 pages in, so of course I'm still exploring the novel and disentangling it, but, as a work of fiction and experience as it is, I think it's great so far. For me it's becoming one of those novels that come alive and you find yourself living in it.
    I'll see what the next ~860 pages are like though. I trust that Gaddis won't disappoint.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I don't really get Wyatt tbh. What is his character arc?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I liked it better than JR. Very fun stuff. The Calvinist-Mithaist Dad was pretty based.

      My only criticism was that they never described this one character as having a mustache, and then in the like last quarter of the book, one of the other characters mention "Hey, you shaved your mustache!" How would I have known???

      >>Otto crudely (and comically) trying to overcome the language barrier when speaking with the cleaning ladies on where his play is.
      Lmao I still think of that scene. "Why is this gringo asking me where his beach is?"

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm 250 pages in and it's really good but by god is the dialog irritating. A friend parodied it as
    >"You lay with me in the dark and tell me things like... zero doesn't exist."
    >"...Spinoza."

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    i dropped it halfway through, though i really wanted to like it. there are some excellent parts, but i just don't care about otto and it seems it will just continue following him unfortunately.

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's not quite a masterpiece if we are honest.
    Those long party scenes are pretty tedious - the joke never quite lands.
    And the black butler bits are cringe.
    When it's good it's good, but he could have cut a few hundred pages

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      To me the party scenes are ironic because of all the "artsy" people basically parroting what each other say, with the "solids in Oochello", "positive negativist", "chavenet" jokes. basically piling layer on layer of mockery on the art crowd.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Just finished it. Definitely didn't get all of it, but it's such a beautiful read, easily the most impactful book I've ever read.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Have you read any other pomo?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Not much, Mason & Dixon, V. Catch-22.

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Too cynical for the modernists, not wacky enough for the postmodernists. It’s like that uncomfortable feeling you get when listening to the greatest hits of Burt Bacharach and you can’t tell whether it’s jazz or pop music. This awful liminal point.

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >does it filter most people, is that why no one talks about it?
    Yeah, basically.
    I've read it and it is definitely one of my favorite books.
    I wish I had the time to read it again.

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    "... it is still spoken of, when it is noted, with high regard, though seldom played."

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I read Carpenter's Gothic because it's short and it was pretty shit, not gonna read this 1000 page book based off what I've read by him

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I've heard that none of his books after Recognitions resemble The Recognitions so maybe give it a try?

  17. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The book mocks college students in a way that still destroys them today. It shows them for the pathetic degenerate frauds that they are. Why on earth would they discuss it and praise it?

    Fun fact. Gaddis read Spengler which resulted in his worldview

  18. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Seems like Gaddis is hard to place but a lot of people identify him as a pomo or possibly proto-pomo writer and people seem generally allergic to pomo lit nowadays save for one or two Pynchon novels that people mostly talk about because it’s sort of fashionable

  19. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    A thing I don't get is, was Wyatt trying to expiate for his "sins" (courtesy of Aunt May) or was he trying to "be the man who Christ died for" basically becoming someone who has engaged in all the 7 sins before going back to attempt becoming a priest ([and what's the deal with stealing the golden bull and the cigarette case anyways]

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