Agap? Agape (Penguin Classics)

Agap? Agape (Penguin Classics)

William Gaddis

Language: English

Pages: 51

ISBN: 2:00056687

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"Either the last true masterpiece of the 20th century or the first of our new millenium" —San Francisco Chronicle

William Gaddis published four novels during his lifetime, immense and complex books that helped inaugurate a new movement in American letters. Now comes his final work of fiction, a subtle, concentrated culmination of his art and ideas. For more than fifty years Gaddis collected notes for a book about the mechanization of the arts, told by way of a social history of the player piano in America. In the years before his death in 1998, he distilled the whole mass into a fiction, a dramatic monologue by an elderly man with a terminal illness. Continuing Gaddis's career-long reflection on those aspects of corporate technological culture that are uniquely destructive of the arts, Agape Agape is a stunning achievement from one of the indisputable masters of postwar American fiction.

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there somewhere can’t find the other book got the pencil didn’t have time to write it down and it’s more confused than ever but that’s what it’s all about that’s the heart of it all can’t lose it, can’t lose it now because I had it wrong good thing I didn’t write it down all that business of authenticity and the perfect performance what did I just say, the melodic line that couldn’t be mechanically imitated because it was yes in Germany yes where else? Family named Welte in Freiburg with the

because the work is the only refuge from this torn wet-smelling hallucination of the body looks like a, like some map all fingered and latticed see right through it where the Great Lakes with that biggest one hanging down like some immense weak malformed invertebrate fit only to be whipped, so if reality is the work when it goes wrong all that’s waiting out there is the sweat, the blood and, problem where’s the blood coming from, not bleeding anywhere but I keep finding fresh blood on the, not

(a favorite poem of Gaddis’s, whose high-toned mysticism he had once dismissed but then came to appreciate after reading Didion4). Unique as Agapē may be, it should attune readers to qualities of voice and economies of style that have largely gone unnoticed in Gaddis’s earlier work. Where the continuities between the earlier and later fiction stand out most clearly is in Gaddis’s previous depictions of artists and writers—characters who, through their appetite for destruction and

ago all this technology at the service of entertaining Sigi’s stupefied pleasure seeking trash out there playing the piano with its feet where it all came from isn’t it? That all-or-none paper roll with holes in it, 40,000 player pianos built in 1909, almost 200,000 ten years later if ever the daughters of music were brought low I mean that’s what I’m trying to explain, dividing the properties three ways one for each daughter all settled ahead of time before the lawyers and taxes swallow it up in

to be learning what, how to spell? No, it corrects his spelling doesn’t need to know how to spell, how to multiply divide get the square root of God knows what don’t have to read music know a cleft from a G string just keep pumping because that’s where it came from like Wiener’s engineer, not the music but how it’s made, tubes bellows hammers the whole digital machine, whole binary system that all-or-none paper roll with the holes in it running over the tracker bar that’s where all of it came

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