peteg's blog - noise - books - 2009 03 29 DavidMarkson ThisIsNotANovel

David Markson: This is not a novel

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Dave C gave this to me many, many years ago, around the time he departed Australia for good. I can see what attracted him to this experiment in fiction, and also why he so freely parted with it.

Reader feels less appreciation for the non-novel on completion than whilst reading it. Pages were turned, jokes occasionally apprehended.

Artifice wears thin, preoccupations of author too banal, reader opines. Speculation, questions of a rhetorical nature, seem a cheap device. Particularly in the era of reductive analysis. Even more particularly in the face of millenia of art, much providing substantial insight.

To reference is not to create. To refer in French is to posture. To refer in Latin is to solipsistically enjoy the firing of one's own neurons. Reader would have preferred characters and plot to a toilet roll of death notices.

Reader can almost perceive the genesis of Nick Cave's circa-2004 renaissance in this book, with structure and themes closely parallelling There She Goes, My Beautiful World. Reader is relieved that the benefit was not solely the author's.