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Quotes of the day: William Gaddis

Published Sunday, December 28, 2014 @ 8:57 PM EST
Dec 28 2014

William Thomas Gaddis, Jr. (December 29, 1922 - December 16, 1998) was an American novelist. The first and longest of his five novels, The Recognitions, was named one of TIME magazine's 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005 and two others, J R and A Frolic of His Own, won the annual U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. A collection of his essays was published posthumously as The Rush for Second Place (2002). The Letters of William Gaddis was published by Dalkey Archive Press in February 2013. Gaddis is widely considered one of the first and most important American postmodern writers. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


I mean why should somebody go steal and break the law to get all they can when there's always some law where you can be legal and get it all anyway!

I see the player piano as the grandfather of the computer, the ancestor of the entire nightmare we live in, the birth of the binary world where there is no option other than yes or no and where there is no refuge.

I'll tell you why yes, because why people lie is, because when people stop lying you know they've stopped caring.

If it is not beautiful for someone, it does not exist.

If you want to make a million you don't have to understand money, what you have to understand is people's fears about money.

It is the bliss of childhood that we are being warped most when we know it the least.

Justice? You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law.

Merry Christmas! the man threatened.

Most people are clever because they don't know how to be honest.

Order is simply a thin, perilous condition we try to impose on the basic reality of chaos.

Originality is a device that untalented people use to impress other untalented people to protect themselves from talented people.

Power doesn't corrupt people, people corrupt power.

Stupidity's the deliberate cultivation of ignorance.

There’s much more stupidity than there is malice in the world.

We're comic. We're all comics. We live in a comic time. And the worse it gets the more comic we are.

We've had the goddam Ages of Faith, we've had the goddam Age of Reason. This is the Age of Publicity.

Where would Christianity be today if Jesus had been given ten to twenty with time off for good behavior?

Women get desperate, but they don't understand despair.


(December 29 is also the birthday of William Gladstone and Paula Poundstone.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, William Gaddis


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