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.)

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