Wyatt Gwyon's desire to forge is not driven by larceny but from love. Exactingly faithful to the spirit and letter of the Flemish masters, he produces uncannily accurate "originals" - pictures the painters themselves might have envied. In an age of counterfeit emotion and taste, the real and fake have become indistinguishable; yet Gwyon's forgeries reflect a truth that others cannot touch - cannot even recognize.
Contemporary life collapses the distinction between the "real" and the "virtual" worlds, and Gaddis' novel pre-empts our common obsessions by almost half a century. This novel tackles the blurring of perceptual boundaries. The Matrix and Blade Runner pale in comparison to this epic novel.
A powerful cocktail of voices and idioms put together in an outrageously brilliant exuberance of language, with sentences that leave you shaking your head in chuckling stupefaction, as in a Charlie Parker solo. Despite the playfulness of language and irreverence, the searing passion for creativity and form burns against the masterfully described social frame of wealthy, elite superficiality, and radiates through, overriding the somewhat overburdened erudition. The only caveat is that the listener wishes to pause and revisit, retrace and rediscover the magic of a passage that is rendered fleeting without the comfort of the paper copy to fixate one's eyes on -- a recurring feature in this masterpiece.
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