Vanishing Point by David Markson
A Novel

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In the literary world, there is little that can match the excitement of opening a new book by David Markson. From Wittgenstein’s Mistress to Reader’s Block to Springer’s Progress to This Is Not a Novel, he has delighted and amazed readers for decades. And now comes his latest masterwork, Vanishing Point, wherein an elderly writer (identified only as "Author") sets out to transform shoeboxes crammed with notecards into a novel—and in so doing will dazzle us with an astonishing parade of revelations about the trials and calamities and absurdities and often even tragedies of the creative life—and all the while trying his best (he says) to keep himself out of the tale. Naturally he will fail to do the latter, frequently managing to stand aside and yet remaining undeniably central throughout—until he is swept inevitably into the narrative’s starting and shattering climax. A novel of death and laughter both—and of extraordinary intellectual richness.

About David Markson

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David Markson was born in Albany, New York on December 20, 1927. He received an undergraduate degree from Union College and a master's degree from Columbia University. Besides being a writer, he also worked as a journalist, book editor, and periodically as a college professor at Columbia University, Long Island University, and The New School. His works include Epitaph for a Tramp; Epitaph for a Dead Beat; This Is Not a Novel; Springer's Progress; Wittgenstein's Mistress; and The Last Novel. His novel, The Ballad of Dingus Magee, was made into a film starring Frank Sinatra entitled Dirty Dingus Magee. He was found dead on June 4, 2010 at the age of 82.
Published January 1, 2004 by Shoemaker & Hoard. 191 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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“The first edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species sold out in one day,” we learn, and, later, “Baltimore, Edgar Allen Poe died in.” The result of Markson’s immersion in these and many other such facts, and of his ineluctably perfect marshalling of them, is a kind of mini-epic—small in proportion a...

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Publishers Weekly

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Author, who began the book with two shoeboxes full of notes, only rears his head occasionally, to mention that he's a procrastinator, that he's "damnably tired" and physically clumsy "as if his Adidas had whims of their own," and that despite his best efforts to arrange his notes, he has no idea ...

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AV Club

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Vanishing Point comes to an end as devastating as any literary form would seem to allow for, but it also offers a map of the magisterial ways that stories attach themselves to things both alive and dead, said and unsaid.

Feb 10 2004 | Read Full Review of Vanishing Point: A Novel

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