March 3, 2020

24.1: Wittgenstein’s Mistress pre-read: Philosophical Science Fiction & being lonely at the end of the world

This March, Spectology brings you a discussion on the little-known but largely influential novel by David Markson, Wittgenstein's Mistress ( Written from the perspective of the last woman on Earth, it's a sad and clever novel about loss, the Western cannon, the meaning of art, and the importance of other people in creating our identies. 

In this episode, we discuss the philosophy underlying the novel. Who is Wittgenstein, and how do his ideas about the philosophy of language underly the project of this novel? How do Bertrand Russel, Kurt Gödel, & Søren Kierkegaard fit into this puzzle? And what other novelists have been influenced by Markson?

It's a discussion worthy of Adrian's 2nd annual "self-indulgent pick", and we hope you'll enjoy being along for the ride.

One note: this novel isn't available on ebook or audio book. It's still in print in paperback, so if possible please try finding it at a local book store! Baring that, it's available through Amazon, or the new online sellers:

Also, here is the interview with Markson we reference several times: 


As always, we'd love to hear from you! Chat with us on twitter at @spectologypod, send us an email at, or submit the episode to r/printSF on reddit. We'll reply, and shout you out in the next podcast when we talk about your comment.

And if you like the episode, subscribe at or whever you listen to podcasts, and share it with your friends!

To find links to all the books we've read, check us out on Bookshop.

Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

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