Wittgenstein's Mistress is a novel unlike anything David Markson -- or anyone else -- has ever written before. It is the story of a woman who is convinced -- and, astonishingly, will ultimately convince the reader as well - that she is the only person left on earth.Presumably she is mad. And yet... show more
Wittgenstein's Mistress is a novel unlike anything David Markson -- or anyone else -- has ever written before. It is the story of a woman who is convinced -- and, astonishingly, will ultimately convince the reader as well - that she is the only person left on earth.Presumably she is mad. And yet so appealing is her character, and so witty and seductive her narrative voice, that we will follow her hypnotically as she unloads the intellectual baggage of a lifetime in a series of irreverent meditations on everything and everybody from Brahms to sex to Heidegger to Helen of Troy. And as she contemplates aspects of the troubled past which have brought her to her present state -- obviously a metaphor for ultimate loneliness -- so too will her drama become one of the few certifiably original fictions of our time."The novel I liked best this year," said the Washington Times upon the book's publication in 1988; "one dizzying, delightful, funny passage after another . . . Wittgenstein's Mistress gives proof positive that the experimental novel can produce high, pure works of imagination."
Publish date: March 1st 2006
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Pages no: 279
Edition language: English
(Original Review, 1990)I think the point—or premise?—of “Wittgenstein's Mistress” is that the monologue of the only person on Earth—necessarily, in the physical sense of "only", a "monologue"—is not actually a monologue. Language itself—emerging or disclosed in and through the concrete words and usa...
I ordered myself a copy of this again, because I have a thing where I impress books upon people -- often late at a party, when the confetti has ground in and the eyes water with fatigue and drunk -- and then I never see them again. Or, that's not precisely true. Sometimes they come back years later,...
Kate is the only person living in the world. Well, what I should have said is the only creature living. On my honor, there is nobody else. There are no dogs or cats or seagulls or scorpions. Quite possibly there are no fish either. I did not verify that for certain about the fish, however. ...
I'm on the spot. heavyweights all over the place, professional and published writers alike calling this a touchstone work. gotta justify the 3/5 but off limited wifi. just resist the urge to tap GR, but here we are. can't be making excuses constantly. the 10 second take? it's Markson behind the mask...
Cross-posted on Readerling"In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street." There's an old saw, deployed in freshman (or maybe more properly sophomore) English classes about first lines. They set the tone, or gesture to the plot. They are a sign pointing off to the castle. "It is a truth ...