In this unsettling, shimmering novel, the reader is immediately drawn into the world of a woman who has gone mad because she is the last surviving creature on earth. Sitting at a typewriter in a beach house day after uncharted dayshe keeps no calendar or clocksshe pours out her thoughts on music, art and ancient Greek legends, and remembrances of her travels across the globe in abandoned cars, looking for other living beings. But after a while, some discrepancies creep into her rambling, compelling monologue: an accident that she first says took place in New York now occurs in Leningrad; memories become distorted by imaginings. Were they ever really memories in the first place? By the end of this seamless stream of consciousness, there is no distinction between fantasy and reality, past and present. Markson (The Ballad of Dingus Magee) keeps the reader off balance and finally unsure of even the foundation of his character's madnessperhaps she is alone only because she believes she is.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The novel I liked best this year... one dizzying, delightful, funny passage after another... Wittgenstein's Mistress gives proof positive that the experimental novel can produce high, pure works of imagination.(The Washington Times)
Addresses formidable philosophic questions with tremendous wit... remarkable... A novel that can be parsed like a sentence, it is that well made.(New York Times Book Review)
Brilliant and often hilarious... Markson is the one working novelist... who can claim affinities with Joyce, Gaddis, and Lowry, no less than with Beckett.(San Francisco Review of Books)
A work of genius... An erudite, breathtakingly cerebral novel whose prose is crystal and whose voice rivets and whose conclusion defies you not to cry.(David Foster Wallace)
As precise and dazzling as Joyce.... Original, beautiful, and an absolute masterpiece.(Ann Beattie) See all Editorial Reviews
Awesomely amazing book! I feel I am typing as Kate! I am dragging a stick across the sand! Yes. Me.Published 3 months ago by Patrick Redmond
YES with a capital EMPHATICALLY. I was hypnotized as I read the meandering thoughts of Wittgenstein's Mistress. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Arman
This book is emotionally devastating and intellectually challenging. Markson is known for writing in a disjointed, spare, postmodern style -- all his books are collections of facts... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Erika D. Price
This book has won very high praise but it's stream-of-conscienceness and very difficult to read.
I gave up after 12 pages or so. Read more
Be patient. By the halfway mark you'll have a better sense of what's at play. It's well worth it for sure.Published 14 months ago by Thomas O'Keefe
I like contemporary fiction. I don't believe that one need be constantly entertained to appreciate literature. That's my bias. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Seth Bouchelle
This is not really complicated, although it may seem to be.
Although doubtless I had better get some help with this difficulty, being what I was finally forced to think. Read more
Wittgenstein's Mistress is the story of a mind at work in total solitude voicing, quite unintentionally, the great questions of philosophy, demonstrating the links between language... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Steven Davis