Preface

Abbreviated Sources
and References


Annotations: title,
epigraph and
dedication


Part I

Part II

Part III
III.1 Synopsis
pp. 723-732
III.2 Synopsis
pp. 733-768
III.3 Synopsis
pp. 769-791
pp. 792-823
III.4 Synopsis
pp. 824-855
III.5 Synopsis
pp. 856-878
pp. 879-900
Epilogue Synopsis
pp. 901-937
pp. 938-956

 

THE 81 RECOGNITIONS
in The Recognitions

Appearances of the word "recognition" in various forms
compiled by Douglas Lannark

1: p. 22] It was in the Depot Tavern that he received condolences, accepted funerary offers of drink, and, when these recognitions were exhausted , he sank into the habit of talking familiarly about persons and places unknown to his cronies, so that several of them suspected him of reading.

2: p. 51] For he woke on the floor with his father beside him, holding him up by the shoulders, his father whom he did not recognize, wild-eyed in that dim light.

3: p. 66] The searing narrative of Marguerite Marie Alaoque passed from hand to hand for some two centuries until at last, in 1864, Pope Pius IX was assailed with a petition asking highest recognition for the Sacred Heart (the afflicted organ). In fact the petition itself participated in the miraculous, bearing as it did twelve million signatures forth from a country whose district records showed three-fourths of its brides and grooms unable to write their names.

4: p. 68] Walking home alone, the cold bearing in a dread weight of anxiety, the sense of something lost, passing people closely he passed them with wonder as though he'd seen no one in years, looking into every face as though hoping to recognize something there.

5: p. 78 epigraph] First of all, then, he is evil, in the judgment of God, who will not inquire what is advantageous to himself. For how can anyone love another, if he does not love himself? . . . In order, therefore, that there might be a distinction between those who choose good and those who choose evil, God has concealed that which is profitable to men. —Peter, in the Clementine Recognitions

6: p. 84] As the conversations of the early months of their marriage went on, their ideas and opinions seemed to meet only in passing, each bound in an opposite direction, neither stopping to do more than honor the polite pause of recognition .

7: p. 88] . . . she standing behind him could see no further than the portrait, held by the likeness as happened so often but seldom so clearly, finding resemblances to herself everywhere as though she set out from the start seeking identity with misfortune, recognition in disaster.

8-9: p. 91-92] Yes but, when I saw that painting, it was one of those moments of reality, a near- recognition of reality . I had been . . . I've been worn out in this piece of work, and when I finished it I was free, free all of a sudden out in the world. In the street everything was unfamiliar, everything and everyone I saw was unreal. I felt like I was going to lose my balance out there, this feeling was getting all knotted up inside me and I went in there just to stop for a minute. And then I saw this thing. When I saw it all of a sudden everything was freed into one recognition , really freed into reality that we never see, you never see it.

10: p. 98] Would the music of Händel always recall sinful commission, the perpetration of some crime in illuminated darkness recognized as criminal only by him who committed it.

11: p.107] You look up and there she is, people . . . the instant you look at them they begin to talk, automatically, they take it for granted you understand them, that you recognize them.

12: p.123] He paused for a moment, tapping his lip with the pencil; then Gordon: "Orignlty not inventn bt snse of recall, recognition , pttrns already thr, q. You cannt invnt t shpe of a stone."

13: p.139] No sound contested his challenge, no recognition of men imprisoned in the past for spelling the Name of God backwards, no response to God, if not the Name, reversed three times in his whisper.

14: p.152] Images surround us, cavorting broadcast in the minds of others, we wear the motley tailored by their bad digestions, the shame and failure, plague pandemics and private indecencies, unpaid bills, and animal ecstasies remembered in hospital beds, our worse deeds and best intentions will not stay still, scolding, mocking, or merely chattering they assail each other, shocked at recognition .

15-16: p.206-07] Anselm said nothing; but smiled without recognition as they passed in Washington Square. Stanley said nothing, but hung his head without recognition as they passed in Washington Square.

17: p.220] Someone I used to know, someone you don't know, he said, and saw that pale thin man standing in the park vividly silent, watching him without recognition as he approached, blind, with the stick and its retracting point. — A friend, I used to . . . it's funny, that I miss him.

19: p.232] They talked now in tones which recognized those of the other, and treated with accordingly, desultory tones and cursory remarks which might come close upon but never touch the eventuality which both appeared to await.

19-20-21: p.250] Do you think I do these the way all other forging has been done? Pulling the fragments of ten paintings together and making one, or taking a . . . a Dürer and reversing the composition so that the man looks to the right instead of the left, putting a beard on him from another portrait, and a hat, a different hat from another, so that they look at it and recognize Dürer there? No, it's . . . the recognitions go much deeper, much further back , and I . . . this . . . the X-ray tests, and the ultra-violet and infra-red, the experts with their photomicrography and . . . macrophotography, do you think that's all there is to it? Some of them aren't fools, they don't just look for a hat or a beard, or a style they can recognize , they look with memories that go back to . . . where mine goes.

22: p.269] I have to hurry, but I wish ... to tell the truth, when I saw you out there on the street I thought I recognized you and then I thought No, it can't be, it's an old man.

23: p.275] Then he turned round, raising his eyebrows in a mild surprise at the empty room, drawing his nostrils at the delicate scent which had returned and remained (for the brief pungence of the Venice turpentine had penetrated and was gone), as affirmative of recognition as the sight of blood, blood gushing on every Friday from the stigmata of Francesca de Serrone, blood with the odor of violets.

24: p.285] But everything was in order, silently waiting to affirm him, holding there the sense of the half-known waiting for eventual discovery in a final recognition of himself.

25: p.288] True, often the only way he could know whether he had read a newspaper was to turn to the comic strips, where life flowed in continuum; and recognizing them, he knew that he must have read everything else closely and avidly, that nothing had evaded his eye, nor penetrated to his heart round which he had built that wall called objectivity without which he might have gone mad.

26: p.292] Through drooping his eyes, Mr. Pivner stumbled on to an interview with the priest who had promoted recognition of the child's sanctity.

27: p.303] With his dispatch case, and an unkind thought for everyone he knew, Otto carried his head high: Affecting to despise loneliness, still he looked at the unholy assortment past him as though hopefully to identify one, rescue some face from the anonymity of the crowd with instantly regretted recognition , and so rescue himself.

28: p.303] For now, the father might be anyone the son chose. The instant their eyes met in forced recognition , it would be over.

29: p.306] Esme sat, looking out over this spectral tide with the serenity of a woman in a painting; and often enough, like gallery-goers, the faces turned to look at her stared with vacuity until , unrecognized , self-consciousness returned and they looked away, one to say, — I know her, but God knows who he is; another to say, — she was locked up for months, a couple of years ago.

30: p.306] They were looking at it (the manuscript). I didn't think you'd mind, and you see, I did want to ask them what they thought, about . . . recognizing it.

31: p.322] You mean you think it's plagiarized? How could Bach have accomplished all that he did? And Palestrina? The Gabrielis? and what of the organ concert of Corelli? Those were men whose work he admired beyond all else in life, for they had touched the origins of design with recognition .

32: p.325] He [Stanley] moved toward a pew in the back, and had almost knelt beside her when he recognized Agnes Deigh. He clutched at her wrist. She started in terror away from him, awakened. Stanley? You're here , he whispered.

33: p.332] Here, don't goway. Here, how do youfffk . . . He licked a lip and commenced again, putting out a hand. —My name Boyma . . . he managed, summing himself to the chal-lenge of recognition . —And you must be Gro . . . go . . . raggly!

34: p.335] Criticism is the art we need most today. But not, don't you see? not the "if I'd done it myself." Yes, a, a disciplined nostalgia, disciplined recognitions but not, no, listen, what is the favor?

35: Book V p.343 epigraph] Thus, therefore, are those also who do not know what is true, yet hold some appearance of knowledge, and do many evil things as if they were good, and hasten to destruction as if it were salvation. —The Clementine Recognitions ,

36: p.373] Why, simply because in the Middle Ages they were convinced that they had souls to save. Yes. The what? The Recognitions? No, it's Clement of Rome. Mostly talk, talk, talk.

37: p.384] Tell them, the ones who are conscious of what happens to themselves only in terms of what has happened to themselves, who recognize only things they have seen with their eyes , tell them the whole thing hangs on a resurrection that only one lunatic saw, one and then twelve and then five hundred, for visions are contagious, and resurrections were a stock in the trade, and the streets were full of messiahs spreading discontent, that Jesus Christ and John the Baptist would both be arrested on the street today, and jailed for the same reason.

38: p.405] In the unilluminated hallway where Olalla stood in her niche, he paused the ball of a thumb on the saint's broken nose, and smiled, the same involuntary smile of recognition that had lightened his face, and left it and come back, remaining each time a little longer and more fully extended, trying the unfamiliar terrain, since his arrival.

39-40: p.414] Science, science has a fool theory about recognition . Half the forepart of the brain receives an impression, they say, an instant before the other part. When it reaches the second half the brain recognizes it! A lot of bosh, of course, he paused a step to confide, — but it gives these fool scientists something to do, keeps them from meddling in important matters that don't concern them.

41: p.417] A strange fellow got off the morning train, — Neither hat nor coat. Oh, you never know, you never know. Drunk perhaps. You never know. To see him, you might not guess at the hero he is. Of course I recognized him immediately.

42: p.451] When people tell a truth they do not understand what they mean, they say it by accident, it goes through them and they do not recognize it until someone accuses them of telling the truth, then they try to recover it as their own and it escapes. The saints were very mean people.

43: p.453] To . . . to work, Stanley said, as Anselm turned to look across the street, where a tall man hunched in a green wool shirt gave a nod of recognition slight enough to be disavowed if it were not returned. Max nodded back agreeably.

44: p.458] Listen, "It was some time after the sculpture began a series of studies of a woman's torso that he suddenly recognized in them a resemblance to the head of a bull. He developed the bull's head further until he achieved . . ."

45: p.472] To recognize, not to establish but to intervene . A remarkable illusion? Painting, a sign whose reality is actually, I, never to be abandoned, a painting is myself, ever attentive to me.

46: p.477] What does Saint Jerome say about women? Anselm persisted. —She's the gate of Hell. "A foe to friendship, an inescapable punishment, a necessary evil." says Chrysostom . . . And he broke off, watching Otto's approach without recognition .

47: p.487 epigraph] "The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared, without unnecessary delay, with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible, this national recognition ." —Abraham Lincoln's Treasurer, to the director of the Mint.

48: p.490] a recognition never granted to that Secretary of the Treasury under Abraham Lincoln, who made the five hands down without even getting a haircut.

49] But sometimes he was struck with a bar of "classical" music, a series of chords such as these which poured forth now, a sense of loneliness and confirmation together, a sense of something lost, and a sense of recognition which he did not understand . p.501

50: p.507] The man signaled the bartender, raising a hand which caught Otto with the gold flash of a signet ring, an affirmation, a summons which drew taut the muscles in his legs, ready to stand and deliver, do homage, receive from that hand the clasp of recognition , pledge fealty, inherit the signet and the kingdom its seal perpetuated.

51: p.508] There was still time to destroy the muffler before it sprang the trap which he had laid himself, before Procrustes appeared to fetter him, with no more than a shock of recognition , to the bed of reality, stretch him or cut him down to fit, release him then, and publish him abroad.

52: p.516] Beside him, he smelled lavender, and felt ill. He looked up to see the blond Jean leave the bar, carrying her bag. She glanced at the two of them without recognition or interest.

53: p.517] But no: his nose was, really, quite like the one beside him, though Otto refused to recognize it as being absolutely so, derivative. Noses were, after all, noses, quite similar among Caucasians.

54: p.535] Everybody has that feeling when they look at a work of art and it's right, that sudden familiarity, a sort of . . . recognition , as though they were creating it themselves, as though it were being created through them while they look at it or listen to it and, it shouldn't be sinful to want to have created beauty?

55: p.543] —No, No, I'm not joking. Who can tell what happened? Why, we have movement and surprise, movement and surprise and recognition , over and over again but . . . who can tell what really happened.

56-57-58: p.552] —See? Said the child. She saw. She pulled the child to her, and looked quick into the other faces before the puma cage. They were all men. They all found her upturned face instantly, caught her dark eyes, one with a smile, one grinned an intimate recognition , until seeking escape she found herself looking into the eyes familiar from a minute before, eyes not drawn to her by this instant of leveling, but still fixed on her eyes, eyes which made no response at all. So she continued to stare at him, where he stood held in Valentine's grip there, for moments, finding sanctuary where she could recover all so abruptly assaulted, in eyes which shared nothing, recognized nothing , accused her of nothing: but those moments passed and, recovering, she groped for escape. But the lack of response held her, that lack of recognition no more sanctuary than the opened eyes of a dead man, that negation no asylum for shame but the trap! from which it cried out for the right to its living identity.

59: p.563] He picked up the paper, and his eyes followed automatically the feature story account of the little Spanish girl soon to be canonized, while his mind rummaged its rich embarrassment of glories and defeats no longer news, for recognition .

60: p.564] This indeed is a matter of life and death to all of us. His eyes closed slowly; and when he thought, he fastened his hand on his extravasated heart, glad if only of recognition and familiarity, proof against Reason, and the cries of the mendicant Past.

61: p.616] Then Otto saw Anselm, who was whistling with soft harshness through his teeth, and watching Stanley. Otto looked away quickly, as though fearing to be recognized , and accused of something; but Anselm kept whistling, and watching Stanley.

62: p.621-622] And this, this mess, ransacking this mess looking for your own feelings and trying to rescue them but it's too late, you can't even recognize them when they come to the surface because they've been spent everywhere and, vulgarized and exploited and wasted and spent wherever we could, they keep demanding and you keep paying and you can't . . . and then all of a sudden somebody asks you to pay it gold and you can't.

63: p.644] — Now I'd like a martini, she said, speaking clearly, seating herself. — But Agnes . . . —And you, sir? Nothing. A glass of water. Agnes . . . She looked at him, glazed , without recognition . Agnes . . . The bartender tapped his fingers on the bar, waiting.

64: p.744] —You might as well turn off your radio, you won't be back here tonight . . . and Mr. Pivner recognized him, as he hurried back across the dark room while they waited in the door. It was the blind accordion player.

65-66: p.758] Is it because we can share a part of Ourself with each one we know, the part he demands for the rest we do not offer because he would not recognize the rest and more important even would not believe it is us, so we think better perhaps to simply put it away and do not bother him with it. Then see him, with all his might and main and all of his necessity he builds a whole Us out of his fragment, an Us we may have trouble to recognize too but respond kindly to it but better fearsomely, better beware and afraid for one day he will face us with it and then who can say.

67: p.759] We are so different (they say because they do not know each other) that That can be friend to neither of us, but we shall be our common hypocrite, and nevertheless and recognized now must be thanked nevertheless for bringing us together and we, being different we shall be friends but honest friends, for you see there are things we do not share.

68: p.759-760] They will know what to do , the others on the beach, for they will recognize Him and follow some satisfactory prescription but doctor you and I, what will we do but look surprised, look up from a paper-backed edition of something that sold well twenty years ago, or a serial story with no beginning and no end in a magazine found on the veranda, the sole of a beach shoe needing mending, that or the cigarette lighter which won't work for the sand in it or the face of the dollar watch we always take there which tells the time with sand in it, look surprised and mildly so at that. You and I doctor, on the beach.

69: p.761] Those bad circumstances are the only ones where we can recognize ourselves , and when good fortune comes away, away, we cannot face it, to see ourselves abroad in good fortune and there is no alternative, there is none but in the face of good fortune to flee, and in the terrifying comfort of solitude find the devices to construct the familiar landscape of bad fortune where we step forth in certainty, so it mounts, gets worse and in spite of ourselves we see ourselves more fully and there we are precious again.

70: p.762] We serve them well, icons of their desperate and idle manufacture, and Oh! when we betray them by being other selves, and the icon is broken, doctor, do they grow? Or fashion it again and elsewhere, so detailedly the same, different only enough to prevent their recognizing it for what betrayed them once. We serve them well, doctor.

71-72: p.762] Are you there, an island in their past, afloat, or a rock shoal, and sailing back do they sight you with cries of happiness and recognition ? Indeed, do they cruise back just to reach you, to land and enter the same pleasance with recognition even delight, share it with others who have languored there, or meet those others upon the beach and do battle?

73: p.767-768] Father Martin passed, looking him straight in the face, without a word, without a shade of recognition , the medieval lines of his face standing out livid as though he had seen a ghost.

74: p.771] An old man with a battered guitar entered at the upper end of the coach. He had two tunes, one a vaguely recognizable pasa doble, the other a hapless La Tani , which could only be heard in his immediate vicinity.

75: p.771] He grimaced, and mumbled, appeared to try to smile, shaking his head He looked eager, but nonetheless surprised, even shocked at her invitation, even her recognition , which she withdrew from him, and returned to the children, the bread, the cheese, and fish.

76: p.782] That's what depresses me about a poor country, he said, trying to fold the brown one-pesata notes together. All the small denominations, it gets so dirty you can hardly recognize it.

77: p.859] He came from somewhere in Andalusia. He had that primeval way of becoming friends, which was to go through the possessions of any new acquaintance, busy with comment on anything he recognized , questions for what he did not.

78: p.863] They left right after lunch, but their chatter and blank interchangeable images stayed behind well after dinner. —Well why are you in Spain? . . . if you don't especially like it? the distinguished novelist asked, once recognized and trapped. — A job's a job. — And you wish you were back in the States? —That's all we ever talk about, going home, but a job's a job.

79: p.865] But the man in Irish thorn-proof certainly had seen them and, for perhaps the first time in his adult life, he did not want to be recognized. He backed away from the colonnade, along the wall until he reached the door, and he backed through that.

80: 901 epigraph] Aux Clients Reconnus Malades l'ARGENT ne sera pas Remboursé. —Notices posted in brothels. Rue de l'Aqueduct. Oran p.

81: p.936] —I can't go without my pants, for Christ sake. Give him a couple of minutes to sew the buttons on. And then they silenced, each bending forth, closer and closer, to fix the book the other was carrying with a look of myopic recognition .

 

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