Wittgenstein’s Mistress – By David Markson

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Goodreads Synopsis: 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, so too will her drama become one of the few certifiably original fictions of our time.

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This was actually my first re-read of Markson’s book. Rereading is always an interesting experience, and the first time I picked up this book was in 2013!

My experience reading Wittgenstein’s Mistress this time was vastly different from my original read, so much so that I almost regret reading it for a second time. Maybe this is one of those books that is best with a single read, maybe it just was a bad time to read it as I was struggling to read anything at all, I’m not sure which is more likely.  Markson’s book is intriguing, unique and will keep you on your toes. I was hoping to find in it the inspiration that I found the first time I read it.  Back then I had never read anything so experimental and it changed my idea of reading and writing forever.  This time, I just couldn’t grasp that same feeling, I didn’t find myself as immersed in the story.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a good book. It’s interesting to have a possibly unreliable narrator and interesting to find your way around the twisted sentences.  It’s an experience worth having at least once.  My actual star rating of the book would be somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars.

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