Archive for the 'David Markson' Category

Laura Sims & Ann Beattie discussed David Markson + Markson & Gaddis

Saturday, June 28th, 2014
  • Markson_Novel
    Image from

  • 1annBsmall

    Beattie was asked about her falling in love Wittgenstein’s Mistress, and she responded:
    “I think more than just falling in love with it, or whatever, though—and I don’t mean to say this kept me removed from the book—but there was a kind of writerly awe that anybody would dare to be so uncompromising.”

    ( In fact, she was one of the first people to read Wittgenstein’s Mistress before it was published, as it was being rejected left and right.)

    Laura Sims and Ann Beattie discussed David Markson at Strand (youtube)


    Fare Forward

    In this first-ever book of letters by novelist David Markson—a quintessential “writer’s writer” whose work David Foster Wallace once lauded as “pretty much the high point of experimental fiction in this country”—readers will experience Markson at his wittiest and warmest. Poet Laura Sims shares her correspondence with him

    Letters from David Markson


    Gaddis & Markson

  • William Gaddis painted 1987 by Julian Schnabel

    On page 107 Vanishing Point by David Markson

    Tardily realizing–qualms after all.
    Author would undeniably be distressed at the loss of
    Schnabel’s portrait of Willim Gaddis.

    Markson also wrote on the same page,

    Georg Trakl was a pharmacist.
    E.T. A Hoffman was a lawyer.
    Kate Smith could not read music.

    On page 106 Vanishing Point..

    E.E.Cummings died after chopping firewood

  • Ann Beattie – author of Chilly Scenes of Winter (youtube)

    Mistress in Distress – R.I.P David Markson

    Sunday, June 6th, 2010

    Obit from a friend (Sarah Weinman)

    One of America’s greatest writers has passed on, and even though I shouldn’t have been surprised – he was 82 years old and not in the greatest of health the last few years

    (She also informed us that David Markson was at DFW’s funeral)

    Obit NYtimes by Bruce Weber
    The Master Davidlastnovel

    Nonlinear. Discontinuous. Collage-like. An assemblage.
    Self-evident enough to scarcely need Writer’s say-so.

    Obstinately cross-referential and of cryptic interconnective syntax.
    Here perhaps less than self-evident to the less than attentive.

    David Markson (previous birthday post – 2004 – next birthday post 2007) + Vanishing Point

    David Markson Reads at the 92nd Street Y – introduced by Anne Beattie

    A Terrific interview at Conjunctions (Markson’s friendships with other writers).

    Dead Beat

    Sad news that David Markson has passed away. Posted below is a text derived from one of his early books. About fifty years ago, Markson wrote a pair of hard-boiled detective novels set in Greenwich Village, Epitaph for a Tramp and Epitaph for a Dead Beat. The books read like beat-flavored Spillane, and within the private eye character of Harry Fannin you can see the beginnings of the voice, form, and preoccupations of Markson’s later innovative novels, Readers Block, Vanishing Point, This is Not a Novel, and The Last Novel. “Dead Beat” is an excised narrative that examines Markson’s core themes: literature, art, music, philosophy, pop culture, sex, and death.

    Another editor friend

    Markson, a giant of postmodernism– if you’re true to the word– maintained closer friendships than he courted publicity. His life and work are intertwined, and his memory will live on in those he touched as well as in his works of art.

    Comment from mefi – Old Tired Sick Alone Broke

    “Shit. He was one of my favorites. And despite DFW’s praise of him, I like to think of David Markson as the anti-DFW.”

    Talk about “his melancholy” from another ardent fan who tried to see David Markson.

    But he knew everything else—everything worth knowing. And more importantly, he knew how everything worth knowing can be forgotten. And how it is always being forgotten, not only by others, but by oneself.
    That tragedy—and how a writer responds to it—forms, for me, the center of his genius.

  • Markson_Novel
    Image from

  • A serious fan (This is bookmarked for a return visit)

    Each sentence in the book is a wave. Better yet, a wave packet. Collapsing onto the page to form something bigger than itself.

    Peter Maclaclin

    Is Writer, thinking he can bring off what he has in mind?
    And anticipating that he will have any readers?

    Ed Rants

    Along with John Barth, William Gaddis, and Gilbert Sorrentino, Markson was one of the few writers who proved that experimental writing need not be prescriptive. For Markson, chronicling the consciousness was often tremendous fun: both for him and the reader. And if you were fortuitous enough, it could extend beyond the book. If you lived in New York, Markson could often be located in the Strand’s basement, amicably chattering in good humor with any stranger willing to engage in wanton mischief.


    Monday, September 22nd, 2008

    Aparatec tvwood[now known as rival consoles] seventeen
    (via ROBJN-home)

    In his fiction and his essays alike, Wallace incorporated the world around him in streams of consciousness that were like some hitherto unimaginable hybrid of Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground, Deleuze and Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus, and the rock criticism of Lester Bangs, but that also seemed to register the inner tics of personality common among people who had grown up inundated by mass media. DFW R.I.P – Scott McLemee

    Asset, a fiction by David Foster Wallace (New Yorker)
    Wallace’s four works published in The New Yorker are also available:here.
    “Several Birds,” June 27, 1994
    “An Interval,” January 30, 1995
    “Good People,” February 5, 2007

    From Overlooked – Five direly underappreciated U.S. novels 1960.
    On “Wittgenstein’s Mistress” by David Markson (1988) DFW wrote,

    “W’s M” is a dramatic rendering of what it would be like to live in the sort of universe described by logical atomism. A monologue, formally very odd, mostly one-sentences. Tied with “Omensetter’s Luck” for the all-time best U.S. book about human loneliness. These wouldn’t constitute ringing endorsements if they didn’t happen all to be simultaneously true — i.e., that a novel this abstract and erudite and avant-garde that could also be so moving makes “Wittgenstein’s Mistress” pretty much the high point of experimental fiction in this country.

    (of the five novels DFW picked the only one I read was “Wittgenstein’s Mistress”. Not sure Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is overlooked. The other three unheard of novels by William Gass, Kosinski and Dennis Johnson, are definitely overlooked.)

    Found this link from Matt Christie – pasaudela

    David Markson

    Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

    David markson on drinking with malcolm lowry & dylan thomas He looked great here on youtube.

    They all seem like they shouldn’t have driver’s licenses, even. You do become aware of the names, of course. Who are they, Lethem, Foer, Eggers? Are they mostly named Jonathan?
    An Interview with David Markson from Bookslut.

    I fear I already posted something with this title. But whoa, David Markson’s The Last Novel totally makes me feel *GREAT*
    Cash bag writers -from Venom Glitterati.
    (Venom G is linked at my blogroll)

    From an Essay by H.R. Two Masters: Variation on Markson
    It is said that in the street markets of Florence Leonardo da Vinci would buy the various small birds that were for sale—the ones caged at the food stands, the ones for purchase by those with a palate for small roasted finches and warblers—and then he would go somewhere and set them free.
    I presume the birds were in cages. Though I do not know. Surely bird cages are an ancient art. You see, Leonardo was a vegetarian. If he saw other animals under the same market duress I suppose he might have let those go as well. After buying them. Monkeys and dogs and such. This would only make sense. He would want to spare all the innocents from the dastardly meat eaters. Though doubtless there were some animals which were not for sale as food. Decisions would have to be made. Was he only going to buy the birds and animals that were in the most immediate danger? Were there labels to help with momentous decisions such as this?
    Food monkey. Companion monkey. Edible parrot. This dog is for eating, this one is not. Please do not eat these birds. One does not want to think of the trial and error involved in birdeaters knowing which were the tastiest of birds. Let us say nothing of the dog testers.

    (This essay was begun after several images stuck in my head from David Markson’s stunning book Wittgenstein’s Mistress. Mister Markson’s book is one of the most beautiful books in my small opinion, in my fevered reading life. I have read the book at least once each year since its appearance in 1988. It was purchased in a small book shop in Little Rock.)

    More links here (with the same photo of David Markson)
    Vanishing Point (a clumsy hommage to David Markson by this blogger)

    Vanishing Point – David Markson + Eero Saarinen’s Chair

    Saturday, August 20th, 2005

    Finished reading “Vanishing Point” by David Markson.

    Ice Tea Ice tea Photo 2000

    “The Universe was created on October 26, 4004 B.C. At 9.00 A.M.
    Announced Archbishop Ussher, in 1645.”

    “Tolstoy to Chekhov:
    You know I can’t stand Shakespeare’s plays, but yours are worse”

    “Tolstoy had an illegitimate son he never acknowledged.
    Karl Marx had an illegitimate son he never acknowledged.
    Henrik Ibsen had an illegitimate son he never acknowledged.”
    (From Vanishing Point by David Markson)

    Speaking of father and son, today (Aug 20) is a birthday of
    Eero Saarinen the Finnish architect who built St Louis’ arch and
    Dulles airport. He and his father were both born on the same date,
    August 20 just like John Lennon and his son. (they are Libra – October boys).
    Saarinen’s design are all over the world in office, in homes and at the airports.
    Look at his chairs.

    This chair is not designed by Eero Saarinen.
    Isola Chair Chair3 from Calligaris

    Paid $10.00 for this Italian chair at garage sale. (click the link to see the actual price of this chair at retail. Mine has black seat and the sample does not).

    Saw” the Son” by Dardenne brothers from Belgium.
    Another minimal and affecting depiction of family tragedy.
    You spent most of the time looking at the back of the
    character’s head as the camera follows him around.

    “Karl Marx learned Russian mainly to read Pushkin.
    Joyce learned Norwegian to read Ibsen.” (from Vanishing Point)

    I learned English to read the screenplay of “Rebel Without a Cause”.

    “James Baldwin borrowed money from Marlon Brando with which
    to finish his first novel” (another instance of Marlon did this
    and Marlon did that picked up from Vanishing Point.)
    Now I lost the page for the next piece of information,
    Stanley Kunitz delivered eulogy at Mark Rothko’s funeral according to David Markson.

    David Markson

    Monday, December 20th, 2004

    David Markson was born on Dec 20, 1927 (Sagittarius with Scorpio Moon ) Bruce Lee who died young share this combo. Unlike ill fated Bruce, David Markson is alive and still writing.

    David Markson David Markson

    From Elegant variation, do not miss Dalkey’s inteview on David Markson.

    What is the point? Stephen Michelmore finds the novel alive and well.

    Vanishing Point That Markson achieves this depth of character through a bone-dry catalogue of commentary largely centered on art and death is nothing short of remarkable.

    ” We were drinking with David Markson, and he had made me sad. ” From hypertext novel The Unknown

    “David Markson’s Reader’s Block is written in very short paragraphs.
    This is a style whose look is gentle to the eye and visually does not promise a great deal of continuity. ” From Spineless Books

    “A novel of intellectual reference and allusion, so to speak minus much of the novel?” from MadInkbeard