See S. Moore, A Reader's Guide to William Gaddis's The Recognitions (1982) and William Gaddis (1989); E. B. Safer, The Contemporary American Comic Epic: The Novels of Barth, Pynchon, Gaddis, and Kesey (1988); J. Johnston, Carnival of Repetition (1989); G. Comnes, The Ethics of Indeterminacy in the Novels of William Gaddis (1994).
(born Dec. 29, 1922, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Dec. 16, 1998, East Hampton, N.Y.) U.S. novelist. He attended Harvard University and later wrote speeches and screenplays. His long experimental novels are characterized by complex and allusive plotting and language and a dark (if often humorous) view of contemporary American society. His first, The Recognitions (1955), a multileveled examination of spiritual bankruptcy, was only belatedly recognized as a masterpiece. Discouraged by its reception, he published nothing more until JR (1975, National Book Award), which depicts greed, hypocrisy, and banality in business. His later novels are Carpenter's Gothic (1985) and A Frolic of His Own (1994, National Book Award).
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