David Markson - who? He's a writer's writer.
Twenty per cent of his novels contain the hero’s own jottings, the rest eighty percent are surprising facts about the isolation, despair and suicides of writers, musicians and thinkers in a discontinuous, non-linear, collage-like form. Much of his fiction looks at characters on the verge of madness, or after some great loss. The unnamed hero of his books is an aging writer working on a novel that seems stuck in his mind. In trying to think and write, the lives of other artistes crowd his consciousness and he notes them in the form of quotations, intellectual allusions and scholarly curiosities. All this is the residue of a lifetime’s reading. But is that all the hero of this book can now offer-his reading? Or will he, by the end of these numerous obscure literary factoids, conjure up a novel?