When modernist novelist David Markson died in 2010, the West Villager’s personal library ended up, by his request, at his old haunt, the Strand bookstore. Word quickly spread, and bibliophiles and readers tried to snatch up as many of the annotated books—many of which figured in Markson’s own work—as possible. (Alex Abramovich describes buying up three shopping bags’ worth of classics, complete with notes and marginalia.) The books were, typically, signed: either Markson, David M. Markson, Markson NYC, or Markson London. It’s an archive worthy of a university but preserved, instead, in bits and pieces on bookshelves all over New York and beyond.
Now, a tumblr, Reading Markson Reading, has dedicated itself to, as the author puts it, “Exploring the mind, method and masterpieces of David Markson through the marginalia found on the pages of the books in his personal library.” An intimate glimpse into the writer’s thoughts, for all readers to share.
Watch Markson reminisce at the Strand in 2007.