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Vanishing Point: A Novel by David Markson
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Vanishing Point: A Novel (original 2004; edition 2004)

by David Markson

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3261033,940 (3.8)21
Member:dbvisel
Title:Vanishing Point: A Novel
Authors:David Markson
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Tags:fiction, american, aphoristic, novel

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Vanishing Point by David Markson (2004)

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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
By far the bleakest of the four. About getting older and, I guess, getting to the point that you'd previously seen someone disappear at (off in the distance) and finding yourself uncertain about where to go from there. ( )
  kszym | Apr 3, 2013 |
Markson has written a book, entitled "Vanishing Point" composed as though on 3x5 index cards. This is quite different.

What passes for a protagonist, referred to as Author is also writing a book...Also composed on 3x5 index cards.

Reviewer assumes that the technique employed is to be by defining the negative space of a narrative like a M.C. Escher drawing of fish.

Reviewer agrees that this is interesting, but difficult to pull off, and wonders how well it will go.

The cards are little factoids, such as "Rome, so-and-so died in".

By noting patterns and themes, the reader is to catch wind of the "plot".

Author is obsessed with aging, death, and criticism from other artists.

Reviewer is an artist.

The book does not live up to it's efforts, but IS literature because it while failing, fails greatly, reaching for the stars.

This book is not great.

Winfield, IL, stopped reading book in. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Mar 31, 2013 |
The book is 191 pages long, containing exactly 1927 anecdotes
which happens to be the year Author was born.

Reviewer made that bit up, about the number of anecdotes.
But not the bit about Author being born.

What was it Author quotes Anatole France as having said on page thirty-one?

Brahms was forty-three before he completed his first symphony.
A symphony is no joke--unquote,
says Author on page twenty-four.

Vanishing Point.
This Is Not a Novel.


Reviewer is intrigued that this novel reads like a collection of tweets.
A novel which was written by hand on notecards.
Then after many revisions, typewritten.

Seven wealthy towns contend for Homer dead,
Through which the living Homer begged his bread.

quotes Author on page eighty-three.

The thought occurs to Reviewer that he has read the words of this book many times before.
Just not in this order.

Witter Gitter Man, Prof, Vicky, Herr Sinckel-Winckel.
Names Wittgenstein was called.

Death and art and petty egos, this book is about.
And grammatical inversions.

The mackerel-crowded seas
mentioned on page one-eighteen.

Wittgenstein's Vienna. Wittgenstein's Nephew. Wittgenstein's Ladder. Wittgenstein's Poker.
Recites Author on page one-seventy-five.

He forgot Wittgenstein's Mistress.

What was it Marianne Moore said about omissions?

A great novel...unless you're in the mood to read a novel.
Says one Goodreads reviewer.

Henry James Salon, on Peachtree Street, Atlanta GA.

Artists and madness, artists and death, artists and money, artists and myth
Is it only this Reviewer’s wish that Author was less preoccupied with artists?

Or is the artist some kind of representative?

Vanishing Point.
Not a Memoir.

Echoes. Reverberations.
For pointillism to work, some of the points must be less pronounced.

Virginia Woolf’s quote about her intended suicide on page one-sixty-eight.

Anecdote about Kurt Vonnegut’s cunning on page one-seventy-one.
Praise on the back cover, Vonnegut’s.

The fact that Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni died the same day.

Voice of Author in Reviewer’s head.
Reviewer wonders if he’ll be able to think again in non-discreet units.

Reviewer is illiterate.
In all languages but one.

Charles Darwin was known to slice a fat book in half, to make it easier to handle.
Or to rip out any sections he was not interested in.

That lump, Ezra Pound called Robert Lowell.

Why is it Reviewer can’t keep himself out of this review
As much as Author can’t keep himself out of this book?

We can say nothing but what has been said; the composition and method is ours only.
Author says Burton says.

You mean Wally wrote poetry?
A colleague of Wallace Stevens’ remarked upon the poet’s death.

Far off I heard the orchestra tuning their instruments.
Says someone.

Selah. ( )
1 vote JimmyChanga | Jun 10, 2011 |
I am not, I repeat not, a fan of experimental books. The only reason I picked this up at the library was because it was on Boxall's "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" list. That being said, I really liked this book - I found it equivalent to reading a gossip mag of the creators of fine art of the past two or three centuries. I also found the links between what was happening to the Author and his little tidbits rather amusing. I laughed out loud and I felt the gravitas of death, usually within the same page or two. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  carmelitasita29 | Dec 4, 2010 |
The novel appears as a collage...cleverly, innovatively constructed with nothing but short, crisp, often humorous, seemingly unconnected, trivial vignettes. As the novel nears its terminus, we realize, in part, that the novel's voice itself has become a segment of the collage's assembled theme.

Worthy of the short amount of time needed to read. ( )
  visceral-realist | Jan 31, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
“Obstinately cross-referential and of cryptic interconnective syntax,” Author continues. Which is what Reader says of Reader’s Block. Verbatim, more or less.
 
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Book description
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 - 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 startling and shattering climax. A novel of death and laughter both - and of extraordinary intellectual richness.
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"Now comes David Markson's latest work, 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 dazzles 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 startling and shattering climax. A novel of death and laughter both - and of extraordinary intellectual richness."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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