Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations

Martin Kich (Wright State University)
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Powers’ third novel remains both his most admired work and most criticized work. Those who admire the novel find the characters compelling, the narrative stunningly elaborate in its symmetries, and the prose richly and unflaggingly inventive. Those who have criticized the novel have found the characters less interesting than almost all of the other elements of the novel, the narrative structure so complex as to be bewildering, and the prose so self-indulgently dense as to be overwhelming rather than rewarding. Given their substantial length and consistent complexity, it is probably an exaggeration to say that any of Powers’ novels can be read and appreciated in a single, even very extended session. But a work such as

Prisoners’ Dilemma

is certainly much more accessible and easier to…

1882 words

Citation: Kich, Martin. "The Gold Bug Variations". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 March 2024 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

21624 The Gold Bug Variations 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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