Fire the Bastards!
Introduction by Steven Moore
Collection Scholarly Series
Fire the Bastards! is a scorching attack on the book-review media using the critical reception of William Gaddis's 1955 novel The Recognitions as a case study. Although this monumental novel is now generally regarded as one of the few indisputable milestones of contemporary American fiction, its original reviews were overwhelmingly negative.
Combining meticulous research with savage indignation, Green exposes the inaccuracies, prejudices, and outright incompetence of Gaddis's reviewers to argue that the review media is ill-equipped to deal with masterpieces of innovative fiction, much preferring safe, predictable books that reassure rather than question conventional literary expectations.
Despite his careful scholarship, Green is not a dispassionate commentator but an impassioned satirist, working in a rogue tradition that looks back to Swift's ferocious pamphlets. Originally published as a three-part series in his own magazine called newspaper—which Gilbert Sorrentino has described as "one of the authentic minor splendors of New York literary life in the late fifties and early sixties"—this is the first time Fire the Bastards! has appeared in book form. Gaddis scholar Steven Moore has written an introduction filling in the background to this unique work and comparing the book-reviewing media of today with that of the fifties.
Nb of pages 88 p.
Publication Date 01 November 1992
Nb of pages 88
Dimensions 9 x 6 in.
List Price $19.95
william gaddis's the recognitions was published in 1955 its a great
novel, as much the novel of our generation as ulysses was of its it
only sold a few thousand copies because the critics did a lousy job—
—2 critics boasted they didnt finish the book
That writers whose work is even a little outside the norms of the mummified familiar are almost invariably ill-served by reviewers afflicted with profound reading disabilities is a truism familiar even to cats and dogs. What a pleasure it is, then, to have Fire the Bastards!, the three 'William Gaddis issues' of Jack Green's unique and irreplaceable newspaper, one of the authentic minor masterpieces of the late fifties and early sixties. A
Thirty years later I can still remember hammering my knee in delight at Jack Green's brilliantly targeted outrage. Fire the Bastards! remains a crucial document in post-World War II American literature that absolutely belongs back in print. -David Markson
It is wonderfully salutary and a cause for serious celebration that Dalkey Archive has brought out Jack Green's Fire the Bastards! in book form. Together with Steven Moore's up-to-date and on-the-money introduction, Fire the Bastards! constitutes a warning to careless critics and reviewers even as it justly demands (Payback Time!) tribute from the mob of amateur and professional critics who missed the boat with one of the most influential novels of our time. The new generation, no wiser than the last, will continue to miss boats and books. But, thanks to Fire the Bastards!, they will at least be twitchy, hearing indignant footsteps right behind them. -George Garrett
[Green] gives to his project a pure, focused energy. It's beautiful to witness. Hey, Jack Green, you were alive, man! -Curtis White
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Genres : Literary Criticism, Philosophy and Theory : Poetics
Genres : Nonfiction, Biographies and Memoirs
Countries : United States of America