Abbreviated Sources
and References

Annotations: title,
epigraph and

Part I

Part II

Part III

A Reader's Guide to William Gaddis's The Recognitions


Abbreviated Sources and References

A&H: Bernard Berenson, Aesthetics and History in the Visual Arts (New York: Pantheon, 1948). One of Gaddis's sources for art theory.

AMM: William Richard Lethaby, Architecture, Mysticism and Myth, 2d ed. (1892; rpt. New York: George Braziller, 1975). An unusual survey of the mystical symbolism associated with various forms of architecture.

AN: Edgar Saltus, The Anatomy of Negation (1886; rpt. New York: Brentano's, 1925). A humanistic survey of atheism "from Kapila to Leconte de Lisle." (See note to 311.24 for Gaddis's use of this particular edition.)

ANT: The Apocryphal New Testament, ed. and trans. Montague Rhodes James (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924). See 23.26.

Baedeker: Karl Baedeker, Spain and Portugal: Handbook for Travellers. 4th ed. (Leipzig: Karl Baedeker, 1913). Both Frank Sinisterra (500.1) and Ludy (861.16) use this edition, as did Gaddis when in Spain in the late 1940s.

BM: Fox's Book of Martyrs: A History of the Lives, Sufferings and Triumphant Deaths of the Early Christian and the Protestant Martyrs, ed. William Byron Forbush (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1926). See 26.28. It is this (or a similar) one-volume abridgement and updating that Gaddis used, not the unabridged edition in eight volumes. (Although this edition spells the author's name Fox, I shall use the more common Foxe, as does Gaddis.)

BS: George Borrow, The Bible in Spain (1843; London: Dent/Everyman's Library, 1961). An entertaining account of Borrow's experiences as an agent for the Bible Society in Spain in the 1830s. See 892.11.

CCP: Laurence Dwight Smith, Counterfeiting: Crime against the People (New York: Norton, 1944). Gaddis's major source for counterfeiting and the technical details of Frank Sinisterra's "art."

DDD: Howard W. Haggard, Devils, Drugs, and Doctors: The Story of the Science of Healing from Medicine-Man to Doctor (New York: Harper and Row, 1929). An account of the obstacles ignorance and religion have placed in the path of medical advancement.

DS: Denis de Rougemont, The Devil's Share, trans. Haakon Chevalier (New York: Pantheon, 1944). The influence of the devil on modern life and thought. "It is no more than an attempt to interpret certain shortcomings of our time by referring them to the activity of the only being to whom these can give cause for rejoicing" (4).

EB: Encyclopædia Britannica, 14th ed. (1929). Rev. Gwyon owns this edition (the Town Carpenter borrows volume 18 to read up on Prester John), and Gaddis drew upon it for a variety of details.

EPD: Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841, 2d ed. 1852; rpt. New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1932). Gaddis borrowed only a handful of details from this compendium of human folly, most from the chapter "The Alchymists" (98-256), whom Mackay considered self-deluded idealists at best.

Faust:Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe's Faust. Trans. Anna Swanwick. Ed. Karl Breul. London: G. Bell, 1914. WG used this edition of this 1878 translation. Quotations from part 1 are by page numbers, part 2 by act and scene.

FRC: Francis Legge, Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity (1915; rpt. New York: Peter Smith, 1950). Gaddis owned volume 1 of this erudite 2-volume work, from which he took only a handful of details.

FRR: Jessie L. Weston, From Ritual to Romance (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1920; rpt. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1957). A study of Grail symbolism; strongly influenced by Frazer's Golden Bough (below), it in turn strongly influenced T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land.

GAF: Riccardo Nobili, The Gentle Art of Faking (London: Seeley, Service, 1922). As the subtitle reveals, A History of the Methods of Producing Imitations & Spurious Works of Art from the Earliest Times up to the Present Day. (Both this book and Eudel's Trucs et Truqueurs - which supplies the epigraph to I.2 - are named in EB's short bibliography on the "Detection of Fraud" [17:65].)

GB: Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, abridged ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1922). An early, monumental study in comparative mythology.

HWF: Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People (New York: Pocket Books, 1940). The best-selling "synthesis of Christly conduct and Cartesian method to Machiavellian ends" (498-34-35). Cited by part and chapter.

Inferno: Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, trans. John Ciardi (New York: Norton, 1977). Again, not the translation used by Gaddis, but convenient for reference.

IP: Carl G. Jung, The Integration of the Personality, trans. Stanley M. Dell (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1939). A description of the process of "individuation" by way of dream analysis and alchemical symbolism. Gaddis's principal source for alchemy.

LEP: Diogenes Laërtius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. See 81.7. Gaddis's source for anecdotal material on Greek philosophers. Cited by book number.

LWW: Denis de Rougemont, Love in the Western World, trans. Montgomery Belgion (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1940). A "kind of outline-history of the cult of passion" and its conflict with marriage.

M: W. J. Phythian-Adams, Mithraism (London: Constable, 1915). This slight (95 pp.) study served as Gaddis's major source on the religion.

M&R: Andrew Lang, Magic and Religion (New York: Longmans, Green, 1901). A study in anthropology and comparative religion, much of which is devoted to refuting various theses put forth in the second edition of Frazer's GB (blithely ignored by Frazer in his third edition).

MM: Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, The Malleus Maleficarum, trans. and ed. Rev. Montague Summers (London: John Rodker, 1928). See 49.14.

MMM: Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare, Myth, Magic, and Morals: A Study of Christian Origins (1909; I have used a modern reprint of the second, slightly revised edition of 1910, blandly retitled The Origins of Christianity [Evanston: University Books, 1958]). A study of the Gospels and the pagan atmosphere in which they were written, and a demonstration that Christianity owes more to the "hallucinations and transcendental fancies" of Paul than to the teachings of Jesus.

MMSM: George P. Marsh, Mediæval and Modern Saints and Miracles (1876; rpt. New York: Harper and Row, 1969). A semischolarly "exposé" of Catholic superstition with a strong anti-Jesuit bias. Gaddis drew upon it for details of Jesuit activity in France (I.2) as well as for some of the broader targets of Catholic ridicule. Gaddis's tongue-in-cheek relation of saints' lives and religious marvels is similar to Marsh's treatment.

ODQ: The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 1st ed., 6th impression (London: Oxford University Press, 1949). Gaddis owned this particular impression, given to him by Ormonde de Kay in Paris, 1950.

PC: Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1934). A popular and well-regarded introduction to anthropology, the source for Rev. Gwyon's remarks on Native American beliefs.

PH: The Pilgrim Hymnal (Boston: Pilgrim Press, 1931). Cited by hymn number. Many of R's Old Testament references can be found in the "Responsive Readings" section that follows the hymns.

PPM: Montague Summers, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1950). A scholarly (and orthodox, though lacking the imprimatur) but uncritical review of stigmatics and other curiosities of Catholic mysticism.

R: William Gaddis, The Recognitions (1955; rpt. New York: Penguin, 1993). Gaddis made about sixty corrections for the 1962 Meridian edition of R, and made another dozen or so for the 1985 Penguin edition, of which the 1993 edition is a reprint, with the addition of an introduction by William H. Gass, "Suggestions for Further Reading," and a dedication.

RM: José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, trans. anon. (1932; rpt. New York: Norton, 1957). A call for the benevolent rule of an intellectual elite to counter the effects of the masses on art and government.

S&W: Jules Michelet, Satanism and Witchcraft: A Study in Medieval Superstition, trans. A. R. Allinson (New York: Citadel, 1939). A translation of the French historian's classic La Sorcière and Gaddis's source for details on the Black Mass (see 372.31) and the titles of older studies of witchcraft.

SL: William Tyler Olcott, Star Lore of All Ages (New York: Putnam's, 1911). Subtitled: A Collection of Myths, Legends, and Facts concerning the Constellations of the Northern Hemisphere. Gaddis used only the sections dealing with Sirius, Orion, Argo Navis, and the Pleiades.

SPIM: A. S. Geden, Selected Passages Illustrating Mithraism (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1925). A slim anthology of ancient writings about Mithraism.

VEF: Sir Martin Conway, The Van Eycks and Their Followers (New York: Dutton, 1921). With Huizinga's WMA (below), Gaddis's major source on the Van Eycks (Conway firmly believes in Hubert's existence: see his long footnote on p. 51) and other Flemish painters. VEF is listed in EB's short bibliography on Van Eyck.

W : Pennethorne Hughes, Witchcraft (London: Longmans, Green, 1952). A sensible, historically informed history of witchcraft and its conflicts with Catholicism.

WG: Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (New York: Creative Age Press, 1948). A wide-ranging study of mythology, tree symbolism, and Celtic poetry.

WMA: J[ohan] Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages: A Study of the Forms of Life, Thought and Arts in France and the Netherlands in the 14th and 15th Centuries, trans. F. Hopman (London: Edward Arnold, 1924). A highly regarded study of the religious and historical environment in which the brothers Van Eyck and their contemporaries worked; often cited in LWW.

WG/SM designates communications made to me by Gaddis over the years, especially a four-page letter dated 12 June 1983 in which he addressed a number of specific points in the first edition of this book. Other minor sources will be cited in the body of the annotations; other Gaddis critics I cite are listed below.

All biblical references are to the Authorized (King James) Version, and all Shakespearean quotations are from G. B. Harrison's edition of The Complete Works (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968).


Abádi-Nagy, Zoltán. "The Art of Fiction CI: William Gaddis." Paris Review 105 (Winter 1987): 55-89.

Banning, Charles Leslie. "The Time of Our Time: William Gaddis, John Hawkes and Thomas Pynchon." Ph.D. diss., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1977.

Benstock, Bernard. "On William Gaddis: In Recognition of James Joyce." Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 6 (Summer 1965): 177-89.

Brownson, Robert Charles. "Techniques of Reference, Allusion, and Quotation in Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus and William Gaddis's The Recognitions." Ph.D. diss., University of Colorado, 1976. Dr. Brownson also contributed a number of details during an interview on 24 February 1980.

Eckley, Grace. "Exorcising the Demon Forgery, or the Forging of Pure Gold in Gaddis's Recognitions." In Literature and the Occult. Ed. Luanne Frank. Arlington: University of Texas, 1977. 125-36.

Gaddis, William. J R. New York: Knopf, 1975.

- - - . A Frolic of His Own. New York: Poseidon, 1994.

Green, Jack. Fire the Bastards! Normal, IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 1992.

Koenig, Peter William [now David]. "'Splinters from the Yew Tress': A Critical Study of William Gaddis' The Recognitions." Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1971.

- - - . "Recognizing Gaddis's Recognitions." Contemporary Literature 16.1 (Winter 1975): 61-72.

- - - . "The Writing of The Recognitions." In Kuehl and Moore (below), 20-31.

Kuehl, John, and Steven Moore, eds. In Recognition of William Gaddis. Syracuse: Syracuse Univ. Press, 1984.

Minkoff, Robert L. "Down, Then Out: A Reading of William Gaddis's The Recognitions." Ph.D. diss., Cornell University, 1976.

Moore, Steven. "Chronological Difficulties in the Novels of William Gaddis." Critique 22.1 (1980): 79-91.


All contents © 2000-2005 by the Gaddis Annotations site and the original authors, contributors, publishers, and publications.