Agape Agape (Penguin Classics)

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9780142437636: Agape Agape (Penguin Classics)

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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Review:

William Gaddis's final work, Agape Agape, is an effective distillation of his philosophy and a powerful personal statement regarding the state of modern culture. The book is written in the form of a disjointed, stream-of-consciousness monologue delivered by a dying elderly man, himself attempting to complete his final work, a social history of the player piano in America. Desperate to complete his work before the onset of madness or death and fighting the effects of medication, the frantic narrator offers a meandering discussion of his work, which explores technology's artistically stifling influence. The narrator has isolated a particularly profound example of this in the player piano, an artistic invention that alternately replaced the artist. Technology, the narrator argues, has heightened the value of passivity, entertainment, and mediocrity, leading to the impending "collapse of everything, of meaning, of language, of values, of art, disorder and dislocation wherever you look." The narrator fervently claims that only through artistic courage can we achieve understanding, transcendence, and discover the uniting spirit of creativity, a brotherly "agape" love.

As Joseph Tabbi explains in his informative afterword, Agape Agape is the result of years of research and consideration by Gaddis, and the novella explores technological advancement and the response to this advancement, both actual and hypothetical, by such figures as Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, and Tolstoy. While an impressive work of scholarship, Agape Agape is foremost an emotional decree, Gaddis's final statement of outrage and sadness at our cultural direction and a plea for change. At less than 100 sparsely punctuated pages, the book is an efficient combustion of energy and an affecting depiction of personal and cultural disintegration. At once a condemnation, warning, and affirmation, it reflects Gaddis's apprehensions but also his enduring faith in the power of creation. A worthwhile starting point for newcomers to Gaddis's work, Agape Agape is a memorable end to the career of a gifted thinker. --Ross Doll

About the Author:

William Gaddis (1922-1998) was a master of the American novel who was frequently compared with Joyce, Nabokov, and Pynchon. Two of his novels, J R and A Frolic of His Own, won the National Book Award. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the recipient of a MacArthur Prize.

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ISBN 10: 0142437638 ISBN 13: 9780142437636
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Descrizione libro 2003. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria VP-9780142437636

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William Gaddis
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Descrizione libro Penguin Publishing Group, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780142437636

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Descrizione libro Penguin Publishing Group, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Codice libro della libreria AAS9780142437636

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Descrizione libro Penguin Publishing Group, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780142437636

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Gaddis, William (Author); Birkerts, Sven (Introduction by); Tabbi, Joseph (Afterword by)
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Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Codice libro della libreria 97801424376360000000

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William Gaddis (author), Sven Birkerts (introduction), Joseph Tabbi (afterword)
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Descrizione libro Penguin Publishing Group 2003-09-30, New York, 2003. paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780142437636

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Descrizione libro Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 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.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 144 pages. 0.118. Codice libro della libreria 9780142437636

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Descrizione libro Penguin Classics, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Reprint. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0142437638

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