Pg. 175 of David Markson’s copy of Joyce: The Man, the Work, the Reputation by Marvin Magalaner & Richard M. Kain:
     On which Markson placed an x and a check in the margins next to the following Joyce anecdote re: something he said to Al Laney (whose name Markson has also underlined):     “An acquaintance of Joyce in Paris during the early twenties has recalled to the author of the present study an unpublished anecdote, in which Joyce used a similar figure to describe his view of religion. Men, he said to Al Laney, then a correspondent for the Paris Herald, are like deep-sea fish, swimming in water that is mysteriously irradiated with light from above the surface but unable to rise to the surface to see—a characteristic figure in its grotesquerie and its relevance to Joyce’s own limited sight.”
—
     Swimming in water that is mysteriously irradiated with light from above the surface…
     “A hundred cares, a tithe of troubles, and is there one who understands me?”     From Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.     From Markson’s The Last Novel. (Pg. 187)
     Unable to rise to the surface to see…
     “Joyce had twenty-five operations on his eyes.”     According to Markson on pg. 67 of Reader’s Block.
     Its relevance to Joyce’s own limited sight…

     Pg. 175 of David Markson’s copy of Joyce: The Man, the Work, the Reputation by Marvin Magalaner & Richard M. Kain:

     On which Markson placed an x and a check in the margins next to the following Joyce anecdote re: something he said to Al Laney (whose name Markson has also underlined):
     “An acquaintance of Joyce in Paris during the early twenties has recalled to the author of the present study an unpublished anecdote, in which Joyce used a similar figure to describe his view of religion. Men, he said to Al Laney, then a correspondent for the Paris Herald, are like deep-sea fish, swimming in water that is mysteriously irradiated with light from above the surface but unable to rise to the surface to see—a characteristic figure in its grotesquerie and its relevance to Joyce’s own limited sight.”

     Swimming in water that is mysteriously irradiated with light from above the surface…

     “A hundred cares, a tithe of troubles, and is there one who understands me?”
     From Joyce’s Finnegans Wake.
     From Markson’s The Last Novel. (Pg. 187)

     Unable to rise to the surface to see…

     “Joyce had twenty-five operations on his eyes.”
     According to Markson on pg. 67 of Reader’s Block.

     Its relevance to Joyce’s own limited sight…

     Pg. 556 of David Markson’s copy of The Complete Greek Drama: Volume Two by Various (Ed. Whitney J. Oates & Eugene O’Neill, Jr.):
     On which Markson penciled two check marks in the margin next to two lines from Aristophanes’ The Clouds:     The first said by Socrates:     “Zeus! what Zeus? Are you mad? There is no Zeus.”     The second said by Strepsiades:     “By Apollo! that is powerfully argued! For my own part, I always thought it was Zeus pissing into a sieve. But tell me, who is it makes the thunder, which I so much dread?”
     Also, Markson underlined the words in the above passage:     “Zeus pissing into a sieve.”
—
     “When and where did the last person die who still believed in the existence of Zeus?”     - David Markson, This Is Not A Novel, pg. 162.
     Zeus! what Zeus? Are you mad? There is no Zeus.

     Pg. 556 of David Markson’s copy of The Complete Greek Drama: Volume Two by Various (Ed. Whitney J. Oates & Eugene O’Neill, Jr.):

     On which Markson penciled two check marks in the margin next to two lines from Aristophanes’ The Clouds:
     The first said by Socrates:
     “Zeus! what Zeus? Are you mad? There is no Zeus.”
     The second said by Strepsiades:
     “By Apollo! that is powerfully argued! For my own part, I always thought it was Zeus pissing into a sieve. But tell me, who is it makes the thunder, which I so much dread?”

     Also, Markson underlined the words in the above passage:
     “Zeus pissing into a sieve.”

     “When and where did the last person die who still believed in the existence of Zeus?”
     - David Markson, This Is Not A Novel, pg. 162.

     Zeus! what Zeus? Are you mad? There is no Zeus.

     Pg. 878 of David Markson’s copy of The Complete Greek Drama: Volume One by Various (Ed. Whitney J. Oates & Eugene O’Neill, Jr.):
     On which Markson underlined the final lines of the play Andromache by Euripides:     “Many are the shapes of Heaven’s denizens, and many a thing they bring to pass contrary to our expectation; that which we thought would be is not accomplished, while for the unexpected God finds out a way. E’en such hath been the issue of this matter.”
—
     Markson explains an interesting fact about this passage on pg. 67 of The Last Novel:     “Andromache. Alcestis. Helen. Medea. The Bacchae.     Each of which Euripides ends with his chorus speaking an identical verse—to the effect that the ways of the gods are unpredictable.”
     Though the ways of the gods were unpredictable to Euripides, the ways of Euripides must have been quite predictable to his audience (since many of his plays ended with the same speech).

     Pg. 878 of David Markson’s copy of The Complete Greek Drama: Volume One by Various (Ed. Whitney J. Oates & Eugene O’Neill, Jr.):

     On which Markson underlined the final lines of the play Andromache by Euripides:
     “Many are the shapes of Heaven’s denizens, and many a thing they bring to pass contrary to our expectation; that which we thought would be is not accomplished, while for the unexpected God finds out a way. E’en such hath been the issue of this matter.”

     Markson explains an interesting fact about this passage on pg. 67 of The Last Novel:
     “Andromache. Alcestis. Helen. Medea. The Bacchae.
    
Each of which Euripides ends with his chorus speaking an identical verse—to the effect that the ways of the gods are unpredictable.”

     Though the ways of the gods were unpredictable to Euripides, the ways of Euripides must have been quite predictable to his audience (since many of his plays ended with the same speech).

     Pgs. 42 & 43 of David Markson’s copy of Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature by L. D. Reynolds & N. G. Wilson:
     On which Markson wrote in the margin:     “You just said this.”     In response to them just having said something similar to:     “Another important consideration was the need to make Christianity appeal to the well-educated pagan, and one means to this end was the demonstration that some of the important concepts of the new faith could be discussed in terms borrowed from the classical philosophers, especially the Stoics and Plato.”
—
     This obvious pandering may not be what disproves the foundations of the religion, but shows it in its infancy for a weak cult mostly unconvinced of its own legitimacy, and therefore trying to win converts by politicking a bit.
     This the kind of thing that reminds me of a quote Markson quoted:     “Human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind.     Thomas Paine called religions.”     - David Markson, The Last Novel, pg. 20.
     Or another quote Markson quoted, this one of Christopher Marlowe’s:     “I count religion but a childish toy,      And hold there is no sin but ignorance.”     - David Markson, Reader’s Block, pg. 179.
     Elsewhere, again with the Marlowe quote:     “I count religion but a childish toy, and hold that there is no sin but. Damn it, can’t you once stop quoting and talk like a?”     - David Markson, Going Down, pg. 186.

     Pgs. 42 & 43 of David Markson’s copy of Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature by L. D. Reynolds & N. G. Wilson:

     On which Markson wrote in the margin:
     “You just said this.”
     In response to them just having said something similar to:
     “Another important consideration was the need to make Christianity appeal to the well-educated pagan, and one means to this end was the demonstration that some of the important concepts of the new faith could be discussed in terms borrowed from the classical philosophers, especially the Stoics and Plato.”

     This obvious pandering may not be what disproves the foundations of the religion, but shows it in its infancy for a weak cult mostly unconvinced of its own legitimacy, and therefore trying to win converts by politicking a bit.

     This the kind of thing that reminds me of a quote Markson quoted:
     “Human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind.
     Thomas Paine called religions.”
     - David Markson, The Last Novel, pg. 20.

     Or another quote Markson quoted, this one of Christopher Marlowe’s:
     “I count religion but a childish toy,
     And hold there is no sin but ignorance.”
     - David Markson, Reader’s Block, pg. 179.

     Elsewhere, again with the Marlowe quote:
     “I count religion but a childish toy, and hold that there is no sin but. Damn it, can’t you once stop quoting and talk like a?”
     - David Markson, Going Down, pg. 186.

     Pg. 102 of David Markson’s copy of Heroes and Heretics by Barrows Dunham:
     On which Markson has placed multiple marks (checks/lines/underlines) next to a quote by Lucretius from Book I of his De Rerum Natura:     “Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.”     Which translates to:     “So great the evils to which religion could prompt.”
—-
     Markson utilized this quote of Lucretius on pg. 94 of This Is Not A Novel:     “Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum, Lucretius said.     Such are the evils that religion prompts.”     And I utilized his utilization of said quote in a previous post in which I listed a bunch of instances in his novel Vanishing Point where he emphasized the “evils that religion prompts.”
     This time I thought I’d list some such instances from the other three novels of Markson’s tetralogy…
     “Savonarola was burned at the stake in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence in 1498. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in the Campo de Fiori in Rome in 1600.     Savonarola was granted the kindness of being hanged beforehand. Bruno was alive and conscious.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 32).
     “The Second Commandment was taken so literally in the Lithuanian ghetto when Chaim Soutine was a boy that he was physically beaten when he tried to draw.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 38).
     “Auschwitz. Dachau. Treblinka. Maidanek. Sobibor. Chelmno. Mauthausen. Ravensbrück, Birkenai. Belzec. Theresienstadt.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 58).
     “Dante situates Mohammed in the ninth chasm of the Malebolge for having sown division in the Church. He is seen slashed open from his chin to his anus and with his innards spilling out.     In retaliation, Muslim fundamentalists in the early 1990s threatened to blow up Dante’s tomb in Ravenna.     Seven hundred years after the fact.” (Reader’s Blocks, Pg. 68).
     “Plato finished the Laws in his late seventies, among other things sanctioning the death penalty for those who question the state religion.     Did he stop to remember how and why Socrates has died fifty years before?” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 81).
     “In 1666, a committee in the House of Commons was ready to call both the Plague and the Great Fire God’s retribution against England for harboring an athiest such as Thomas Hobbes.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 144).
     “Pietro Torrigiano took a hammer to a Madonna he had sculpted in Seville when he was not paid what he anticipated.     And was jailed by the Inquisition for sacrilege.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 172).
     “One of the ennobling delights of Paradise, as promised by Thomas Aquinas:     Viewing the condemned as they are tortured and broiled below.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 7).
     “Tommaso Campanella spent twenty-seven years in a papal dungeon for heresy.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 49).
     “Hypatia, who was battered to death by Christian fanatics.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 94).
     “Basically every justification for persecution on the part of the Inquisition was at hand in St. Augustine.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 115).
     “Burn down their synagogues. Banish them altogether. Pelt them with sow dung. I would rather be a pig than a Jewish Messiah.     Amiably pronounced Luther.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 156).
     “Pope Leo XII. Who in the 1820s issued an edict forbidding the waltz in Rome.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 41).
     “Be informed, Christian, that after the devil thou hast no enemy more cruel, more venomous, more violent, then the Jew.     Proclaimed Luther.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 42).
     “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God.     Pronounced the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem—well before a State of Israel existed.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 42).
     “There is no indication whatsoever of anything even remotely resembling a State of Israel on the maps in most contemporary Arab schoolbooks.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 64)
     “In the late spring of 1944, at the height of their efficiency, the forty-six ovens in the crematoriums at Auschwitz were incinerating as many as twelve thousand corpses per day.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 68).
     “Sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, not the earth.     Said Luther, dismissing this fool, Copernicus.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 94).
     “Teilhard de Chardin was forbidden by the Jesuits to publish any of his philosophical writings while he lived.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 113).
     “The first Crusade fought its way into Jerusalem in July of 1099. Some seventy thousand surviving Muslims—the majority being women and children—were methodically slaughtered. Such Jews as remained were burned alive in a synagogue.     All this being God’s will, the Crusaders’ motto reassured them.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 125).
     “One would like to curse them so that thunder and lightning strike them, hell-fire burn them, the plague, syphilis, epilepsy, scurvy, leprosy, carbuncles, and all diseases attack them. Ignorant asses.     Being Luther, in a contemplative mood re the papal hierarchy.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 126).
     “Billy Graham’s anti-Semitic exchange with Richard Nixon as preserved on White House tapes.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 136).
     “We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant.     Pointed out the disaffected Muslim Wafa Sultan in 2006.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 167).
     Such are the evils that religion prompts…
     “Christianity must be divine, since it has lasted seventeen hundred years despite the fact of being so full of villainy and absurdity.     Voltaire said.”     Wrote Markson in The Last Novel on pg. 63.
     Villainy and absurdity…
     “Men never do evil so completely and so cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.     Said Pascal.”     According to pg. 94 of Markson’s Reader’s Block.
     Evil so completely and so cheerfully…
     “Human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind.     Tom Paine called religions.     Senseless and criminal bigotry.     Nehru saw in them.”Wrote Markson in The Last Novel on pgs. 20-21.

     Pg. 102 of David Markson’s copy of Heroes and Heretics by Barrows Dunham:

     On which Markson has placed multiple marks (checks/lines/underlines) next to a quote by Lucretius from Book I of his De Rerum Natura:
     “Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.”
     Which translates to:
     “So great the evils to which religion could prompt.”

—-

     Markson utilized this quote of Lucretius on pg. 94 of This Is Not A Novel:
     “Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum, Lucretius said.
     Such are the evils that religion prompts.”
     And I utilized his utilization of said quote in a previous post in which I listed a bunch of instances in his novel Vanishing Point where he emphasized the “evils that religion prompts.”

     This time I thought I’d list some such instances from the other three novels of Markson’s tetralogy…

     “Savonarola was burned at the stake in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence in 1498. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in the Campo de Fiori in Rome in 1600.
     Savonarola was granted the kindness of being hanged beforehand. Bruno was alive and conscious.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 32).

     “The Second Commandment was taken so literally in the Lithuanian ghetto when Chaim Soutine was a boy that he was physically beaten when he tried to draw.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 38).

     “Auschwitz. Dachau. Treblinka. Maidanek. Sobibor. Chelmno. Mauthausen. Ravensbrück, Birkenai. Belzec. Theresienstadt.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 58).

     “Dante situates Mohammed in the ninth chasm of the Malebolge for having sown division in the Church. He is seen slashed open from his chin to his anus and with his innards spilling out.
     In retaliation, Muslim fundamentalists in the early 1990s threatened to blow up Dante’s tomb in Ravenna.
     Seven hundred years after the fact.” (Reader’s Blocks, Pg. 68).

     “Plato finished the Laws in his late seventies, among other things sanctioning the death penalty for those who question the state religion.
     Did he stop to remember how and why Socrates has died fifty years before?” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 81).

     “In 1666, a committee in the House of Commons was ready to call both the Plague and the Great Fire God’s retribution against England for harboring an athiest such as Thomas Hobbes.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 144).

     “Pietro Torrigiano took a hammer to a Madonna he had sculpted in Seville when he was not paid what he anticipated.
     And was jailed by the Inquisition for sacrilege.” (Reader’s Block, Pg. 172).

     “One of the ennobling delights of Paradise, as promised by Thomas Aquinas:
     Viewing the condemned as they are tortured and broiled below.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 7).

     “Tommaso Campanella spent twenty-seven years in a papal dungeon for heresy.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 49).

     “Hypatia, who was battered to death by Christian fanatics.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 94).

     “Basically every justification for persecution on the part of the Inquisition was at hand in St. Augustine.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 115).

     “Burn down their synagogues. Banish them altogether. Pelt them with sow dung. I would rather be a pig than a Jewish Messiah.
     Amiably pronounced Luther.” (This Is Not A Novel, Pg. 156).

     “Pope Leo XII. Who in the 1820s issued an edict forbidding the waltz in Rome.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 41).

     “Be informed, Christian, that after the devil thou hast no enemy more cruel, more venomous, more violent, then the Jew.
     Proclaimed Luther.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 42).

     “Kill the Jews wherever you find them. This pleases God.
     Pronounced the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem—well before a State of Israel existed.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 42).

     “There is no indication whatsoever of anything even remotely resembling a State of Israel on the maps in most contemporary Arab schoolbooks.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 64)

     “In the late spring of 1944, at the height of their efficiency, the forty-six ovens in the crematoriums at Auschwitz were incinerating as many as twelve thousand corpses per day.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 68).

     “Sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, not the earth.
     Said Luther, dismissing this fool, Copernicus.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 94).

     “Teilhard de Chardin was forbidden by the Jesuits to publish any of his philosophical writings while he lived.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 113).

     “The first Crusade fought its way into Jerusalem in July of 1099. Some seventy thousand surviving Muslims—the majority being women and children—were methodically slaughtered. Such Jews as remained were burned alive in a synagogue.
     All this being God’s will, the Crusaders’ motto reassured them.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 125).

     “One would like to curse them so that thunder and lightning strike them, hell-fire burn them, the plague, syphilis, epilepsy, scurvy, leprosy, carbuncles, and all diseases attack them. Ignorant asses.
     Being Luther, in a contemplative mood re the papal hierarchy.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 126).

     “Billy Graham’s anti-Semitic exchange with Richard Nixon as preserved on White House tapes.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 136).

     “We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant.
     Pointed out the disaffected Muslim Wafa Sultan in 2006.” (The Last Novel, Pg. 167).

     Such are the evils that religion prompts…

     “Christianity must be divine, since it has lasted seventeen hundred years despite the fact of being so full of villainy and absurdity.
     Voltaire said.”
    
Wrote Markson in The Last Novel on pg. 63.

     Villainy and absurdity…

     “Men never do evil so completely and so cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
     Said Pascal.”
     According to pg. 94 of Markson’s Reader’s Block.

     Evil so completely and so cheerfully…

     “Human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind.
     Tom Paine called religions.
     Senseless and criminal bigotry.
     Nehru saw in them.”
Wrote Markson in The Last Novel on pgs. 20-21.

     Pg. 167 of David Markson’s copy of The Spirit of Tragedy by Herbert J. Muller:
     On which Markson placed a line and a check in the margin next to this observation (anent Shakespeare):     “While his plays give no impression of ‘atheism’ or rebellion, they do suggest that he was much less concerned about God and Satan than Marlowe was. The wide-ranging thought of Hamlet barely touches on the religious problem.”
—-
     In his novel Vanishing Point, Markson wrote the following:     “One’s delayed awareness that in Hamlet, Claudius prays. Or attempts to. And that Hamlet never does.” (Pg. 49).

     It is admittedly quite curious—and to me exciting—that Shakespeare’s tragic heroes, according to Herbert J. Muller in the above scan, “seldom express specifically Christian hopes and fears, and they go to their deaths with no chorus of Christian sentiments.”    Of course, while I find comfort in Shakespeare’s seeming areligiousness, others find it troublesome:     “T. S. Eliot has been as disturbed by the thought that the greatest of English poets lacked a Christian philosophy.”     According to the above scan.
     “The Reverend Eliot, Pound at times called him.”     Says pg. 110 of Markson’s Vanishing Point.

     Pg. 167 of David Markson’s copy of The Spirit of Tragedy by Herbert J. Muller:

     On which Markson placed a line and a check in the margin next to this observation (anent Shakespeare):
     “While his plays give no impression of ‘atheism’ or rebellion, they do suggest that he was much less concerned about God and Satan than Marlowe was. The wide-ranging thought of Hamlet barely touches on the religious problem.”

—-

     In his novel Vanishing Point, Markson wrote the following:
     “One’s delayed awareness that in Hamlet, Claudius prays. Or attempts to. And that Hamlet never does.” (Pg. 49).

     It is admittedly quite curious—and to me exciting—that Shakespeare’s tragic heroes, according to Herbert J. Muller in the above scan, “seldom express specifically Christian hopes and fears, and they go to their deaths with no chorus of Christian sentiments.”
    Of course, while I find comfort in Shakespeare’s seeming areligiousness, others find it troublesome:
     “T. S. Eliot has been as disturbed by the thought that the greatest of English poets lacked a Christian philosophy.”
     According to the above scan.

     “The Reverend Eliot, Pound at times called him.”
     Says pg. 110 of Markson’s Vanishing Point.