William Gaddis Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

William Gaddis Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Critics have placed William Gaddis in the tradition of experimental fiction, linking him closely to James Joyce and comparing him to contemporaries such as Thomas Pynchon. Gaddis himself also indicated the influence of T. S. Eliot on his work, and indeed his books contain both novelistic and poetic structures. The novels employ only vestiges of traditional plots, which go in and out of focus as they are blurred by endless conversations, overpowered by erudite allusions and a multitude of characters, conflicts, and ambiguities. Like Joyce and Eliot, Gaddis uses myth to create a sense of timelessness—myths of Odysseus, the Grail Knight, the Fisher King, and Christ, along with parallels to the tales of Saint Clement, Faust, and Peer...

(The entire section is 4446 words.)