Collected Poems (David Markson) pdf, epub, doc

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"Markson is regarded as an inventive literary stylist in the manner of James Joyce, William Gaddis, and Malcolm Lowry . . . and many critics have commented that his compressed, highly allusive fiction verges on poetry." In view of such a judgment (from Contemporary Literary Criticism), it should surely come as less than a surprise that Markson has indeed written poems through much of his career, the best of which are gathered here for the first time. "Some are only playful," he indicates in a casually self-deprecating foreword, while certain others "are lyrics of a type generally deemed antiquated." Nonetheless, both these and his more ambitious efforts bear witness to Markson's lifelong creative absorption with such subjects as literature, art, music, the creative process, love and its loss, death, male-female relationships—not to mention drink, sex, even certain cherished aspects of the female anatomy. And, any "surprise" here, then, is finally perhaps only at Markson's stunning poetic variants on those extraordinary qualities that vitalize his prose.

"[Markson's poems] track the rising and falling, soft and embittered sensibility of a New York writer eyeing the streets for women or perhaps Dylan Thomas. Or James Agee. Or e.e. cummings. Or Malcolm Lowry (about whom Markson has written a critical study). Markson's style, he admits in the foreword, is 'of a type generally deemed antiquated,' but the book seems only all the more larkish for it. The appendices include a prose reminiscence of Conrad Aiken, and a recollection of the night that drinking buddy Dylan Thomas died. Like Joyce's single volume of poems Chamber Music, these poems provide a little more grip on the major works of their creator." (Publishers Weekly 8-9-93)

"Ultimately, that very sense of playfulness and humor distinguishes these poems from the seriousness and cynicism that sometimes seem to dominate our literature and our life." (The Malcolm Lowry Review Fall 93)

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