A THESIS ON DAVID MARKSON by BEN UNDERWOOD

anthologies, epics, plays, comics, (auto)biographies, short stories, technical instructions ... Assuming that most high school curricula are several decades behind the .... painting: to be bored means one cannot produce the text, play it, release it, ...
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THIS IS NOT A THESIS: A THESIS ON DAVID MARKSON by BEN UNDERWOOD (Under the Direction of Jed Rasula) ABSTRACT This thesis (which is not a thesis) is a consideration of David Markson's book-length works, with the exception of his Collected Poems. While making some reference to his first book, which appeared in 1959, the study centers on Markson's 2001 publication, This Is Not a Novel, and continues though his 2004 release, Vanishing Point. Generic issues and the high/low literature distinction are considered and complicated here. Also of interest is Markson's artistic lineage, which he claims from innovative visual artists. Something that is perhaps unusual about this project is that it ponders, in some detail, the periphery surrounding the texts—genre labels, marketing, typology, design, etc. Because of its unconventional subject matter, the thesis is necessarily self-conscious and, at times, playful. INDEX WORDS:

David Markson, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Novel, Antinovel, Metafiction, Selfconscious novel, Postmodernism, René Magritte, Albrecht Dürer, Robert Rauschenberg, Pulp fiction, Contemporary fiction

THIS IS NOT A THESIS: A THESIS ON DAVID MARKSON

by

BEN UNDERWOOD A.B., The University of Georgia, 2002

A Thesis Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of The University of Georgia in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree

MASTER OF ARTS

ATHENS, GEORGIA 2004

© 2004 Ben Underwood All Rights Reserved

THIS IS NOT A THESIS: A THESIS ON DAVID MARKSON

by

BEN UNDERWOOD

Electronic Version Approved: Maureen Grasso Dean of the Graduate School The University of Georgia May 2004

Major Professor:

Jed Rasula

Committee:

Hubert McAlexander Hugh Ruppersburg

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My thesis group supplied me with immense amounts of reinforcement and numerous brilliant ideas to steal. Alex Fitzner, Casie LeGette, and Nate Gilmour, thank you. I would have thrown the computer out the window without you. A wink, a nod, and a tip of the hat to the bestest and onliest office mate I've ever had, Wesley Venus. Thanks to my committee, Jed Rasula, Hubert McAlexander, and Hugh Ruppersburg. I appreciate your support and challenging criticism. A special thanks to Dr. Rasula for introducing me to Markson's work and being willing to direct this project. Thanks is also due to the man himself; exchanging letters with Mr. Markson was as challenging as it was enlightening. In addition to my committee, many other UGA faculty members have helped me during the last several years. A few of them are Roxanne Eberle, Susan Rosenbaum, Charles Doyle, Richard Menke, and Jim Nagel. My family has always been supportive in very practical ways. When I didn't really care to keep going, they got me thorough. Mom, Dad, Jonathan, Will, thank you. I love you. A special thanks to Carrie Anne Link, who quietly and lovingly bears the brunt of my personality disorders. I don't know why you put up with me, but I'm glad you do. I'm also lucky to be up to my neck in some of the most generous and wonderful friends that have ever existed since the dawn of time: Robert Higgs, Misty Herrin, Paul Peevy, Aaron Bemis, Dara Suchke, and Leslie Petty. You all helped me in ways too numerous to mention and some that I'm probably too selfish to realize. You've been coconspirators, collaborators, and muses, but mostly you've been friends, and that is rare. Perhaps I owe the most to the Muppets, who taught me to believe in my dreams.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS........................................................................................................... iv LIST OF FIGURES ....................................................................................................................... vi ABBREVIATIONS KEY .............................................................................................................. vi CHAPT