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David Markson: Reader’s Block

More clever pomo stuff from David Markson. I have a narrative but you will be hard put to it to find it, says the narrator and he is not kidding. A lot of the book is literary trivia – the suicides and other deaths of artists, who is your favourite anti-semite (they all are, according to Markson), lists (Byron’s lovers, obscure winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Napoleons’s victories, the three men who may or may not have murdered Christopher Marlowe), book titles, quotations, many in languages other than English, commonalties (both Napoleon and Karl Marx had haemorrhoids) and so on. Hidden in this trivia is a sort of a rough outline of a novel, starring characters called Reader and Protagonist. Only one of the paragraphs is repeated. It reads”Nonlinear. Discontinuous. Collage-like. An assemblage.” and that it was what this book is.

Publishing history

First published 1996 by Dalkey Archive Press