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Another book, I've been carrying from country to country. A really delight to read, since Auster is an excellent writer and user of words. There are forwards, essays an introduction to modern French poetry anthology(which was a bit stiff to read, when you haven't read the poets).It's interesting to get inside Auster's writing-head( if it can be separated from the personal one, even). I didn't know his almost obsession with coincidences, and the fact he has them in his books has led to criticism
I appreciate Auster's essays and nonfiction much more than the fiction for which he is famous. I love this book. Auster's insights into "outsider art" are spot-on. Most importantly, his essay on Hunger turned me on to Knut Hamsun, so that alone is worth the price of admission.
I admire Paul Auster's fiction and its neo-allegorical explorations of the existential (I pulled that phrase from the Alphabet Soup I ate for lunch-- seriously), and while I've enjoyed the thematic tension and play of his novels, I've always had reservations about his prose style; for a major writer, his sentences are often as dulcet and graceful as cavemen playing a game of jacks. This collection of essays and prefaces on mainly avant-garde-ish writers (I'll ignore the interviews, which are mos...
A pretty enchanting book about what writing really is. It opened up new avenues to me as a writer, and I’m very glad I picked it up! I only rated it 4 stars because it’s a bit obscure in places, and there are some lengthy sections that didn’t resonate for me, but it’s still very good!
"Se potessi scrivere il libro che porto dentro di me, sarebbe l’ultimo. Ma è impossibile. Se scrivo, è perché c’è sempre un libro da rifare." (Provvidenza. Conversazione con Edmond Jabès, p. 146)
As all things Auster, so eminently readable but the subject matter is a bit dry for me.
Paul Auster's writing is so elegant, so concise, that I find it exceptionally beautiful on almost any subject. These essays are for the most part critical analysis on various poets, that were so incredibly well written that I have already inter-library loan requested two of them already. I found his pieces on Beckett to be excellent and the Preface to an anthology on Twentieth Century French Poetry to be absorbing.He has made me excited to find and read Reznikoff, Laura Riding and John Ashberry....
After recently rereading Hamsun's Hunger, I thought it only fitting to reread the Auster's essay. It was excellenter than I remembered and so are several others I dipped into. Auster was a busy young man, writing things that meant things. While I, well, while this is about the best I can come up with. Still, I never yet wrote a novel which had a dog as its main character. For that I am everproud.
"It is an art that begins with the knowledge that there are no right answers. For that reason it becomes essential to ask the right questions. One finds them by living them."His essay on Knut Hamsun's Hunger is the best in the book. You can read it online here.
I read the "Red Notebook" and "Why Write" while sitting in the therapist's waiting room and it was well worth the co-pay I forked over. Oddly enough, I hadn't read Paul Auster's novels or other work, or the eassay upon which the collection is based. But having glimpsed these bits behind his pen, I suspect I will set out to do so now.
Step back David Foster Wallace, I think this guy knows more than you and I combined, byatch. Seriously, the man attacks literature voraciously and relays its pathos and stories in seamless essays and interviews. He even actually gives poetry more than a sidelong glance.
I think about The Red Notebook at least twice a week.
An absolutely brilliant book and one that I am entirely grateful toward for having lead me to certain other stars most notably Le Schizo et les Langues by Louis Wolfson.
A very inspiring collection of essays (literary critiques), personal reflections, and interview excerpts from this erudite author.