noted

  • William Gaddis (and his second wife Judith) evidently appeared as an extra in 1973’s Ganja & Hess, a cut-rate vampire movie. See him here, here, and here.
  • A decent review of the new editions of Impressions of Africa and New Impressions of Africa at Open Letters Monthly.
  • A newly translated (by Anne McLean) excerpt of Julio Cortázar’s From the Observatory at Agni.
  • Amie Barrodale’s “William Wei” at the Paris Review.

noted

  • A fantastic postcard from William Gaddis to Frank Moorman, offering what Gaddis thought should have been the cover of Carpenter’s Gothic.
  • A decent essay by Brian Evenson on the experience of reading on a screen and the problems of markup.
  • criticalfiction.net, a project of Henry Wessells, looks interesting & worth spending time with. I’ve been meaning to track down a copy of his Another Green World.

noted

  • My interview with Bob Stein is up at Triple Canopy as part of Issue 9.
  • A thread at MetaFilter about Jack Green’s Fire the Bastards!. Tangentially related: David Markson’s library appears at The Strand; some of his Gaddis annotations have appeared online.
  • Gary Shteyngart & Joshua Cohen on the Tablet podcast.
  • More of Robert Walser’s poetry is coming out in English.
  • Joseph McElroy’s Preparations for Search is available from Small Anchor Press; the text was originally published in Formations in Spring 1984 as part of Women and Men, but cut before that book’s publication; Small Anchor’s edition has been “slightly revised”.
  • Trevor Winkfield, Miles Champion & Steve Clay present “Poems and Pictures: A Renaissance in the Art of the Book (1946–1981) tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Center for Book Arts.
  • Tomorrow: a release party for Tan Lin’s Seven Controlled Vocabularies at Printed Matter from 5–7.
  • Also tomorrow night: Ferry Radax’s documentary Thomas Bernhard – Drei Tage shows at Anthology Film Archives at 7:15 p.m. Also shows on Friday at 9 p.m.

the accumulation is too much to bear

“. . .  Why, all this around us is for people who can keep their balance only in the light, where they move as though nothing were fragile, nothing tempered by possibility, and all of a sudden bang! something breaks. Then you have to stop and put the pieces together again. But you never can put them back together quite the same way. You stop when you can and expose things, and leave them within reach, and others come on by themselves, and they break, and even then you may put the pieces aside just out of reach until you can bring them back and show them, put together slightly different, maybe a little more enduring, until you’ve broken it and picked up the pieces enough times, and you have the whole thing in all its dimensions. But the discipline, the detail, it’s just . . . sometimes the accumulation is too much to bear.”

(Gaddis, The Recognitions, pp. 113–114.)

of near-recognition of reality

“—Yes but, when I saw it, it was one of those moments of reality, of near-recognition of reality. I’d been . . . I’ve been worn out in this piece of work, and when I finished it I was free, free all of a sudden out in the world. In the street everything was unfamiliar, everything and everyone I saw was unreal, I felt like I was going to lose my balance out there, this feeling was getting all knotted up inside me and I went in there just to stop for a minute. And then I saw this thing. When I saw it all of a sudden everything was freed into one recognition, really freed into reality that we never see, you never see it. You don’t see it in paintings because most of the time you can’t see beyond a painting. Most paintings, the instant you see them they become familiar, and then it’s too late. Listen, do you see what I mean?”

(Gaddis, The Recognitions, pp. 91–92.)

night fishing in antibes

night fishing in antibes

“—Was it you I saw this afternoon? a little while ago?

—Me? Why? Where?

—Were you there, where they’re showing Picasso’s new . . .

Night Fishing in Antibes, yes, yes . . .

—Why didn’t you speak to us?

—Speak to who? You? Were you there?

—I was there, with a friend. You could have spoken to us, Wyatt, you didn’t have to pretend that . . . I was out with someone who . . .

—Who? I didn’t see them, I didn’t see you, I mean.

—You looked right at us. I’d already said, There’s my husband, we were near the door and you were bobbing . . .

—Listen . . .

—You went right past us going out.

—Look, I didn’t see you. Listen, that painting, I was looking at the painting. Do you see what this was like, Esther? seeing it?

—I saw it.

—Yes but, when I saw it, it was one of those moments of reality, of near-recognition of reality. I’d been . . . I’ve been worn out in this piece of work, and when I finished it I was free, free all of a sudden out in the world. In the street everything was unfamiliar, everything and everyone I saw was unreal, I felt like I was going to lose my balance out there, this feeling was getting all knotted up inside me and I went in there just to stop for a minute. And then I saw this thing. When I saw it all of a sudden everything was freed into one recognition, really freed into reality that we never see, you never see it. You don’t see it in paintings because most of the time you can’t see beyond a painting. Most paintings, the instant you see them they become familiar, and then it’s too late. Listen, do you see what I mean?

—As Don said about Picasso . . . she commenced.

—That’s why people can’t keep looking at Picasso and expect to get anything out of his paintings, and people, no wonder so many people laugh at him. You can’t see them any time, just any time, because you can’t see freely very often, hardly ever, maybe seven times in a life.

—I wish, she said, —I wish . . .”

(Gaddis, The Recognitions, pp. 91–92.)