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Paper Empire, Paper Empire, 0817315489, 0-8173-1548-9, 978-0-8173-1548-1, 9780817315481, , , Paper Empire, 0817354069, 0-8173-5406-9, 978-0-8173-5406-0, 9780817354060, , , Paper Empire, 081738152X, 0-8173-8152-X, 978-0-8173-8152-3, 9780817381523,

Paper Empire
William Gaddis and the World System
Edited by Joseph Tabbi and Rone Shavers

Trade Cloth
2007. 304 pp.
14 illustrations
Price:  $34.95 s
Quality Paper
2007. 304 pp.
14 illustrations
Price:  $34.95 s
E Book
2008. 304 pp.
Price:  $34.95 d

Celebrates and illuminates the legacy of one of America’s most innovative and consequential 20th century novelists

In 2002, following the posthumous publication of William Gaddis’s collected nonfiction and his final novel and Jonathan Franzen’s lengthy attack on him in The New Yorker, a number of partisan articles appeared in support of Gaddis’s legacy. In a review in The London Review of Books, critic Hal Foster suggested a reason for disparate responses to Gaddis’s reputation: Gaddis’s unique hybridity, his ability to “write in the gap between two dispensations—between science and literature, theory and narrative, and—different orders of linguistic imagination.
Gaddis (1922-1998) is often cited as the link between literary modernism and postmodernism in the United States. His novels—The Recognitions, JR, Carpenter’s Gothic, and A Frolic of His Own—are notable in the ways that they often restrict themselves to the language and communication systems of the worlds he portrays. Issues of corporate finance, the American legal system, economics, simulation and authenticity, bureaucracy, transportation, and mass communication permeate his narratives in subject, setting, and method. The essays address subjects as diverse as cybernetics theory, the law, media theory, race and class, music, and the perils and benefits of globalization. The collection also contains a memoir by Gaddis’s son, an unpublished interview with Gaddis from just after the publication of JR, and an essay on the Gaddis archive, newly opened at Washington University in St. Louis.
The editors acknowledge that we live in an age of heightened global awareness. But as these essays testify, few American writers have illuminated as poignantly or incisively just how much the systemic forces of capitalism and mass communication have impacted individual lives and identity—imparting global dimensions to private pursuits and desires—than William Gaddis.
Joseph Tabbi is author of Cognitive Fictions, Reading Matters: Narrative in the New Media Ecology and Postmodern Sublime: Technology and American Writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk.

Rone Shavers is a Ph.D candidate in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
“This is the best work on Gaddis since Steven Moore's William Gaddis (1989). Highly recommended.”

Paper Empire gathers a fine set of essays on a multi-award winning yet still under-appreciated novelist. . . . Tabbi and Shavers have given us a broad range of essays by American and European scholars, some of them fresh, compelling voices among critics of contemporary fiction and Gaddis’s work.”
—Steven Weisenburger, author of Modern Medea: A Family Story of Slavery and Child-Murder from the Old South
Paper Empire fills the gap in the scholarly literature on Gaddis. I know of no other monograph or collection of essays that addresses in such a focused way the contexts, especially the systematic contexts, of Gaddis’s writing.”
—Brian McHale, author of The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole: Postmodernist Long Poems
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