here first. until we are there.

in the world of paul auster

a review of his latest book collects all these quotes together. i love how without the accompanying text, they still speak volumes.

Auster’s women are fundamentally sensible, down to earth (and earthy), wholly realistic, and none more so than imaginary Brick’s imaginary wife Flora. She is

a woman…who knows there is only this world and that numbing routines and brief squabbles and financial worries are an essential part of it, that in spite of the aches and boredoms and disappointments, living in this world is the closest we will ever come to seeing paradise.

Her philosophy of life is one of moderation, of quiet human pleasures:

We start living again. You do your job, I do mine. We eat and sleep and pay the bills. We wash the dishes and vacuum the floor. We make a baby together. You put me in the bath and shampoo my hair. I rub your back. You learn new tricks. We visit your parents and listen to your mother complain about her health. We go on, baby, and live our little life. That’s what I’m talking about.

which seems to be the only way to go through these days of drudgery. but there is always this: escape to story. a friend told me that she’s reading a novel which proclaims that literature is a form of rebellion.

I can’t stop. The book is the only thing that keeps me going. It prevents me from thinking about myself and getting sucked up into my own life. If I ever stopped working on it, I’d be lost. I don’t think I’d make it through another day.
In the Country of Last Things

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.
The Brooklyn Follies

Mr. Blank is one of us now…. Mr. Blank is old and enfeebled, but as long as he remains in the room with the shuttered window and the locked door, he can never die, never disappear, never be anything but the words I am writing on this page.
Travels in the Scriptorium

and from the man himself,

Over the years, I’ve been intensely interested in the artificiality of books…. I mean, who’s kidding whom, after all. We know when we open up a book of fiction that we’re reading something that is imaginary, and I’ve always been interested in exploiting that fact, using it, making it part of the work itself.
but really, that is too easy. and i still have work to do.

things that i saw this weekend: Burn After Reading, Enchanted and the Skechers Street Dance Finals.



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