I have made my low opinion of Don DeLillo’s White Noise known around here and other places, so I was particularly happy to find this post by Alex Abramovich at the London Review of Books blog. It turns out that The Strand in New York (on a short list of my favorite spots in the world) inherited many books from the recently departed experimental novelist David Markson. Abramovich details some of his finds, but also shares how he knew to browse for them:
I’d heard about the haul from Jeff Severs, who teaches at the University of British Columbia. He’d heard about it from a student who’d stumbled on Markson’s copy of Don DeLillo’s White Noise. ‘my copy of white noise apparently used to belong to david markson (who i had to look up),’ the student had written.
he wrote some notes in the margin: a check mark by some passages, ‘no’ by other, ‘bullshit’ or ‘ugh get to the point’ by others. i wanted to call him up and tell him his notes are funny, but then i realized he DIED A MONTH AGO. bummer.
‘That’s amazing,’ Jeff had replied. ‘Did he write his name in the front or something? Did you buy it secondhand recently – as in, his family sold off his library?’
yeah he wrote his name inside the front cover and the cashiers at the strand said they have his whole collection. favorite comments: ‘oh god the pomposity, the bullshit!’, ‘oh i get it, it’s a sci-fi novel!’ and ‘big deal’.