Paper Empire: William Gaddis and the World System

Joseph Tabbi (Editor) Rone Shavers (Editor)
& 7 more

Product Details

University Alabama Press
Publish Date
February 01, 2007
7.92 X 9.04 X 0.98 inches | 0.01 pounds
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About the Author

Joseph Tabbi is author of Cognitive Fictions, Reading Matters: Narrative in the New Media Ecology and Postmodern Sublime: Technology and American Writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk.

Rone Shavers is a Ph.D candidate in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


"Gaddis (1922-98) was a thoughtful and difficult author, and his early novels, The Recognitions (1955) and J R (1975), remain important to a small but influential group of writers and critics. Gaddis's concerns are complex and difficult to summarize. Among many strands, his depiction of the tense relation between the notions of authenticity and of forgery and faking may be the most prominent. Several essays in this volume, above all Nicholas Spencer's, will add to appreciation of J R, a long, rich, innovative exploration of what came to be known as 'postmodernist' stylistic devices and themes. Gaddis's Carpenter's Gothic (1985), a shorter and in some ways deceptively accessible novel, is also helpfully discussed in several essays (Nicholas Brown's should be assigned to those studying the novel). The other essays all illuminate some aspect of Gaddis's oeuvre. Of particular value are Tom LeClair's hitherto unpublished 1980 interview with the notoriously reticent Gaddis and pieces by Tabbi, Klaus Benesch, and Steven Moore. This is the best work on Gaddis since Steven Moore's William Gaddis (1989). Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."

Paper Empire gathers a fine set of essays on a multi-award winning yet still under-appreciated novelist. . . . Tabbi and Shavers have given us a broad range of essays by American and European scholars, some of them fresh, compelling voices among critics of contemporary fiction and Gaddis's work." --Steven Weisenburger, author of Modern Medea: A Family Story of Slavery and Child-Murder from the Old South
"Paper Empire fills the gap in the scholarly literature on Gaddis. I know of no other monograph or collection of essays that addresses in such a focused way the contexts, especially the systematic contexts, of Gaddis's writing." --Brian McHale, author of The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole: Postmodernist Long Poems