“tumbling there in all the desperate variety of which counterfeit is capable”

January 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Over and under the ground he hurried toward the place where he lived. No fragment of time nor space anywhere was wasted, every instant and every cubic centimeter crowded crushing outward upon the next with the concentrated activity of a continent spending itself upon a rock island, made a world to itself where no present existed. Each minute and each cubic inch was hurled against that which would follow, measured in terms of it, dictating a future as inevitable as the past, coined upon eight million counterfeits who moved with the plumbing weight of lead coated with the frenzied hope of quicksilver, protecting at every pass the cherished falsity of their milled edges against the threat of hardness in their neighbors as they were rung together, fallen from the Hand they feared but could no longer name, upon the pitiless table stretching all about them, tumbling there in all the desperate variety of which counterfeit is capable, from the perfect alloy recast under weight to the thudding heaviness of lead, and the thinly coated brittle terror of glass.

William Gaddis, The Recognitions

Once upon a time, I read made a show online of reading through William Gaddis’ stunning debut  novel The Recognitions. Recently, Dalkey Archive Press reprinted it, which will I hope attract a handful more readers. Of those, I suspect a few might Google around for some help or some conversations. Should they do so, it is my hope that they might find something of value out of the conversations had here and the posts themselves placed into a single PDF here. Just so you know.

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