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752 pages, Paperback
First published October 12, 1975
Since you’re not here to learn anything, but to be taught so you can pass these tests, knowledge has to be organized so it can be taught, and it has to be reduced to information so it can be organized do you follow that?
The function of this school is custodial. It’s here to keep these kids off the streets until the girls are big enough to get pregnant and the boys are old enough to go out and hold up a gas station, it’s strictly custodial and the rest is plumbing.
“We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion…”
If you want to make a million you don't have to understand money, what you have to understand is people’s fears about money.
—Right. You mention education and they grab for their wallets. Now here’s thirty-two thousand six hundred and seventy for blacktopping the parking lot over to the tv studio.
—That’s the only bid that came in.
—And there’s this twelve thousand dollars item for books.
—That’s supposed to be twelve hundred, the twelve thousand should be paper towels. Besides, there’s already that bequest for the library.
—Did it say books in so many words? No. It’s just a bequest for the library.
—Use it for a pegboard. You need a pegboard in a library. Books you don’t know what you’re getting into.
”I'd suggest that what J R documents is the way that America is hollowing out the foundation necessary to even read a book like it, an America that teaches its children via closed-circuit television, an America that thinks democracy means owning a share of profit-maximizing publicly traded corporations. This is what it means to say that J R is about the conditions underlying the impossibility of its own reception. If there were a welcoming mass public for books like this, a public able to appreciate its beautiful difficulty and astonishing imagination, we wouldn't live in the sort of world so in need of savage satirical critique in the first place.” -Lee Konstantinou
”The sincere endeavour to accomplish that creative task, to go as far on that road as his strength will carry him, to go undeterred by faltering, weariness or reproach, is the only valid justification for the worker in prose. And if his conscience is clear, his answer to those who, in the fulness of a wisdom which looks for immediate profit, demand specifically to be edified, consoled, amused; who demand to be promptly improved, or encouraged, or frightened, or shocked, or charmed, must run thus: -- My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel -- it is, before all, to make you see. That -- and no more, and it is everything. If I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm -- all you demand; and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask.” -Joseph Conrad
«Por qué la gente infringe las leyes para coger todo lo que pueden si siempre hay alguna ley con la que puedes ser legal y cogerlo todo de todas formas».Quería leer este libro antes de ir con la considerada mejor obra de Gaddis, Los reconocimientos. Con Jota Erre esperaba algo que me permitiera entrar en la narrativa de Gaddis y no sorprenderme con nada que pudiera aparecer en Los reconocimientos. Pero cuando ya llevaba más de 100 páginas dentro de Jota Erre supe que este libro no era ninguna introducción a Gaddis ni mucho menos, más bien todo lo contrario: pareciera que Gaddis no solo escribió una Gran Novela, sino que escribió dos.