William Gaddis: The Recognitions

(477 words)
  • Peter Dempsey (University of Sunderland)

The Recognitions (1955) was Gaddis's first novel published when he was thirty-three and more than forty-five years on it is at the very heart of his enviable literary reputation. It has now come to be seen as a Janus-faced text that looks back in its complexity to the great Modernists of the inter-war years such as Joyce and Faulkner and forward to the post-war American writers such as Barth, Coover, Pynchon, De Lillo and Gass in its taste for black humor, literary play and absurdity. It has established itself as a unique and influential novel, a pivotal work that makes connections between Modernism and what has come to be called “Postmodernism”, both as a literary style and as a philosophical position.

This …

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Dempsey, Peter. "The Recognitions". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 December 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7540, accessed 25 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Postmodernist American Fiction