This master thesis examines Gaddis' novel The Recognitions in the context of cultural criticism. Initial analysis of the work demonstrates a problematic relationship between modernism and postmodernism, and at the same time exposes different aspects of novel's content, form and genre. Gaddis's combination of künstlerroman, social satire and parody creates a prolific foundation for cultural critique. This thesis is also focusing on the parodic elements of The Recognitions, which are pointing out the ironic distance between the past and the present; this contributes to a peculiar evaluation of the (post)modern era. With some aid from the authors, that Gaddis uses as his intertextual references, this thesis analyzes a narrative attitude towards the art, culture and religion. In the center of the discussion is a problem of counterfeiting, which is furthermore connected with notions of authenticity and originality. This notions are also important for the discussions on contemporary religious experience and the knowledge of sacred (or the possibility of a genuine sacred experience). This polemics are examined through readings of Sir James Frazer and Georges Bataille.