William Gaddis

(1922 - 1998)

To support his family, William Gaddis wrote for corporate clients. He became interested in player pianos while fact-checking an article for The New Yorker in the mid-1940s, then struggled to finish Agapē Agape, his book about mechanized art, for five decades, working until his death in 1998. “Authenticity is wiped out,” he wrote, “when the uniqueness of every reality is overcome by the acceptance of its reproduction.” After publishing his novel The Recognitions in 1955, Gaddis’ second published book was A Pile Fabric Primer: Corduroy, Velveteen, Velvet, written in 1970 for the Crompton-Richmond Company.

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