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Wittgenstein's Mistress (1988)

av David Markson

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,2342311,484 (4)85
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."… (mer)
  1. 10
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» Se även 85 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 23 (nästa | visa alla)
Bijzonder boek dit. Niet weggelegd voor iedereen aangezien Markson alles doet behalve een verhaal vertellen. De vertelstijl blijkt gebaseerd op Wittgenstein's taalfilosofie (dat weet ik uit het nawoord van Lieke Marsman).

Als lezer maak je kennis met de gedachtes van Kate - enige overblijvende mens op aarde - die continu alle kanten op schieten. Als schilder vertelt ze veel weetjes over schilders, een andere dada is de Trojaanse oorlog. Kate leefde in verschillende musea en trok de wereld rond toen ze nog op zoek was (naar anderen mensen?), maar een betrouwbaar verteller blijkt ze niet te zijn. Naar het einde toe lijkt er wat waarheid door de gedachtes- en taalspelletjes door te schemeren, maar dan breekt Markson de boel af.

Klinkt mss wel stevig, maar alles is vlot leesbaar en speels opgebouwd.

Wat Wittgensgeins minnares lezenswaardig maakt, is wat er allemaal aan lees-, taal- en vertelpotentieel ontstaat door Marksons manier van schrijven. Het boek zit vol humor - vaak kurkdroog - en bevat ontelbare weetjes en feiten - al moet je als lezer zelf maar weten/ontdekken of de juiste anekdote aan de juiste historische figuur gekoppeld werd.

Wat het helemaal de moeite maakt is de vrede die je als lezer met je eigen gedachtes leert hebben. De sprongen die Kate's gedachtes maken en die voor haarzelf de evidentie zelve zijn, zijn dat niet altijd voor de lezer. En vergaat het ons dagdagelijks ook niet zo; dat onze gedachtesprongen niet altijd voet in de realiteit hebben of dat we van onze omgeving verwachten dat ze onze gedachtes zomaar kunnen volgen.

En als we dit herlezen, herkauwen of samen bespreken, groeig er ongetwijfeld nog heel wat meer potentieel uit dit bijzondere boek. ( )
  GertDeBie | Mar 22, 2021 |
People whose nose for books I admire really like this one, but it fell a bit flat for me. Maybe I'm too dumb to get it? Or maybe you really have to know more Wittgenstein to get it? Maybe I'll come back to it some day. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Dunno, just didn't fully click for me. ( )
  Alex_JN | Dec 16, 2019 |
No. It’s a novel told in the form of a single unbroken journal entry, in first person. It starts off with an intriguing, ominous vibe of an insane woman who has a terrible secret. She writes as if she’s the last person in the world - literally - and one suspects that by the end we’ll learn that she was a biologist who accidentally released a lethal virus into the air, killing all human life, or something like that. (She herself being immune because she tested a vaccine on herself or whatever.) Nope. It’s just really boring. She’s either insane, or she set out to write a novel as if she were insane. Said novel being Wittgenstein’s Mistress itself, in a meta turn at the end. That’s all.

The title comes from the fact that she frequently gets herself snarled up in language (though in simplistic ways that would not have interested Wittgenstein at all). Wittgenstein himself was part of the whole positivist/linguistic philosophy/analytic philosophy movement of the early twentieth century. For a flavor of the stuff, take a breeze through his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, or put Wittgenstein, “private language problem” into a search engine.

I actually lasted 170 pages before I started skimming. I kept expecting something interesting to be revealed. I’m irritated that I wasted my time. ( )
  Carnophile | Nov 17, 2019 |
A woman alone in the apocalypse – or alone in her mind, and quite mad. The manuscript she types leave you the clues, or the evidence, to determine which. Or does it. Or does it matter at all.

"For the life of me I have no idea why I did that.
If I had understood why I was doing that, doubtless I would not have been mad.
Had I not been mad, doubtless I would not have done it at all.
I am less than positive that those last two sentences make any particular sense."
...
It did run on, that madness.
I was not necessarily mad when I went to Mexico, however. Surely one does not have to be mad to decide to visit the grave of one's dead little boy."Bottom Line:DFW unplugged and live.”

From David Foster Wallace’s afterword:
“Markson's WM succeeds in doing what few philosophers glean and what neither myriad biographical sketches nor Duffy's lurid revisionism succeeds in communicating: the consequences, for persons, of the practice of theory; the difference, say, between espousing 'solipsism' as a metaphysical 'position' and waking up one fine morning after a personal loss to find your grief apocalyptic, literally millennial, leaving you the last and only living thing on earth, with only your head, now, for not only company but environment and world, an inclined beach sliding toward a dreadful sea. Put otherwise, Markson's book transcends, for me, its review-enforced status of 'intellectual tour de force' or 'experimental achievement': what it limns, as an immediate study of depression and loneliness, is far too moving to be the object of exercise or exorcism.

“But the death of her son and separation from her husband are also in WM presented as a very particular emotional 'explanation' of Kate's psychic 'condition,' a peculiar reduction of Markson's own to which I kind of object.”

What I had feared, may have turned out to be somewhat true – I worried that lack of knowledge on Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophical stance, or the larger philosophical world, would hinder an understanding of this book. DFW’s afterword bridges the gap nicely. Though, I didn’t end up agreeing with him about Markson’s book, not altogether.

I quibble with DFW's quibble. That because Kate's real history is a possible explanation, it's somehow less profound in its philosophical weight. The earlier quotes excerpted above tend toward that theory, that it doesn't matter whether it's an explanation or not, that the point is Kate is alone in her own head either way. There are a couple of passages from the book that actually support that conclusion - where Kate talks about being just as alone before her son dies, or as he dies. But DFW descends into gender politics, looking at reviews that say Kate's description/character is too masculine, or too stereotypically female. And he says the characterization isn't the problem, it's that she reduces her dilemma to her gender - I don't see it that way.

Bottom Line: A philosophical mystery.

3 ½ bones!!!!! ( )
2 rösta blackdogbooks | Feb 24, 2019 |
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David Marksonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Moore, StevenEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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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."

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