David Markson  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

David Markson (December 20, 1927 – June 4, 2010) was an American author, born in Albany, New York. He is the author of several postmodern novels, including This is Not a Novel, Springer's Progress, and Wittgenstein's Mistress. His most recent work, The Last Novel, was published in 2007 and received a positive review in the New York Times, which called it "a real tour de force."

Markson's work is characterized by an unconventional approach to narration and plot. While his early works may draw on the modernist tradition of William Faulkner and Malcolm Lowry, Markson says his later novels are "literally crammed with literary and artistic anecdotes" and "nonlinear, discontinuous, collage-like, an assemblage." (Bookslut interview with David Markson)

Dalkey Archive Press has published several of his novels. In December 2006, publishers Shoemaker & Hoard republished two of Markson's early crime novels Epitaph for a Tramp and Epitaph for a Dead Beat in one volume.

In addition to his novels, he has published a book of poetry and a critical study of Malcolm Lowry.

The movie Dirty Dingus Magee, starring Frank Sinatra, is based on Markson's first novel, The Ballad of Dingus Magee, an anti-Western.

Educated at Union College and Columbia University, Markson began his writing career as a journalist and book editor, periodically taking up work as a college professor at Columbia University, Long Island University, and The New School.


  • Epitaph for a Tramp. Dell, 1959.
  • Epitaph for a Dead Beat. Dell, 1961.
  • The Ballad of Dingus Magee; Being the Immortal True Saga of the Most Notorious and Desperate Bad Man of the Olden Days, His Blood-Shedding, His Ruination of Poor Helpless Females, & Cetera. Bobbs-Merrill, 1965.
  • Miss Doll, Go Home. Dell, 1965.
  • Going Down. Holt Rinehart Winston, 1970.
  • Springer's Progress. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1977.
  • Malcolm Lowry’s Volcano: Myth, Symbol, Meaning. Times Books, 1978.
  • Wittgenstein’s Mistress. Dalkey Archive, 1988.
  • Collected Poems. Dalkey Archive Press, 1993.
  • Reader’s Block. Dalkey Archive Press, 1996.
  • This Is Not a Novel. Counterpoint, 2001.
  • Vanishing Point. Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004.
  • The Last Novel. Shoemaker & Hoard, 2007.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "David Markson" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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