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June 06, 2010


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Evelyn Roak

Well, glad I wasn't just hijacking the other farcical thread in my misery over Markson's death. Though thoughts expressed there are true: Who has patience or effort for arguing with a John Nolte when they are stuck thinking about Markson. Perspective, to say the least.

I quoted it previously here, thinking about sports and Markson, a baseball lover. I remember reading a late interview where he remarks that he ends up spending more time looking up statistics in the Baseball Almanac than reading the books he intends to be reading, but here is a bar passage from Springer's Progress (after the phone rings for an absent Frederick Exley, Springer awaits the call from his "mistress" ((for lack of a better term)), instead it is his friend with whom he has made a bet: "Lay me twenty dollars to five. Rod Carew's batting average and Nolan Ryan's strikeout total will add up to more than seven hundred."):

"Hey, Loosh, you want to grab this?"
For him? For Springer? Oh, sweetheart! Oh my wondrous girl!
"Loosh? Listen, can we maybe cancel that bet? Be cultural schizophrenia if I have to root a full season against Rod Carew."
Antidisestablishmentarianism. What's all this?
"I just this instant found out. His wife is Jewish. He's actually taken instruction and converted."
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept.

Stephen Whitty

Thanks for this, Glenn. Always good to start the day with a shot of Lowry.

Those who are interested in Markson's pulpier side, btw, should check out "Epitaph for a Tramp" and "Epitaph for a Deadbeat" two kind of odd, hard-boiled-beatnik novels set in the old, bongo-infested Village. Nicely offkilter in the way Charles Willeford's books sometimes were.

They were re-released a couple of years ago in a tandem edition. Hope they brought him a few dollars more in the end...


"Nicely offkilter in the way Charles Willeford's books sometimes were."

If that doesn't sell me, than nothing well. Which is to say, I'm sold.

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