William Gaddis, 1922–98, American novelist, b. New York City. An erudite master of satire and black comedy, he was both praised and criticized for his avant-garde techniques—repetitions, multiple layers of meaning, sprawling shapelessness, frequent digressions, complexities of plot and language that can veer into incomprehensibility, and the exhausting length of his works. Gaddis wrote five novels, the second and fourth of which won the National Book Award. Epic in size, his first novel, The Recognitions (1955), examines falseness and the loss of authenticity in its story of a master forger. The next four novels are written almost completely without narration in a series of dialogues and a multiplicity of voices. JR (1975) concerns elaborate corporate shenanigans, Carpenter's Gothic (1985) explores ramifications of the Vietnam War, A Frolic of His Own (1994) skewers the litigious modern world, and the posthumously published Agapē Agape (2002) records the reflections of a dying writer obsessed with player pianos and, by extension, the nature of art. Gaddis's shorter prose is collected in The Rush for Second Place (2002).
See S. Moore, A Reader's Guide to William Gaddis's The Recognitions (1982) and William Gaddis (1989); S. Moore, ed., The Letters of William Gaddis (2013); E. B. Safer, The Contemporary American Comic Epic: The Novels of Barth, Pynchon, Gaddis, and Kesey (1988); J. Johnston, Carnival of Repetition (1989); G. Comnes, The Ethics of Indeterminacy in the Novels of William Gaddis (1994).
"Gaddis, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gaddis-william
"Gaddis, William." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/gaddis-william
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.