Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Michael Patrick Gillespie

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ana Luszczynska

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

James Sutton

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


David Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Maurice Blanchot, Lord Byron, modernism, postmodernism, metaphysics, language, loss, grief, subjectivity, solipsism, identity, disaster, anxiety

Date of Defense



In line with Wittgenstein's axiom that "what the solipsist means is quite correct; only it cannot be said, but makes itself manifest," this thesis aims to demonstrate how the gulf between analytic and continental philosophy can best be bridged through the mediation of art. The present thesis brings attention to Markson's work, lauded in the tradition of Faulkner, Joyce, and Lowry, as exemplary of the shift from modernity to postmodernity, wherein the human heart is not only in conflict with itself, but with the language out of which it is necessarily constituted. Markson limns the paradoxical condition of the subject severed from intersubjectivity, and affected not only by the grief of bereavement, which can be defined in Heideggarian terms as anxiety for the ontic negation of a being (i.e., death), but by loss, which I assert is the ontological ground for how Dasein encounters the nothing in anxiety proper.





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