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Reader's Block (1996)

Tekijä: David Markson

Sarjat: personal genre (4)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3961564,792 (3.98)12
In this spellbinding, utterly unconventional fiction, an aging author who is identified only as Reader contemplates the writing of a novel. As he does, other matters insistently crowd his mind - literary and cultural anecdotes, endless quotations attributed and not, scholarly curiosities - the residue of a lifetime's reading which is apparently all he has to show for his decades on earth. Out of these unlikely yet incontestably fascinating materials - including innumerable details about the madness and calamity in many artists' and writers' lives, the eternal critical affronts, the startling bigotry, the countless suicides - David Markson has created a novel of extraordinary intellectual suggestiveness. But while shoring up Reader's ruins with such fragments, Markson has also managed to electrify his novel with an almost unbearable emotional impact. Where Reader ultimately leads us is shattering.… (lisätietoja)
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» Katso myös 12 mainintaa

englanti (14)  espanja (1)  Kaikki kielet (15)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 15) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
A ton of interesting factoids with no real coherent approach. Took to skimming. Do I need to know how a given relatively unknown writer did in his final moments? Or that all the old time Christian saints were anti-semites? (Well, this was an obvious one).
No.
For a while the snippets are intriguing. I felt the writer’s urge to write them down, add them to my memory palace- but like so much trivia, it is, in the end, trivial.
No outbreak of wisdom here, but an amusing way to spend an hour or so. ( )
  Dabble58 | Nov 11, 2023 |
Another tour de force by the author of Wittgenstein's Mistress. This time the text consists of notes for novel to be written by someone who would much rather read than write.

The bulk of the notes, literary anecdotes from the lives of famous writers, create a verbal tapestry of odd and poignant notes. They give voice to writers who in their lifetimes enjoyed little or none of the honor their names posthumously acquired, who instead often suffered the worst poverty and most painful deaths.

The voices join together (or at least did for me) into a chorus calling for recognition of suffering that was the real-world payment for the highest creativity their work exemplified. As readers enjoying their fruits, we should not allow ourselves to be blocked from feeling and making this acknowledgement. ( )
  Cr00 | Apr 1, 2023 |
Un hombre se propone familiarizarse con el espacio que habita. Mientras observa el movimiento a su alrededor, lee, acumula citas y toma apuntes. Escritores, filósofos, artistas, la historia del arte y la cultura. Crea, con pocos elementos, una especie de teatro de cámara con dos personajes, el Protagonista y el Lector, y una playa o un cementerio como escenarios posibles. Ese es el relato aparente de esta novela, su engañosa superficie. A poco de avanzar, las citas y los apuntes nos van asomando a un universo en el que debemos desplazarnos como en el tablero de un juego misterioso, tal vez genial, cuyas piezas son la vida, la muerte, el amor, el suicidio, la enfermedad, el arte como juego, el arte como extrema experiencia vital.
  Natt90 | Feb 13, 2023 |
Page 78 of this experimental novel states "I have a narrative. But you will be put to it to find it." I was not up to the task.

The book is single-sentence (sometimes single-word) paragraphs, spaced apart. Most of the sentences are random historical facts, including many accusations of anti-Semitism. But a few of them are about two characters, Reader and Protagonist, and what the author is proposing for them. Gradually, amidst the trivia and non sequiturs, some sort of setting and backstory for Reader and Protagonist develops. I guess this book is the author's process of asking himself (as Reader) what he wants the Protagonist's story to be, and failing to come up with anything coherent. Despite the title, it's really about writer's block.

Page 124 asks: "Is there such a word as 'grue' if Nelson Goodman invented it to illustrate a philosophic point but it has no other application beyond that classroom context whatsoever?" I wonder how the author would react to the Zork games in which "grue" is the name of a deadly monster that is ever lurking but never seen.

Whatever this book is trying to do, it would have been better and wittier as a short story.

Kurt Vonnegut liked this book. I like Kurt Vonnegut. Therefore, I should like this book. But I don't. ( )
  KGLT | Oct 8, 2021 |
alt. title: The Waste Basket

"Nonlinear? Discontinuous? Collage-like?

An assemblage?"

this is essentially T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, revisited– both build themselves out of the rubble/flotsam/waste of writing and writers that came before, all the while meditating on time, art, and nothingness. Markson even gives a few explicit nods to the poem, like when he quotes from Dickens' 'Our Mutual Friend' : "He do the Police in different voices" (which served as the basis for Eliot's original title for the Waste Land, before Pound convinced him to change it), or when he brings in, on several occasions, what seems to be Madame Sosostris's deck of tarot cards....


"All ages are contemporaneous" he says–quoting Ezra Pound.

the parts with Reader on the beach stuck out to me, because it reminded me of some other literary beaches–the beach at the end of The Waste Land, and Sandymount Strand (the beach Stephen Dedalus walks down in the proteus chapter of ulysses–because if TS Eliot is one of Markson's many ghosts, then so is Joyce)

“Do
You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
Nothing?”
I remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”

“The morning’s recollection of the emptiness of the day before. Its anticipation of the emptiness of the day to come.”

"I can connect
Nothing with nothing."

"The grainy sand had gone from under his feet. His boots trod again a
damp crackling mast, razorshells, squeaking pebbles, that on the
unnumbered pebbles beats, wood sieved by the shipworm, lost Armada.
Unwholesome sandflats waited to suck his treading soles, breathing upward
sewage breath, a pocket of seaweed smouldered in seafire under a midden
of man's ashes. "

"Along the beach beyond the dunes. Flotsam . Odds and ends."

"These fragments I have shored against my ruins"

"Reader and his mind full of clutter"

"I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?"

"These heavy sands are language tide and wind have silted
here."

"Who watches me here? Who ever anywhere will
read these written words? Signs on a white field. "

"Who does walk the winter beach at water's edge in the distance far ahead of Protagonist?"

"Can't see! Who's behind me? Out quickly, quickly!
Do you see the tide flowing quickly in on all sides, sheeting the lows of sand
quickly, shellcocoacoloured? If I had land under my feet. I want his life still
to be his, mine to be mine. A drowning man. His human eyes scream to me
out of horror of his death. I ... With him together down .... I could not save
her. Waters: bitter death: lost.

A woman and a man. I see her skirties. Pinned up, I bet.

Their dog ambled about a bank of dwindling sand, trotting, sniffing
on all sides. Looking for something lost in a past life."

"Behind. Perhaps there is someone."

"Emma Bovary.
Anna Karenina.
Othello.
Jocasta.
Brünhild.
Hedda Gabler.
Romeo and juliet.
Werther....."
( )
1 ääni melanierisch | Oct 25, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 15) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Mr. Markson is supremely intelligent and well read, but he appears to have decided, with a post-modern determination that seems almost French in its intensity, that writing sequential narration is illogical and absurd.
 

Kuuluu näihin sarjoihin

Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
This is the way to the museyroom. Mind your hats goan in!

--Joyce
First and foremost, I think of myself as a reader.

--Borges
Omistuskirjoitus
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Why does it sadden Reader to realize he will almost certainly never know what book will turn out to be the last he ever read? (p. 191)
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

Viittaukset tähän teokseen muissa lähteissä.

Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

-

In this spellbinding, utterly unconventional fiction, an aging author who is identified only as Reader contemplates the writing of a novel. As he does, other matters insistently crowd his mind - literary and cultural anecdotes, endless quotations attributed and not, scholarly curiosities - the residue of a lifetime's reading which is apparently all he has to show for his decades on earth. Out of these unlikely yet incontestably fascinating materials - including innumerable details about the madness and calamity in many artists' and writers' lives, the eternal critical affronts, the startling bigotry, the countless suicides - David Markson has created a novel of extraordinary intellectual suggestiveness. But while shoring up Reader's ruins with such fragments, Markson has also managed to electrify his novel with an almost unbearable emotional impact. Where Reader ultimately leads us is shattering.

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