Just Books · Paul Auster

The power of the story #PaulAuster

By that point, of course, the little girl no longer misses the doll. Kafka has given her something else instead, and by the time those three weeks are up, the letters have cured her of her unhappiness. She has the story, and when a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappear. For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists.

Paul Auster – The Brooklyn Follies

Paul Auster

I’m alone #PaulAuster

I’m alone too much as it is, and whether it’s my fault or not, Nathan is right. I’m in the dumps. Ever since we talked about my sister the other night, I haven’t stopped thinking about her. I miss her. I miss my mother. I miss everyone I’ve lost. I get so sad sometimes, I can’t believe I don’t just drop dead from the weight that’s crushing down on me. 

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All men contain several men inside them, and most of us bounce from one self to another without ever knowing who we are.

Paul Auster – The Brooklyn Follies

Arte · Paul Auster

Greatness

He realized he was looking at greatness. Smith’s work had everything. Boldness, color, energy, and light. Figures swirled through fierce, slashing strokes of paint, vibrating with an incandescent roar of emotion, a human cry so deep, so true, so passionate, that it seemed to express both joy and despait at the same time. 

Paul Auster – The Brooklyn Follies

Life · Paul Auster

Yes, I suppose

Yes, I suppose there is something nasty about me at times. But not all the time, and not as a matter of principle.

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I had given myself up for dead, and once the tumor had been cut out of me and I’d gone through the debilitating ordeals of radiation treatment and chemo, once I’d suffered the long bouts of nausea and dizziness, the loss of hair, the loss of will, the loss of job, the loss of wife, it was difficult for me to imagine how to go on.

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That’s what happens to you when you are in a hospital. They take off your clothes, put you in one of those humiliating gowns, and suddenly you stop being yourself. You become the person who inhabits your body, and what you are now is the sum total of that body’s failures. To be diminished in such a way is to lose all right to privacy. When the doctors and nurses come in and ask you questions, you have to answer them. They want to keep you alive, and only a person who wouldn’t want to live would give them false answers.

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So Tom went to work for Harry Brightman, little realizing that Harry Brightman did not exist. The name was no more than a name, and the life that belonged to it had never been lived.

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I felt obliged to destroy the spell he was living under, to demystify the object of his longing and turn her into what she really was: a happily married Brooklyn housewife with two kids. Not some saintly, unapproachable gooddess, but a flesh-and-blood woman who ate and shat and fucked -just like everyone else.

Paul Auster – The Brooklyn Follies

Paul Auster · Places

The city #NewYork #PaulAuster

After all those years in the suburbs, I find that the city agrees with me, and I’ve already grown attached to my neighborhood, with its shifting jumble of white and brown and black, its multilayered chorus of foreign accents, its children and its trees, its striving middle-class families, its lesbian couples, its Korean grocery stores, its bearded Indian holy man in his white robes bowing to me whenever we cross paths on the street, its dwarf and cripples, its aged pensioners inching along the sidewalk, its church bells and ten thousand dogs, its underground population of solitary, homeless scavengers, pushing their shopping carts down the avenues and digging for bottles in the trash.

Paul Auster – The Brooklyn Follies

Life · Paul Auster

Life #PaulAuster

I want to talk about happiness and well being, about those rare, unexpected moments when the voice in your head goes silent and you feel at one with the world. I want to talk about the early June weather, about harmony and blissful repose, about robins and yellow finches and bluebirds darting past the green leaves of trees. I want to talk about the benefits of sleep, about the pleasure of food and alcohol, about what happens to your mind when you step into the light of the two o’clock sun and feel the warm embrace of air around your body. I want to remember it all.

Paul Auster – The Brooklyn follies