Wittgenstein's Mistress (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) (Paperback)

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By David Markson, Steven Moore (Afterword by)
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Staff Reviews

This book grabs your attention from the first page. The novel is told from the perspective of a woman who is either the last creature on earth or just insane. She repeats tidbits from the lives of historical figures (painters, composers, etc.) but changes the details every time, and jumbles them up with her own life story. By the end of book, you can piece together the truth about what happened to this woman, which makes for a beautiful, satisfying conclusion.

— From MARY


Wittgenstein's Mistress is a novel unlike anything David Markson or anyone else has ever written before. It is the story of a woman who is convinced and, astonishingly, will ultimately convince the reader as well that she is the only person left on earth.

Presumably she is mad. And yet so appealing is her character, and so witty and seductive her narrative voice, that we will follow her hypnotically as she unloads the intellectual baggage of a lifetime in a series of irreverent meditations on everything and everybody from Brahms to sex to Heidegger to Helen of Troy. And as she contemplates aspects of the troubled past which have brought her to her present state--obviously a metaphor for ultimate loneliness--so too will her drama become one of the few certifiably original fictions of our time.

"The novel I liked best this year," said the Washington Times upon the book's publication; "one dizzying, delightful, funny passage after another . . . Wittgenstein's Mistress gives proof positive that the experimental novel can produce high, pure works of imagination."

About the Author

David Markson's novels include "Springer's Progress," "Reader's Block," and "The Last Novel."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781564782113
ISBN-10: 1564782115
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 1988
Pages: 248
Language: English
Series: American Literature (Dalkey Archive)