Sunday, June 03, 2007

David Markson--Who Knew?

Ed here--That fine fine site Rara Avis has been discussing, among other things, the two paperback crime novels of David Markson. I remember them because of their sometimes gaudy emotionalism, which was in fashion in those days. They were good examples of the private eye form as I recall and memorable snapshots of NYC in the early Sixties. I remembered them fondly but I didn't feel any compulsion to search them out and reread them, though I did wonder from time to time what happened to Markson. A couple of years ago I learned that he had become a literary star. Here, in case you're interested in his whereabouts these day, is the scoop:


David Markson is an American author, born in Albany, New York in 1927. He is the author of several postmodern novels, including This is Not a Novel, Springer's Progress, and Wittgenstein's Mistress. The Movie Dirty Dingus Magee, starring Frank Sinatra, is based on a novel of Markson's by the same name. In December of 2006, Shoemaker & Hoard will republish two of Markson's early crime novels Epitaph for a Tramp and Epitaph for a Dead Beat in one volume. His work is characterized by an unconventional approach to narration and plot, that is very much his own. While his early works draw on the modernist tradition of William Faulkner and Malcolm Lowry, his later works have almost completely stripped away plot in favor of a fragmented internal consciousness consisting mostly of scraps of historical, artistic, and biographical "facts". Dalkey Archive Press has published several of his novels.

Educated at Union College and Columbia University, Markson began his writing career as a journalist and book editor, periodically taking up work as a college professor.

In addition to his novels, he has published a book of poetry and a critical study of Malcolm Lowry.

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