Pg. 106 of David Markson’s copy of A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers by Hugh Kenner:
     On which Kenner claims re: Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams:     “She and a frantically busy physician who kept a typewriter screwed to a hinged leaf of his consulting-room desk, to be banged up into typing position between patients: not ‘poets,’ not professionals of the word, save for their passion: they were the inventors of an American poetry. The fact is instructive.”     Next to which Markson places some lines and replies:     “Not if your poetry is not very good—which theirs isn’t.”
—
     Surprisingly, even though they are both mentioned in his last four novels often enough, Markson was apparently not very fond of the poetry of two of the biggest Modernist poets:      Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams.
     When Markson criticizes authors in the margins, such as in this instance, or the constant barrage in the margins of his DeLillo novels, I think of something he said in his KCRW interview about what most of the little “intellectual odds-and-ends” are in his tetralogy:     “Most frequently it’s despairs and defeats, or sometimes even rotten reviews, and sometimes even from their peers (who should be kinder).”
     “Not if your poetry is not very good—which theirs isn’t.”
     Should Markson have been kinder in the margins of his books?
     Eh, I prefer knowing his honest opinion…
—
     David Markson’s copy of A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers by Hugh Kenner is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

     Pg. 106 of David Markson’s copy of A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers by Hugh Kenner:

     On which Kenner claims re: Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams:
     “She and a frantically busy physician who kept a typewriter screwed to a hinged leaf of his consulting-room desk, to be banged up into typing position between patients: not ‘poets,’ not professionals of the word, save for their passion: they were the inventors of an American poetry. The fact is instructive.”
     Next to which Markson places some lines and replies:
     “Not if your poetry is not very good—which theirs isn’t.”

     Surprisingly, even though they are both mentioned in his last four novels often enough, Markson was apparently not very fond of the poetry of two of the biggest Modernist poets:
     Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams.

     When Markson criticizes authors in the margins, such as in this instance, or the constant barrage in the margins of his DeLillo novels, I think of something he said in his KCRW interview about what most of the little “intellectual odds-and-ends” are in his tetralogy:
     “Most frequently it’s despairs and defeats, or sometimes even rotten reviews, and sometimes even from their peers (who should be kinder).”

     “Not if your poetry is not very good—which theirs isn’t.”

     Should Markson have been kinder in the margins of his books?

     Eh, I prefer knowing his honest opinion…

     David Markson’s copy of A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers by Hugh Kenner is owned by John Harrison. The above scan is used with his permission. Copyright © John Harrison.

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