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Monday, May 15, 2017

Wittgenstein's Mistress (1988) by David Markson


Book Review
Wittgenstein's Mistress (1988)
by David Markson


  Two things you need to know about Wittgenstein's Mistress:

1.  It is an experimental novel, in exactly the same way as many of Samuel Beckett's novels.
2.  David Foster Wallace was a huge fan, and an essay he wrote on the genius of Wittgenstein's Mistress is appended to the 2012 paperback edition.

    Kate, the narrator, claims to be the last person on earth, and Wittgenstein's Mistress consists of her disconnected ruminations on a variety of subjects related to her personal history and art.  As DFW points out, repeatedly, in his essay, Wittgenstein's Mistress is like a literary representation of Wittgenstein's early philosophy, as expressed in his later disavowed, Tractaus Logico-Philosophicus
   At this point, it would be appropriate to maybe get into some of the analysis that DFW provides regarding the relationship between Wittgenstein, his Tractaus Logico-Philosphicus and the text of Wittgenstein's Mistress, but I think it would all be tedious, and I simply can't imagine a reader who would be interested, except the person who +1's all of the experimental fiction reviews on the Google Plus network.  Shout out to that person! Or bot! I'm fine if bots want to read this blog as well.  All hail our robot overlords, that's what I say.

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