Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Death Mask of Robespierre

I will probably abandon David Markson's Vanishing Point (2004) half way. It seemed like a fascinating idea: essentially reproducing the index cards a supposed writer had developed as notes for a novel. The pieces of information that Markson displays are some of them fascinating, and most of them fairly obscure pieces of knowlege, or information (perhaps some of them are also false, I don't know). Many of the notecards, each usually one or two sentences long, are concerned with the death of certain authors and where (Antwerp, Rubens died in).
Antwerp being the piece of information that could presumably be worked up into a larger part of a novel? About Rubens? A couple of other examples:

"Before his death Rabbi Zusay said, In the ocming world, they will not ask me: why were you not Moses? They will ask me: Why were you not Zusya? Says a Hasidic tale."

"Freud once attended a lecture by Mark Twain"

"Madame Tussaud began a death mask of Robespierre only instants after his severed head was handed down from the guillotine."

I imagine this will somehow all end up with the "Author" dying, since he seems obsessed with death. Somehow, its not quite enough to go on. Perhaps the book should have been published on cards? In fact, William Gaddis' The Recognitions is a fuller, more flushed out version of this, with characters, plot line and a great deal of confusing, yet eventual coherence.


Blogger kalisekj said...

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1:35 PM  

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