An Ill-dressed, Underfed, Overdrunken Group of Squatters with Minds So Highly Developed That They Were Excused from Good Manners

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I just love this passage from William Gaddis’s The Recognitions. Mocking “hipsterism” has been around forever (or at least 50 years):

And by now they were at the door of the Viareggio, a small Italian bar of nepotistic honesty before it was discovered by exotics. Neighborhood folk still came, in small vanquished numbers and mostly in the afternoon, before the two small dining rooms and the bar were taken over by the educated classes, an ill-dressed, underfed, overdrunken group of squatters with minds so highly developed that they were excused from good manners, tastes so refined in one direction that they were excused for having none in any other, emotions so cultivated that the only aberration was normality, all afloat here on sodden pools of depravity calculated only to manifest the pricelessness of what they were throwing away, the three sexes in two colors, a group of people all mentally and physically the wrong size.

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One comment

  1. larry · August 19, 2009

    Nice, I just re-read (meaning finished it last week) The Recognitions… having first read it 7 or so years ago and it usurping Gravity’s Rainbow as my favorite book.
    Now reading Inherent Vice and stumbled on yr site with the google search “how many joints doc sportello”

    Like

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