Gaddis, William

▪ American author
in full  William Thomas Gaddis 
born Dec. 29, 1922, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died Dec. 16, 1998, East Hampton, N.Y.

      American novelist of complex, satiric works who was considered one of the best of the post-World War II modernist writers.

      After incomplete studies at Harvard University (1941–45), Gaddis worked as a fact checker for The New Yorker magazine for two years and then traveled widely in Central America and Europe, holding a variety of jobs. He first gained note as an author with the publication of his controversial novel The Recognitions (1955). This book, rich in language and imagery, began as a parody of Faust but developed into a multileveled examination of spiritual bankruptcy that alternately was considered a brilliant masterpiece and incomprehensibly excessive. It became an underground classic, but, discouraged by the harsh critical reception of his book, Gaddis worked as a freelance writer for various corporations and published nothing for 20 years. His second novel, JR (1975), uses long stretches of cacophonous dialogue to depict what its author viewed as the greed, hypocrisy, and banality of the world of American business. Gaddis's third novel, Carpenter's Gothic (1985), is even more pessimistic in its depiction of moral chaos in modern America. The law, lawyers, and especially the litigiousness rampant in contemporary American society are examined in A Frolic of His Own (1994).

      Gaddis's fiction shows the influence of the writings of James Joyce (Joyce, James) and, in turn, influenced the work of Thomas Pynchon (Pynchon, Thomas); it contains long dialogues and monologues connected by a minimal plotline and structured with scant punctuation. His books belong to a style of literature characterized by the absence of distinctive incidents and by the pervasive use of black humour in dealing with a chaotic mass of associations. They create a radical way of viewing the world by which the reader can reassess his own situation.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gaddis, William (Thomas) — born Dec. 29, 1922, New York, N.Y., U.S. died Dec. 16, 1998, East Hampton, N.Y. U.S. novelist. He attended Harvard University and later wrote speeches and screenplays. His long experimental novels are characterized by complex and allusive… …   Universalium

  • Gaddis, William Thomas — ▪ 1999       American writer of complex satiric works who was considered one of the most important post World War II modernist novelists and whose first novel, The Recognitions (1955), became an underground classic; he published only three more… …   Universalium

  • Gaddis, William (Thomas) — (29 dic. 1922, Nueva York, N.Y. EE.UU.–16 dic. 1998, East Hampton, N.Y.). Novelista estadounidense. Asistió a la Universidad de Harvard y después escribió discursos y guiones. Sus largas novelas experimentales se caracterizan por una trama y un… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • William Gaddis — (December 29, 1922 – December 16, 1998) was an American novelist. He wrote five novels, two of which won National Book Awards.BiographyGaddis was born in New York City to William Thomas Gaddis, who worked on Wall Street and in politics, and Edith …   Wikipedia

  • GADDIS (W.) — GADDIS WILLIAM (1922 ) Longtemps, William Gaddis a été un peu comme le fantôme hantant le paysage littéraire américain. Son premier livre, The Recognitions , paru en 1955 (traduit en 1973 sous le titre Les Reconnaissances ), avait à l’époque été… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gaddis — ist der Name folgender Personen: Rudy Gaddis William Gaddis Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Begriffe …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William — /wil yeuhm/, n. 1. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter W. 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning will and helmet. * * * (as used in expressions) Huddie William Ledbetter Aberhart William George William… …   Universalium

  • William — (as used in expressions) William Alexander Abbott Aberhart, William George William Russell Amis, Sir Kingsley (William) Ashley, William Henry Ashton, Sir Frederick (William Mallandaine) Barkley, Alben W(illiam) Bartram, William William Allen… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • William Gaddis — William Thomas Gaddis (* 29. Dezember 1922 in New York City; † 16. Dezember 1998 in East Hampton, NY) war ein US amerikanischer Schriftsteller. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Ehrungen und Auszeichnungen 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • William Gaddis — Activités Romancier Naissance 29 décembre 1922 New York City, New York,  États Unis …   Wikipédia en Français

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