contempt       the hate is still there, even uglier but the critic makes it
appear that he personally is not angry       like the new yorker quote
this novel challenges the reader to compare it with Joyce's "Ulys-
ses." So challenged, the reader is obliged to say that while Mr.
Gaddis has been very brave, Shem the Penman has won the day.
(shem the penman: joyce, as selfparodied in finnegans wake)      "chal-
lenges" is part of the "ambitious" cliche      the implication is that
when an artist does highly organized work, his sole intention is to
challenge you, to force you against your will to tell him how great he
is       its merely a cliche, a trick, because it can be used equally well
against a phony or a real artist1      "obliged to say" testifies to the
critic's coy reluctance to stab      more contempt:
old Gaddis is a whiz with the reference cards in the library (bass)

there is every indication that the author expects this work to fling
itself directly into a class with, say, Ulysses—if not somewhat past
that point. (hartman)

not even Rupert Brooke [had] such a passion for putting in every
Greek, Latin, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Yiddish and four-
letter word he knows. Oh, Salvation, how many yawns do we suffer
in thy name. (fremantle)

"Salvation" is fremantles christian-conclusion boner again      "angry,
very angry" is like the "dim view" trick:
By implication [Wyatt] represents the plight of all modern artists, in
Mr. Gaddis's dim view of things, if not the corruption of all levels of
modern society from the television industry to the lower depths.

  "The Recognitions" abounds with prototypes of Greenwich Village,
circa 1920, whose nebulous stream-of-consciousness speech often
becomes lucid enough to uncover the author's dim view of things

He sees no virtue in anything and, indeed, the novel is itself a
fantasy embroidered and overwhelmed with elaborate symbols and
too many fine and despairing phrases. (smith)

the "dim view" trick is designed to smother feeling in cliche      only
2draters use it       it means "im afraid hes angry, he disapproves.
maybe hes angry at me!       im afraid      but presto, its not so serious,
he only—ha ha!—takes a 'dim view'      whew, back on familiar ground.
i dont really care, you dont care, so he doesnt care      saved!"

he doesnt care, hes just "vastly disturbed":

Mr. Gaddis is vastly disturbed by the obscene, the immoral, the
sacrilegious. (laycock)
wrong again, laycock!      & dawn powell again, master of boners,
master of contempt:
a Genius, a Bore, or Both
—a typical snotty ny post headline      & typical of that liberal news-
paper's smoldering hate for anyone who excels
  Seven-fifty for a book without art, maps, recipes or even tele-
phone numbers? Why? And how was a young, unarmed writer able
to slug a publisher into even reading such a vast tome, let alone
publishing it? To claim they give you 956 pages of novel in return
for your money is like offering you a giant headache in return for
your aspirin.

And some place else someone asks, "What are you supposed to be,
an honest man just because you don't have a necktie?"

                                            * * *

  Is "The Recognitions" supposed to be an honest novel because it
has no quotation marks?

powells just having goodnatured innocent fun      her last innuendo is
false analogy: in the recognitions, the man in the green wool shirt (who
the question is asked to) does think not having a necktie makes him
honest       powell anyway likes to throw in dirty wisecracks at random,
just for the hell of it or because she cant think of anything else to say

FIRE rochelle girson for rank presumption      selfimportance      fills a
column about how she had 2 ideas about gaddis & they were wrong

  Dark suspicions have been voiced in industry circles lately that
William Gaddis must have at least partially subsidized the publish-
ing of his mammoth first novel, "The Recognitions." Else how could
Harcourt, Brace (or any other firm) have afforded to bring out a 956-
page book by a completely unknown author? (The fact that it is
tagged $7.50 by no means insures the gamble.) So, not being an
especially bashful sort, we upped and asked them.
  No, they said emphatically, the novel was not subsidized. Reason
for the risk: "We feel that Mr. Gaddis is an important writer."
shes lying about the "industry circles," reputable publishers dont
publish subsidy novels       you can see its ridiculous if a 1st novel or a
long novel is subsidized by the author       & equally ridiculous if it isnt
  Mr. Gaddis, she said, works at nothing but his writing, and this is
the first time the 32-year-old author has had anything published.
Then he must be rich, we put in slyly. Wherewithal is a fact of life,
and it takes leisure to amass that young man's erudition. Again no.
Mr. Gaddis lives on Long Island, where his sole income is from a
house that he and his mother rent for something like $50 a month.
Largely self-educated, he has lived "in rather desperate circum-
stances" in order to get "The Recognitions" written, his editor told
us, adding firmly, "we believe in the book very much."
the editor's remarks are wasted on miss poisonpen      whose financial
& educational report is all wet      a rich writer is ridiculous, while a
writer "starving in a garret" is ridiculous      ridicule the universal
solvent, appropriate for any art or any artist      the only thing not
ridiculous is Position—to be a hack journalist spinning out a column of
zero      "slyly"
1anger or sarcasm would be ok vs a bad book, but not tricks & masks (Back)