indifference theres so much of this i hardly know where to begin.
take 1 subject, comparison of gaddis with other writers      shouldnt
the critics know something about gaddis' work before they start play-
ing the comparison game?       but they cant wait, heres some quotes
shading down from anger to indifference:
He rambles on and on, needlessly and even disgustingly, striving
ineffectually to do in 956 big pages what Evelyn Waugh accom-
plishes in less than 200 small ones. (hill)

He takes a smack at everything and everybody in the manner of
Eliot and Joyce and Cummings, but they do it much better and
much, much shorter. (bass)

to date the one valid criticism of Wolfe is his lack of discipline. In
comparison with Gaddis, Wolfe wore a literary strait-jacket. (simak)

There is also a good deal of the newsreel technique which Dos
Passos used in "U. S. A." But is the fact that we can now add
quotations from radio broadcasts to newspaper headlines adequate
reason for doing this all over again? (wagenknecht)

The cocktail party that covers pages 568 to 646 should be required
reading for all foreigners who really wish to understand the American
way of life; it is first-rate reporting, and out-Hemingways Caldwell.

is this world of weirdies any less real than a world of Willis Waydes?
At least, they are antidotes for each other. That is why this is the
book I would take with me to Suburbia. (powell)

Dostoevsky, with his intellect multiplied by a factor of ten, but
without a soul. (hartman)

if Mr. Gaddis has failed to bring off his first attempt to write our
Dunciad, it is not inconceivable that he may in a later work succeed.
(u s quarterly book review)

perhaps as disconcerting in its own way as "Ulysses" or "Finne-
gan's (sic) Wake" (bloom)

  The style is a tumbling together of Wolfe and Joyce, of raucous
laughter and sentimental tenderness, of satire and objective se-
riousness. The novel laughs (or weeps?) at Greenwich Village, at
advertising, at Americans abroad, at organized religion, at false
dentures and illness. It is melodrama and gothic horror. It is
grotesque and overwritten, but above all it is terribly earnest and by
no means to be dismissed. (bloom)

the last few quotes are mostly "balanced"      reader: answer yes or no.
bloom: yes or no       his lush synthetic prose is a fine example of
"criticstyle" at its worst

price's prediction was wrong:

this is a tale that will be widely read, and one that will engender
considerable opinion, very little of it temperate. Anger over the work
will be great, and it will find forceful expression in many places.
  I should not be surprised to learn soon that efforts will have been
made to suppress it in various sections of the nation. Yet it will also
find stout defenders.
½ the recognitions reviewers dont totally conceal their hate      most of
the text of these, & all the text of most of the rest, play it safe      their
indifference & torpor conceal a great distaste      not now for the best
books only       critics are bored by their fakework, dont like any books.
good books are a little more demanding, more fatiguing, thats all

couple of generations ago underpaid hack reviewers took it out in
destructive power like any prison screw or socialworker      now they
dont dare, dont care       the change even in the last 20 years is
remarkable       instead of north's moralistic kind of attack, the recogni-
reviews are mostly dull, dogged attempts to do a hack job not
worth doing       as "they" expect the critic to do it      death replacing

but dead reviews are more dangerous to a great novel than vicious
ones       you used to be able to find the best books by reading the
reviews      the most hated books were the best      now its harder.
sometimes you can sense the critic working against his own resistance
to convince you      especially by what he tacitly assumes      that a
novel is really quite ordinary tho a bit eccentric      of medium interest,
nothing to get excited about       thats the book to read!      like this:

long stretches of "Ulysses," even in a first puzzled reading, were
felt to be the work of genius. "The Recognitions"—or that part of it
that is understandable—is no more than very talented or highly
ingenious, or, on another level, rather amusing. (granville hicks, in
the new york times)
but often you cant tell at all, because the critic has read so carelessly
that he doesnt know even unconsciously what kind of book it is.
soon reviews will be no help at all

& wordofmouth, that depends on whose mouth      its not only the
market, the audience thats been broadened for the sole benefit of the
exploiters of art & pseudoart      but still more disastrously, the avant-
garde       every asst copywriter who owns a hifi & refuses to read the
reader's digest thinks hes hip to the latest but hes not

the recognitions had less to gain from a major new york publisher in
1955 than ulysses from an amateur publisher (a paris avantgarde
bookstore) in 1922      gaddis was indifferently reviewed, neglected by
an indifferent public      both enthusiasm & backfiring anger having
become oldfashioned      conditions for the success of this kind of
great novel havent improved

ulysses was banned as obscene in the u s & england for over a
decade      subject of evil comments from the most reputable critics.
but there were always enough enthusiasts, enough "crazy joyceans"
from the avantgarde to keep the book from being forgotten, assure its
eventual success      where are the enthusiasts now?      where are
the people who should have been writing, pushing the recognitions
long ago?      even if im wrong about its greatness, where are they
pushing some other neglected work?

i suspect part of it comes from bringing democratic ideals into judg-
ment of art where they dont belong      art is more like a jungle, in a
jungle the animals dont have equal rights      writing a poem with good
intentions doesnt make you a dylan thomas & doesnt mean you should
be published 50% of the time & him 50%      & ive seen plenty of
avantgarde magazines run just that way, with a list of the editors
friends as a pleasant substitute for picking the manuscripts out of a
hat      & the complaint about publishing "names"      its true when
work from "names" is accepted without reading it, as often in effect it
is      but usually the reason wm burroughs is published & ------ ------
isnt, is that ------ ------ cant write worth shit!      & why be afraid your own
work will be scorned if you admit someone elses is better?      beckett
was a "crazy joycean" & it doesnt seem to have harmed him

i say to the avantgarde, dont abdicate!      part of our work has always
been pushing neglected masterpieces & if we retire to contemplate
our clippings we cant be replaced      by who, the academics, the
reviewers?      playboy & the tv hippies cant do it, all they have is taste.
they dont care, so they cant do it      but you can

FIRE granville hicks       his new york times review tried to destroy a
great novel      a review built on innuendo & projection

i learned what bastards like hicks are in ayn rand's the fountainhead.
hes a real ellsworth toohey except he doesnt always know what hes
doing      he should read the fountainhead & become an iago instead
of a worm      his review starts:

WHAT we have here is certainly a puzzle and perhaps a challenge.
the "balanced" statement again!      book review digest fell for hicks
tricks, rated his review noncommittal      its not noncommittal to say a
books certainly something bad & perhaps something that looks good
but will turn out to be only "ambitious"
William Gaddis (among other things, to be sure) is playing a game
with such readers as he may be fortunate enough to have, a game
for which he has devised the rules.
in 1955 hicks could affect how many readers gaddis would "be fortu-
nate enough to have" but his times running out      except for demand-
ing 10% of the gross for a plus review, hicks & the other recognitions
reviewer-hacks did a great job of making its satires prophecies      in
the recognitions crémer, an artcritic refused a bribe by wyatt, reviews
him down (p74):
—Archaïque, dur comme la pierre, dérivé, sans cœur, sans sympa-
thie, sans vie, enfin, un esprit de la mort sans l'espoir de la Résur-
("Archaic, hard as rock, derivative, without heart, without sympathy,
without life, in a word, a spirit of death without the hope of Resurrec-
tion")       many years later crémers comment on valentine's forgery of
a forgery is (p665):
  —Un sacrilège, ce visage-là, archaïque, dur comme la pierre,
voyez vous, sans chaleur, sans cœur, sans sympathie, sans vie...
en un mot, la mort, vous savez, sans espoir de Résurrection.
("A sacrilege, that face, archaic, hard as rock, you see, without warmth,
without heart, without sympathy, without a word, death, you
know, without hope of Resurrection")      it seems he always uses the
same blast (or the favorable gem on p663)      monsieur hicks fulfills
the word of the prophet:

                  hicks reviewing gaddis

                  hicks reviewing paul goodman
                           (4 yrs later)
playing a game with such readers
as he may be fortunate enough to
have, a game for which he has
devised the rules.
the book is difficult in an arbitrary
fashion, full of games of which
Goodman has invented the rules
full of recondite allusions and
private jokes, full of self-conscious

(italics added)      his gaddis review continues:

It is part of his game to conceal the identity of his characters in
many scenes: the hero's name, for instance, is not mentioned for
hundreds of pages, and other characters can be recognized only if
one remembers a ring or a coat or a trick of speech. It is part of his
game to use six or eight languages and to overwhelm the reader
with his knowledge of Flemish painting or early church history, or
medicine. He hints at parallels with the patristic literature, creates a
complicated pattern of father-and-son relations, and, by introducing
well-known persons, gives the impression that he is writing a roman
à clef
what "well-known persons?"       its bergers "ernest hemingway" boner
again       or is it some other character or beast in the recognitions
the ex-army pilot named charles dickens, the faggot writer named
buster brown?       basil valentine, the reverend gilbert sullivan, albert &
victoria hall, hadrian, heracles, popeye, doctor fell?

roman à clef!       as hicks says in the living novel (1957 p222):

What are we to make of a reviewer (in Partisan Review)
tempts to evaluate C. P. Snow's Homecoming without having read
any of the other novels in the series of which it is part, a series he
preposterously characterizes as a Bildungsroman? (my dots)
now, the innuendo that gaddis "game" is "to overwhelm the reader
with his knowledge"       its the erudition cliche      hicks pretends hes
forgotten the artistic relation of 20thcentury techniques to the novels
theyre in       he judges the techniques in isolation as something pasted
on & unnecessary       but eg the question&answer chapter in ulysses
has an artistic purpose, to show dedalus & bloom from another angle,
in another light that cant be supplied by conventional dialog & descrip-
tion      a novel is not a work of nonfiction      if joyce introduces the
subject of parallax the purpose isnt to show off joyces knowledge of

gaddis doesnt use techniques for their own sake either      wyatt &
others often arent identified in dialog because their "tricks of speech"
(& what they say!) identifies them sufficiently      the principle of
economy: being identified by the context, adding a "Wyatt said" would
weaken the identification (by overdoing it) not strengthen it      other
times the name of the character may not spring to mind at 1st reading,
its for "timegrowth"       on rereading, the novel doesnt remain static
but changes as the previously unrecognized is recognized      which,
by changing the timerelation of the reader to the book, also changes
the dimension of time in the book      its "world" can be experienced
as a whole as well as part by part

likewise "early church history" isnt in the recognitions for its own sake
(but to throw a different light on the religion or irreligion of the char-
acters) & the "complicated pattern of father-and-son relations" isnt
there for complications sake any more that the patterns of jealousy
are in proust       of course if a woman is to wear dozens of fancy
costumes she should look striking to begin with      gaddis characters
can carry any amount of overlay but i wouldnt advise hicks to dress up
the poor creatures of his own soporific novels in more than their
workaday clothes       but if he'll stop projecting his inability to transcend
the ordinary onto better writers by accusing them of using nonfiction
techniques for nonfiction purposes & just to show off      and if he'll get
close enough to the recognitions      (with or without "effort" but
definitely with more than "a first puzzled reading")      to see the book
as it is, he might try imagining if it would really be improved by (1)
adding a thousand "Wyatt said"s (2) cutting out all the furrin words (3)
no church history, refer only to characters lives at the moment (4) no
more than 2 father-son relations (5) cut out luxuries like mr "pott" &
"dick" who tho they dont represent the "well-known persons" whittaker
chambers & dick nixon, have a humorous relation to them

hicks continues:

Clearly there is more here than one reading will reveal,
—did he or didnt he?—
and the question is whether the more is worth the effort.
the "difficult" cliche       writing above kindergarten level strews ma-
licious landmines in your path, you thread thru with great "effort" & no
reward       poetry should be translated to ny timesstyle so you get the
literal meaning without difficulty       critics prefer the same old unchal-
lenging mush       they get no pleasure from reading so they prefer
anesthesia to the choice between pleasure & pain
The reader thinks, as Mr. Gaddis obviously thought, of Joyce's
guess again—gaddis read 40p of ulysses in college, period!1      honest
critic might say influence from ulysses possible—joyce & gaddis in
some ways have similar attitudes, as a result some of their technical
resources resemble       but the innuendo of plagiarism in "as Mr.
Gaddis obviously thought" is dishonest      the same kind of projection
as "ostentatiously" in hicks last para
When that book was read soon after publication, before a body of
criticism had smoothed away the difficulties, there was much in it
that was mystifying and no small amount that seemed deliberate
but joyce beat the rap!       hicks loves projection—anything in a novel
that looks different could be error & error could be "deliberate" malice.
since every good novel contains something unusual every good writer
can be personally attacked & thats just what hicks wants

"smoothed away the difficulties" is a revolting phrase      joyce cant be
persuaded to write down to the critics level so rewrite him from out-
side, by encirclement       tho whats really difficult is to read ulysses
after reading a dozen asinine books about it, books whose only life is
in the quotes from joyce

But what one remembers is that long stretches of "Ulysses," even
in a first puzzled reading,
—did he or didnt he?—       who cares what "one" remembers from a
1st puzzled reading!       as hicks the idealist wrote in the living novel:
spokesmen for the people who want to eat their cake and have it
too, who are smart enough to recognize the shoddiness of the
blatantly commercial novel but too indolent or too distracted to
come to terms with the genuinely serious novel.
(2-18)       & as hicks the idealist wrote in a 1956 new leader review:
When a literary journalist comes upon a good novel, his first obliga-
tion is to say so. Afterward he can try to explain why it is good and,
if he sees fit, why it is not so good as it conceivably might be.
These are important matters, but they are not so important as that
an act of creation has taken place.
(quoted in living novel 177-8)       heres hicks idealism in practice:
But what one remembers is that long stretches of "Ulysses," even
in a first puzzled reading, were felt to be the work of genius. "The
Recognitions"—or that part of it that is understandable 2—is no
more than very talented or highly ingenious or, on another level,
rather amusing.
what a hypocrite!       only "very talented"—what condescension!      for
centuries the great work of one generations used to beat the next
with, how can this still fool anyone?

hicks malice with "balancing" again       the pluses shrink to insignifi-
cance, the minuses are monstrously swollen      while whetting the
knife for a sharp close he spends a para describing the recognitions
contents       of course in 68 words he cant do it      then the clincher:

  The novel is full of episodes that, in a less ambitious work, one
would be happy to call promising. Indeed, it is only because Mr.
Gaddis, in his first published work, has so ostentatiously aimed at
writing a masterpiece—and has made upon his readers demands
that only a masterpiece could adequately reward—that one is dis-
how evil can you get?       he admits the recognitions is "very talented"
but his whole review from the 1st key word "puzzle" to the last "dis-
satisfied" is meant to discourage readers from buying it      yes, hes
always ready to welcome a 1st novel that promising, unless the
promise is fulfilled
      talent not yet fulfilled can be helped as an
equal, doesnt threaten him       but he stomps on fulfilled talent that
needs his help only as his superior       hicks the idealist has this dirty
side too (the living novel viii)       hes refuting critics who confuse the
ravages of their own middle age with "the death of the novel":
there have never been so many serious novelists at work in America
as there are in this period; I am not talking about great novelists,
who are rare enough in any age,3 but about men and women who
believe in the novel, who write out of themselves and not for the
market, who recognize that there is a craft to be mastered and are
determined to master it, and who have already made it clear that
they have talent enough to warrant their ambitions.
everyone has enough "talent"       the problem is the work produced.
talent is only what gives a critic or publisher a cheap thrill when he
takes you to lunch the 1st time      each literary parasite once hoped
to be a real writer, was determined to master his craft & ambitious to
do good work       then he failed & became a critic or editor      the
writers he loves havent yet got further than he did, but might      but if
they already have he hates them       the whole publishing racket shares
hicks fatal flaw       prizes are for promise that may never be fulfilled,
not for the impoverished one whose 6th books very good but no better
than his 5th

equally important, the recognitions is a masterpiece      writing a snotty
review like hicks vs gaddis automatically disqualifies you as a critic
forever       recognizing masterpieces is the job of the critic—not writ-
ing competent reviews of the unimportant      poor hicks, having a
masterpiece sneak up on him with no warning, no previous "body of
criticism" to tip him off!

hicks, who i must admit never misses a chance to expose himself as a
fraud, really screwed the cap on in a review of paul goodman's the
empire city

there is something a little phony about this attack on phoniness. I
remember a comparable book that appeared a few years ago, an
ambitious, difficult, bitter book, William Gaddis's "The Recognitions."
I felt that "The Recognitions" was a failure but that it was an honor-
able failure, the failure of a man who had aimed too high. By com-
parison Goodman seems to me to play it safe, to use all the tricks
of the advance guard without venturing very far out in front.
thats not what he said 4 yrs earlier!      a man whos "so ostentatiously
aimed at writing a masterpiece" & failed makes a dishonorable failure
not an honorable one       give hicks another 4 yrs & he'll twist it around
again to be favorable enough to go in his collected critical works with-
out disgracing him       maybe he should try "dishonorable success" 1st
just in case

the ny times has shown       with a really comparable book      that it is
indeed "happy" to praise "less ambitious work"      its jay williams'
novel the forger, reviewed by another enemy of art, orville prescott (6/

the forgers a novel about young ny painters, one of them forges a
painting in the manner of giorgione      it covers much the same sub-
ject-matter as a large part of the recognitions      like gaddis, williams
has "flash" (flashy in the good sense), his novel is competent but lacks
depth       its attitude, pointofview, center is that of an ordinary person,
or rather the stereotype of an ordinary person ("maughams flaw"), not
of an individual person as in great novels      williams characters are
only moderately "there"       compare the parallel characters adrienne-
donald-stanley, youll see the difference      prescott says:

Now, in "The Forger," he has written his best novel so far, a novel
that is a psychologically interesting personal story and also an
intimately authoritative guided tour of the special world of con-
temporary art in New York City.
prescotts whole review of an ordinary novel encourages the potential
reader as hicks discouraged him from reading a great one      thats the
ny times for you, past present & future

back to hicks review      the editors of the worst bookreview section in
the world postscripted it with a note showing hes not one of those
critics who cant write a book themselves:

  Mr. Hicks is the author of "There Was a Man in Our Town" and
other novels.
"one" has unearthed a review of this very novel! 4      reviewer's putting
questions with ending questionmarks instead of indirectly & his failure
to use enough passive verbforms stamp him as an amateur who has
failed to master criticstyle, but here it is anyway:
  Granville Hicks' There Was a Man in Our Town (New York: Viking
Press, 1952) is the most forgettable novel I've ever read.
  On the elementary-technical level the book is competent. But
competence only makes a dull book monotonous.
  Mr. Hicks' characters arouse my compassion and engage my
sympathies. Like all characters in fiction they are denied the privi-
lege of existence in real life: this makes it doubly unfair that they
are denied any real existence in the novel. You can tell them apart,
but they are "flat." They have that fatal "guy-down-the-block-who-I-
don't-know-very-well" quality, the vague humdrumness that is the
sure sign of the secondrate novel. They lack self-generating force &
have to be pushed around by the plot.
  The book is not insensitive to pressing social needs. It is a
political novel, the story of a crusade—gallant though for the mo-
ment thwarted—to improve the politics of a small New England
town by a factor of about one-half of 1 percent.
  It is no negativistical novel, but rings a note of wry and wary pro-
fessional optimism. Nothing is Pollyanna-perfect: the characters
suffer, but not nearly as much as you would expect from their
circumstances. The author has supplied them with the equivalent of
bulletproof windows for every emotional contingency.
  The book is not without moments of deep philosophy and the
tragic view of life. As the narrator remarks (p. 270): "Nonsense. Do
you know the saddest sentence in the English language? It's 'You
can't eat your cake and have it too.' Because that's what everybody
wants to do, and since it's impossible nobody can be happy for long
at a time."
  Mr. Hicks never exploits the pornographic. His novel treats sex
strictly as a prime causative factor in interpersonal relations.
  He hates children and presents them always as unprovoked
aggressors, tormenting adults who ask only to be left alone. Or he
does not hate children and is merely—and may one suggest, a little
ostentatiously—striving to be "different."
  Why was this novel written! It can't be for money: dull books don't
sell. Or fame: the goddess is notoriously indifferent to candidates in
neutral gear. Or for its own sake: why bother? I keep getting the
strange idea that Mr. Hicks is not a novelist at all. I mean this
literally: he has some quite different profession.
  Imagine a golf-mad steel corporation in Pittsburgh. All the execu-
tives must join the country club and play golf. The ambitious young
men try to shoot in the 70's; no one complains about the president's
score of 150. But the mass of executives had better play in the
90's—not too good, not too bad. Similarly, in Mr. Hicks' real job it is
required that he write a novel once in a while, out of office hours.
Not a very bad novel, certainly not a very good one or of real value
to anyone including himself, but just "a novel." Every few years he
must grind one out: his employers don't read it, but they feel reas-
sured by its existence.
  But what kind of job does he have?
FIRE maxwell geismar for his stupid saturday review review      built on
the "strawman" trick       like fremantle's & livingston's its procrustean.
he starts with a corny reprise of "it cant be that good":
IN SOME quarters of the literary scene today William Gaddis's
novel "The Recognitions" is bound to be praised to the skies, and
this reviewer keeps wondering who is being taken in.
me!      geismars review is creative      he doesnt understand the
at all, so he invents another recognitions all his own:
A New England minister has buried his wife in Spain, and he slowly
becomes converted not to the Christian mode of salvation, but to
the ancient pagan rituals of propitiation and sacrifice. This is
actually an underlying theme of the novel—that we have lost not
only belief today, but the primary sense of pleasure and biological
functioning in life which the ancients had. 5Robert Graves, for ex-
ample, has developed this theme in a series of brilliant historical
im voting for "pleasure and biological functioning" too this year, but its
not a theme of the recognitions       what, say, pagan religion & alchemy
had over modern religiosity & chemistry is given as substance, signif-
icance, emotional passion       the book is not especially sensuous & its
attitude toward pleasure as such is indifferent, skeptical, mocking.
& by the by, why would a christian minister be expected to be con-
to "the Christian mode of salvation"

my guess is, geismar already had that graves para in mind & stuck it
onto the 1st book that might seem relevant       if the guest doesnt fit
the bed—tough!       & he tops it off with the strawman trick      in his
last para       having projected his own views wrongly onto gaddis,
he blames gaddis for not living up to them:

"The Recognitions" never achieves any kind of contact, not merely
with modern life, but even with the biological vitality which it
which it does not stress      john w aldridge      writing in 1956 that
"The Recognitions received indifferent to stupid notice in the leading
New York literary supplements"      suggested the reason might be
"most of the reviewers have never grown beyond the view which was
fashionable in the 1920s"       which makes a neat contrast to geismars
absurd idea that the recognitions itself "is really a typical art novel of
the 1920s"
And the fatal flaw of this genre is simply that the central figures, as
in Mr. Gaddis's case too, are only half-artists,
does geismar really believe that failures by characters in a novel are
failures of a novel?
who never really engage our sympathy or interest; who never repre-
sent anything but themselves.

figures like Joyce or Picasso do engage our sympathy when they
break through traditional forms of art.

sure they do—a generation later!      "engage our sympathy" is the
compassion cliche, the rotting ulcer of american criticism today      "or
interest"!—when the recognitions is an accepted masterpiece, if any-
one tries to claim geismar was a competent critic those 2 words will
disprove it
The outside world of modern American life, which is surely a legiti-
mate subject for the novelist today,
thats deep thinking, geismar!
is described so imperfectly, and so superficially as to make us feel
that the novelist himself has never known it.
   It is quite possible that Mr. Gaddis is not even pretending to an
elementary realism,6
"quite possible"—of course he isnt!       if geismar doesnt get the book
why doesnt he look it up in the blurb? ("The Recognitions is not a work
of realism in the accepted sense of the term")      with masterly con-
fusion geismar takes the criticisms a fool might make of novels not
totally realistic       & implies the faults peculiar to the recognitions
since the plot is complete fantasy 7, somewhat reminiscent of Rex
Warner's "Wild Goose Chase."
the plot doesnt resemble the wild goose chase in the least!      is there
no limit to what these hacks will drag in to fill space?
But if people as people no longer concern this new school of
symbolists or surrealists—
was kafka unconcerned with "people as people"?      is it only realism
that presents reality?
which can be an indictment either of modern life or of them—then
we must still be caught up not merely by the craft of the artist, but
by the central vision of life.
the "vision" cliche!       an artists weltanschauung has no artistic mean-
ing in itself but has to be transcended if not redeemed by "the craft of
the artist"       like beethoven redeeming schillers inane doggerel in the
9th symphony, or bach redeeming christ      but to the hack critic
artists beliefs are more important than their work—& a lot easier to
write about!       "he says man is essentially good, so his work must be
essentially good"       its like the ny posts ½assed sportscolumnists:
hitting a lot of homeruns is small pickings compared to The Question:
when the fans throw sodabottles at the star does he show "maturity" &
"humility"?       Rx for critics: the vision cliche with equal parts of
moralistic cant, sniping at their superiors & not having to work hard

geismars review could have been written without reading the book, to
which it has little relation      he concludes:

Whatever is of genuine merit in the novel is drained off into a
continuous verbal vaporizing; and whatever is here of genuine
talent is consumed by an obsession, as I can only call it, with

1"Perhaps without 'Ulysses' Gaddis' novel could not have been written" (parke) (Back)

2in a 1st puzzled reading? (Back)

3not as rare as youd like! (Back)

4not from the ny times or saturday review, which were plus (Back)

5or as plagiarized by o'hearn a week later: "The thesis seems to be that belief
has vanished from modern life and with it all joy and creativity" (Back)

6o'hearn: "This book makes no pretense to realism" (Back)

7its not       the fantasys imposed on a realistic ground—the opposite of what
warner does (Back)