Abbreviated Sources
and References

Annotations: title,
epigraph and

Part I

Part II
II.1 Synopsis
pp. 281-306
pp. 311-342
II.2 Synopsis
pp. 343-373
pp. 374-381
pp. 382-385
pp. 386-389
II.3 Synopsis
pp. 390-392
pp. 393-403
pp. 404-420
pp. 421-442
II.4 Synopsis
pp. 446-468
pp. 470-486
II.5 Synopsis
pp. 487-495
pp. 496-511
pp. 512-540
II.6 Synopsis
pp. 542-564
II.7 Synopsis
pp. 568-605
pp. 606-645
II.8 Synopsis
pp. 647-678
pp. 679-699
II.9 Synopsis
pp. 700-719

Part III

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


II.3 Synopsis

Pages 390-445; Thursday, 22 December 1949.

Arriving back home in New England at dawn, Wyatt makes his way to the parsonage, a dense interior monologue occupying him until he comes upon his father in front of the parsonage addressing the sun. Wyatt's return, however, is distorted in the imaginations of his father (who thinks he has returned to be a priest of Mithra), the Town Carpenter (who thinks he is Prester John, lately arrived "from Ethiopia and the three Indies" [408]), Janet (who mistakes his arrival for the second coming of Christ), the Use-Me Ladies (who assume he is the Reverend Gilbert Sullivan), and even Wyatt himself, who sees himself as the reincarnation of John Huss.

Janet, though, brooding on Matt. 24:24, finally decides Wyatt is a false Christ and, overturning her printing press, she runs to the carriage barn to offer herself to a bull (ŗ la PasiphaŽ). Wyatt runs to find his father there too, checking on the bull in the thunderstorm, and in the most dramatic scene in the novel Wyatt demands of his father: "Am I the man for whom Christ died?" as lightning crashes into the barn. Receiving no answer and realizing his return has been a mistake, Wyatt boards a train back to New York, but not before buying a "griffin's egg" at the depot tavern.

Returning to the city at eleven that night, Wyatt goes first to Brown's. He is away on a business trip, however, and Wyatt discovers Fuller using sympathetic magic (ŗ la Frazer) in an attempt to destroy his employer.


index || introductory & general || site search || Gaddis news
The Recognitions || J R || Carpenter's Gothic || A Frolic of his Own || Agapē Agape

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