What J R Documents

Interesting piece on William Gaddis’ J R by Lee Konstantinou at the LARB. Now that you’re getting close to finishing The Tunnel (if you’re reading it), maybe this is your next big book:

I’d suggest that what J R documents is the way that America is hollowing out the foundation necessary to even read a book like it, an America that teaches its children via closed-circuit television, an America that thinks democracy means owning a share of profit-maximizing publicly traded corporations. This is what it means to say that J R is about the conditions underlying the impossibility of its own reception. If there were a welcoming mass public for books like this, a public able to appreciate its beautiful difficulty and astonishing imagination, we wouldn’t live in the sort of world so in need of savage satirical critique in the first place.

Although I would disagree with Lee that “Unlike Pynchon — who is more concerned in his classic postmodern novels with how entropy operates in thermodynamics and information theory — Gaddis means entropy to be a metaphor for the din of American life and the ‘free enterprise’ system.” I think Pynchon’s take on entropy has very much to do with critiquing the American system.

Also see William Gaddis, the Last Protestant by John Lingan at The Quarterly Conversation.

More from Conversational Reading:

  1. Now That's An Essay On Gaddis JM Tyree, kicking some ass. Missing from the standard account of Gaddis’ reputation is the factor of political comedy. Gaddis’ novels are hilarious satires motivated,...
  2. Hemingway Documents Redux The Guardian provides some English-language coverage of the Hemingway/Cuba story I blogged about earlier this week. Cuba’s has begun allowing electronic access to more than...
  3. Cuban Hemingway Documents Digitized El Pais reports that though the U.S. and Cuba can’t come together on most issues, they can agree to join forces in digitizing Papa’s private...
  4. The Recognitions Michael over at Culturespace is embarking on a summer reading of The Recognitions. Good luck to him. It’s a splendid novel, but it’s ground down...
  5. Josipovici and Translation at TQC Two new reviews this week at The Quarterly Conversation. First is a review of Gabriel Josipovici’s new book of two short novels: I read Two...

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

Criticism Isn't Free

CR is dedicated to thoughtful, in-depth criticism without regard to what's commercially appealing. It takes tens of hours each month to provide this. Please help make this sort of writing sustainable, either with a subscription or a one-time donation. Thank you!

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Shop though these links = Support this site

Copyright © 2015. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.