Podemos disecar dos bloques, casi novelas paralelas, dentro del libro. Por un lado Wyatt, el hijo del reverendo y pintor, cuyo tema es la trascendencia. Por el otro Otto, aspirante a dramaturgo de casa buena, y la contemporaneidad. Entre una y otra hay diversos personajes puente. Suturan la brecha entre uno y otro bloque.

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Shelves: favourite-books This book has me in its grip. One feels a little lost at times, but there are familiar sights. Can we trust our guide? Gaddis gives you the sense he knows the way The title. One of the characters, Basil Valentine, later explains, The what? The Recognitions? Mostly talk, talk, talk. This novel is an exercise in recognitions - within the text, the characters, ourselves.

Gaddis intended that we recognize and understand these references and allusions, and apply their meaning to the overall story. He has paid us a high compliment, and respects us as thinking readers who are willing to work with him, What writing is all about is what happens on the page between the reader and the page. What I want is a collaboration, really, with the reader on the page where the reader is also making an effort, is putting something of himself into it in the way of understanding, in the way of helping to construct the fiction that I am giving him.

As Jonathan Franzen says about it, "Peel away the erudition, and you have The Catcher in the Rye: a grim winter sojourn in a seedy Manhattan, a quest for authenticity in a phony modern world. His themes are ones I want to read and think about. The novel employs the same techniques of reference, allusion, collage, multiple perspective, and contrasting voices; the same kinds of fire and water imagery drawn from religion and myth; and both call for the same kinds of artistic, moral, and religious sensibilities.

Life proved terrible enough by the s to produce in The Recognitions the most "Russian" novel in American literature. Gaddis shares with these authors not only their metaphysical concerns and often bizarre sense of humor, but their nationalistic impulses as well. Call it The Spanish Affair. It ends with "They never forgave him for not bringing the body home".

These pages sit in my memory like whole other books do. The rest of the novel can be seen as the sequel. The story continues with the son Wyatt. I love this unhappy mirror version of Christopher Robin. The father, Reverend Gwyon, had "the look of a man who was waiting for something which had happened long before", buries himself in old obscured religious writings Wyatt grows up warped by this upbringing.

He becomes the man who seems to believe that, where there is God, do not stay; where there is no God run away as fast as you can. He planned to enter the ministry, but early on had found the Christian system suspect. Names are changed! Identities are mistaken! Life and art are so entangled that their boundaries are not clear. We constantly overhear fragments of conversations, catch glimpses of the characters as they hurry by.

The frame of The Recognitions is forgery: in culture, religion, art, relationships, sex, business, money.

Its subject is an examination of meaning - what is real? The personage Wyatt was in part based on the real life infamous art forger Han van Meegeren. His paintings are at best competent, and without mystery or depth. See if you agree from this sample. And take a quiz : Vermeer or Meegeren? Meegeren made clumsy technical mistakes that should have alarmed the experts. One village of artists exports about five million paintings every year — most of them copies of famous masterpieces.

The fastest workers can paint up to 30 paintings a day. The copy of this painting underscores one of the themes of The Recognitions, the theme of forgery, and it is asking: what is original? Is it even possible to be original? That romantic disease, originality, all around we see originality of incompetent idiots, they could draw nothing, paint nothing, just so the mess they make is original Even two hundred years ago who wanted to be original, to be original was to admit that you could not do a thing the right way, so you could only do it your own way.

When you paint you do not try to be original, only you think about your work, how to make it better, so you copy masters, only masters, for with each copy of a copy the form degenerates And to carry the question further, has mankind, that master forger, outdone the creator?

Each one of us is merely the latest link in the chain of human experience. Everything we know, believe, have, is founded on what has been passed down from the previous generations.

Religion, culture, music, science, art. Nursery rhymes. What claim to originality do we really have? Everything is a collage built from previous works, a blatant example being The WasteLand yes, and The Recognitions too. So, we can search out the allusions, and the bits and pieces directly copied from other writers.

Our understanding is deeper, the experience is richer of course. But the new work stands on its own. Its watchful eye of God raises a question: does anything mean anything at all, if it is not looked at by God?

Wyatt says, This Do you know why everything does? Because they found God everywhere. There was nothing God did not watch over, nothing, and so this Do you get the perspective in this? I take five or six or ten The cynic Basil Valentine replies: Yes, I remember your little talk, your insane upside-down apology for these pictures, every figure and every object with its own presence, its own consciousness because it was being looked at by God!

Do you know what it was? What it really was? Oh, this pious cult of the Middle Ages! Being looked at by God! Is there a moment of faith in any of their work, in one centimeter of canvas?

A profound mistrust in God, and they need every idea out where they can see it, where they can get their hands on it. The letter that begins "You: The demands of painting have the most astonishing consequences" was entirely written by Sheri Martinelli and used without her knowledge. She was the inspiration for the character who wrote it, Esme. There are so many odd characters in this book worthy of mention: Ed Feasley "He was not afraid: not a grain of that fear which is granted in any definition of sanity.

In college, he had entertained himself and others, quiet evenings in his rooms when his allowance was cut off, by beating the back of his fist with a stiff-bristled hairbrush, then swinging his hand in circles until the pressure of descending blood broke small capillaries and spotted the rug and ceiling with spots turned brown by morning; or standing before a mirror with thumb and forefinger pressed against his carotid arteries until his face lost all color and he was caught by consciousness as he fell He liked a Good Time.

But it was as unreal to him by now as to anyone looking at his face, where time had long since stopped experimenting. That childhood was like a book read, misplaced, forgotten, to be recalled when one sees another copy, the cheap edition in a railway station newsstand, which is bought, thumbed through, and like as not left on the train when the station is called.

In profile, his face was strong and flexible; but, when he turned full face as he did now, the narrowness of his chin seemed to sap the face of that strength so impressive an instant before. Temples faintly graying, distinguished enough to be artificial though the time was gone when anyone might have said premature, and gone the time when it was necessary to dye them so, instead now to tint them with black occasionally , he looked like an old person who looks very young, hair-ends slightly too long, he wore a perfectly fitted gray pinstripe suit, soft powder-blue Oxford-cloth shirt, and a slender black tie whose pattern, woven in the silk, was barely discernible.

He raised a gold cigarette case in long fingers. Gold glittered at his cuff. She advanced with a distinct rattling sound" Frank Sinisterra " And there are so many quotable passages - if God did not relax for an instant in the Flemish paintings, neither did Gaddis in his descriptions.

I think of the infamous opening,.


“Los reconocimientos” de William Gaddis. La ambición de un maestro



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