In Praise of the Revised-Draft World

I'm catching up on the sections of the Sunday NYT I somehow never manage to finish until weeks after the fact (namely the Travel section, the Book Review, and the magazine). Book News from April 20 (yes, April) has a short article about the poet Laura Sims, who struck up what wound up being a years-long correspondence with the experimental-fiction writer David Markson. Markson's side of their correspondence wound up in a book, Fare Forward.

I'm not familiar with Markson or his work, and I'm not really one for experimental fiction any more than I am for experimental art, but I loved this tidbit about his reaction to the online world (and yes, I see the irony of posting this here).

"Markson may have lived on the cutting edge of fictional technique, but he happily lagged behind in the world of technology. In March 2004, Sims offered to print out and send pages from several blogs that praised Markson's work. Markson, unaware of blogs, reluctantly agreed to take a look. When the materials arrived, he found them riddled with errors and omissions.
'Hey, thank you for all that blog stuff, but forgive me if after a nine-minute glance I have torn it all up,' he wrote back. 'I bless your furry little heart, but please don't send any more. In spite of the lost conveniences, I am all the more glad I don't have a computer. HOW CAN PEOPLE LIVE IN THAT FIRST-DRAFT WORLD?' Later he wrote: 'I have just taken the sheets out of the trash basket and torn them into even smaller pieces.'"

(From "Fan Letter to Pen Pal," by John Williams, NYT Book News, April 20, 2014)