The Rush for Second Place

The Rush for Second Place

Essays and Occasional Writings

William Gaddis - Author

Joseph Tabbi - Editor/introduction

Joseph Tabbi - Notes by

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ISBN 9780142002384 | 160 pages | 01 Oct 2002 | Penguin | 5.11 x 7.75in | 18 - AND UP
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William Gaddis published only four novels during his lifetime, but with those works he earned himself a reputation as one of America's greatest novelists. Less well known is Gaddis's body of excellent critical writings. Here is a wide range of his original essays, some published for the first time. From "'Stop Player. Joke No. 4,'" Gaddis's first national publication and the basis for his projected history of the player piano, to the title essay about missed opportunities in America during the past fifty years, to "Old Foes with New Faces," an examination of the relationship between the writer and the problem of religion-this diverse collection displays the power of an autonomous literary intelligence in an age increasingly dominated by political and religious conservatism.


1. "Stop Player. Joke No. 4" (1951)

2. Agape Agape: The Secret History of the Player Piano (early 1960s)

3. Treatment for a Motion Picture on "Software" (early 1960s)

4. Cover Illustrations from the Corporate Writings (A Selection)
The Growth of American Industry (For the National Association of Manufacturers)
Educational Technology Shapes the Future... Are You Ready? (For the Eastman Kodak Company)
Answers to Cancer (For General Motors/Western Electric)

5. In the Zone (1978)

6. The Rush for Second Place (1981)

7. J R Up to Date (1987)

8. An Instinct for the Dangerous Wife
(Review of More Die of Heartbreak by Saul Bellow, 1987)

9. Erewhon and the Contract with America (1995)

10. Old Foes with New Faces (1995)

11. Occasional Writings
This Above All (1990)
J. Danforth Quayle (1992)
On Creative Writing and the National Endowment for the Arts (1994)

12. Speeches
On Receiving the National Book Award for J R (1975)
How Does the State Imagine? The Willing Suspension of Disbelief (1986)
On Receiving the National Book Award for A Frolic of His Own

13. Tributes
Dostoevski (1996)
Mothers (1996)
Julian Schnabel (1998)

Summary Notes on the Work in Progress (early 1960s)
Player Piano Chronology to 1929

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