Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude

The first half: sublime.  The second half: more work, greater effort on the part of reader and writer.  But not worse.  No, definitely not worse.

For no word can be written without first having been seen, and before it finds its way to the page it must first have been part of the body, a physical presence that one has lived with in the same way one lives with one's heart, one's stomach, and one's brain.  Memory, then, not so much as the past contained within us, but as proof of our life in the present.  If a man is to be truly present among his surroundings, he must be thinking not of himself, but of what he sees.  He must forget himself in order to be there.  And from that forgetfulness arises the power of memory.  It is a way of living one's life so that nothing is ever lost.  (138)
I hate that this book was borrowed from the library.  I will now have to seek out my own copy and reread to mark all the choice bits.  Shame.  Thanks again, TPR.

1 comment:

  1. You have me so intrigued about this book. I had mixed feelings about the Auster fiction I read - well, actually that's not true, at the time I really enjoyed it as kind of intellectual fluff, if that makes any sense, but then I read the TPR interview and it seemed like he wanted to be taken more seriously than that, and that what he had to say was worthy of respect, so I revised my estimate that maybe the book I read was trying to do something at which it didn't quite succeed. But the idea of checking out his nonfiction might solve this dichotomy for me. Will have to seek this out.