June 07, 2010



Sad. I liked Vanishing Point the best of his "seminonfictional semifictions," which are all wonderful.


I'm glad someone among the blogs I read regularly has posted something about Master Markson's passing...If there is anyone who hasn't read Wittgenstein's Mistress (and I know, I know, there are LOTS of you): please go purchase it and read it this weekend. You will laugh, you will shiver, you will thrill, you will have tons of your own formerly forgotten memories of "small" moments in your life come flooding back at you, and I defy you not to cry--at least a sniffle..."In the beginning, sometimes I left messages out in the street..." "Post-apocalyptic literature fanatic, you call yourself? Pah. Read WM. Now. I will miss him...and I'll never get to know what would have come after The Last Novel...because you and I both know there was at least one more in him...

Lawrence Tate

Sometime LA Times reviewer Tom McGonigle expresses a dissenting opinion of Markson at abcofreading.blogspot.com. Somewhat unsurprisingly, this has to do with a particular Village watering hole of old.


Re: McGonigle's dissenting opinion. I don't think he is dissenting about Markson's work, but rather, he calls Markson a "mean and nasty man."

I recall reading an essay by McGonigle somewhere, in which he complains that whenever he runs into Markson in Greenwich Village bookstores, Markson never acknowledged him as a writer.

Edward Renehan

Markson was exceptional.

Tyler Malone

Check out http://readingmarksonreading.tumblr.com to see some of his marginalia.

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  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


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