A Frolic of His Own | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 14 pages of analysis & critique of A Frolic of His Own.
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SOURCE: "At Home in Babel," in The New York Review of Books, Vol. XLI, No. 4, February 17, 1994, pp. 3-4, 6.

[Raban is an English critic, educator, and editor. In the following review, he lauds Gaddis's characterizations, his focus on late twentieth-century life, and his use of dialogue, language, and farce in A Frolic of His Own.]

Every William Gaddis novel tells its story in such a cryptic and allusive way that it can become a cerebral torture, like a crossword puzzle whose setter is named after a famous inquisitor—Torquemada, Ximenes. Reviewing JR in the New Yorker in 1975, George Steiner called it an "unreadable book"—a remark that got him into hot water with the professional Gaddisites, a solemn crew themselves given to sentences like "Read from this perspective, The Recognition demonstrates the essential alterity of the world, the meta-ethical virtue of agapistic ethics" [Gregory Comnes, in his 1994 The Ethics...

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This section contains 4,084 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the A Frolic of His Own
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A Frolic of His Own from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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