Hints and Guesses

Hints and Guesses

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The author of four truly important novels--The Recognitions in 1955, J R in 1975, Carpenter's Gothic in 1985, and A Frolic of His Own in 1995--William Gaddis is considered by many literary scholars to be one of the most outstanding novelists of the twentieth century, to be spoken of in the same breath as James Joyce, Robert Musil, and Thomas Pynchon. Hints and Guesses: William Gaddis's Fiction of Longing is the first scholarly work to discuss all four Gaddis novels. While not dismissing the inclination of many scholars to view Gaddis's fiction as postmodern, Christopher Knight moves critical response in another direction, toward a discussion of Gaddis's significance as a satirist and social critic. Knight investigates Gaddis's predominant thematic interests, including those of contemporary aesthetics, Flemish painting, forgery, corporate America, Third World politics, and the U.S. legal system. What Knight finds is an author not only acutely sensitive to post-war social realities but also one whose critique carries with it an implied utopian dimension.In aquot;The Rush for Second Place, aquot; Gaddis, referring to John Holta#39;s book How Children Fail, notes that This hunger for ... itself; the anguished search for an answer, any answer, even the wrong one, to end the anxiety; and the hapless attempts to ... Coach Vogel, teaching drivera#39;s education, likens the combustion engine to the human body in need of its occasional fillup: ... Even Amy Joubert, whose motives are the best, takes her sixth grade social studies class into Manhattan so that theyanbsp;...

Title:Hints and Guesses
Author:Christopher J. Knight
Publisher:Univ of Wisconsin Press - 1997


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