Ghostlier demarcations
But isn't that what David Markson did (for longer) in This Is Not A Novel? No. Not at all. This book is different, for all its seeming fragmentation, nonetheless obstinately cross-referential and of cryptic interconnective syntax. (Among the quotations included here, Whitaker does include: quotations from David Markson and Ludwig Wittgenstein. And unlike this reviewer, he never feels free to alter the punctuation.) Here's a guy who has turned his genre into a vehicle for serious ideas and serious emotion--and has never, unlike Markson, been tempted to write more than necessary. Markson hesitates to label his work "experimental" and instead characterizes his novels -- both "literally crammed with literary and artistic anecdotes" and "nonlinear, discontinuous, collage-like, an assemblage" -- as "playful." There is no linear (or nonlinear) sequence of events to exploit with a wink-nudge because there is no novelistic time employed at all, no events that would require such sequencing.


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