I think all that you say is true, Steven. Wittgenstein was indeed concerned with the relationship between language and reality. There is certainly a running examination of epistemology throughout the novel. Wittgenstein's work is made up of simple declarative sentences. Wittgenstein's Mistress shares some stylistic characteristics with Wittgenstein's own work.
And yet, it's more than an intellectual discussion or illustration of Wittgenstein's ideas. There is a story, or rather at least two stories. One story is the bizarre fantastical tale of the last person (or animal, apparently) on earth, taking car after car and driving around the world, staying in art museums.
The other is a madwoman's desperate attempt to avoid facing the traumatic fact of her life. Her son died of meningitis while she was out with a lover. Her husband, who drank, did not call the doctor until it was too late. The guilt of this is too much for her to bear.
Markson, I think, helps us out by having the fantastic tale be inconsistent (every time she mentions driving the car into the sea it's a different vehicle) or based in more mundane things around her (the soccer shirts).
The family may have been in Mexico when the son died, but I suspect that is another distancing strategy. Did she crash a car in the ocean? (Maybe on Long Island.) Did she burn a house down? (Quite possibly.) Is she in such a dissociative state that she mulls endlessly over the details of a painting that she painted herself? Is there significance to the mysterious house in the woods?
Why is this odd affectless novel so strangely touching?
P.S. It just occurred to me that the title is something of a joke. Wittgenstein was famously homosexual. He would not have had a mistress.
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