Delve Online Spring 2020: William Gaddis: The Recognitions

Tuesdays, April 28–June 3 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. (six sessions) Guide: Rick Comandich Before William Gaddis won the National Book Award for JR (1976) and A Frolic of His Own (1994), he wrote The Recognitions (1955), his ambitious debut novel. Its length and complexity are challenging, though it’s far more conventional in its narrative form than

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Tuesdays, April 28–June 3
from 6:30–8:30 p.m. (six sessions)
Guide: Rick Comandich

Before William Gaddis won the National Book Award for JR (1976) and A Frolic of His Own (1994), he wrote The Recognitions (1955), his ambitious debut novel. Its length and complexity are challenging, though it’s far more conventional in its narrative form than Gaddis’s later novels. The Recognitions is savagely critical of our capitalist society and culture, but it’s also a serious novel of ideas and very funny. A celebrated work of genius, it remains as relevant today as in the ‘50s.

Assignments

The recommended text is the Dalkey Archive edition.  The page numbers below refer to that.

April 28: Introduction, Part I: Chapters 1 – 4 (pg. 168)

May 5: Part I: Chapters 5 – 7; Part II Chapter 1 (pg. 342)

May 12: Part II: Chapters 2 – 4 (pg. 486)

May 19: Part II: Chapters 5 – 7 (pg. 646)

May 26: Part II: Chapters 8 – 9; Part III Chapters 1 – 3 (pg. 823)

June 3: Part III: Chapters 4 – end (pg. 956)

SEMINAR GUIDE:

Rick Comandich has read all of William Gaddis’s novels twice, except for those he’s read three times. He has completed three novels and is working on his fourth. Like Gaddis,his novels are set in a realistic contemporary America, and his characters are engaged in the political, personal, social, and financial conflicts of his lifetime.

Delve Access Program
We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. We are happy to offer an Access Program which provides reduced tuition to qualifying participants. Our Access Program offers Delve seminar registrations at a sliding scale amount of $45-$100 per registration.Contact Susan Moore at susan@literary-arts.org if you would like to take a Delve at the Access Rate.