A completely unfuckwithable, original writer is dead. Other people can sum up his career better than I could, and his books absolutely speak for themselves. This is a sad day. I corresponded with Mr. Markson a little bit several years back–I had published a review of Vanishing Point in which I had managed to make a mistake–and he wrote to me notifying me of my error. I wrote him back apologizing and explaining myself and we began to correspond about William Gaddis, my favorite writer, whose The Recognitions Markson had championed for years. Eventually he wrote to me to thank for all my good letters and to encourage me with my writing but to tell me that he was just too ill to continue to correspond. The next day I received another letter from him in which he apologized for his previous letter and hoped that I wasn’t offended. It was incredibly endearing that in the letter from this writer whose work I (a writer in a much, much, much earlier stage of my career) adored, I could see myself–nervous, worried, afraid of giving offense by a misinterpretation of my words, etc.
A year or so later I saw someone on the train reading a reissue of Mr. Markson’s The Ballad of Dingus Magee on the subway and meant to write him and tell him, because I knew that that would make him happy, but somehow I always got busy and never did it and now it’s too late.