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Beyond the Red Notebook

Essays on Paul Auster

Edited by Dennis Barone

Publication Year: 1995

The novels of Paul Auster—finely wrought, self-reflexive, filled with doublings, coincidences, and mysteries—have captured the imagination of readers and the admiration of many critics of contemporary literature. In Beyond the Red Notebook, the first book devoted to the works of Auster, Dennis Barone has assembled an international group of scholars who present twelve essays that provide a rich and insightful examination of Auster's writings.

The authors explore connections between Auster's poetry and fiction, the philosophical underpinnings of his writing, its relation to detective fiction, and its unique embodiment of the postmodern sublime. Their essays provide the fullest analysis available of Auster's themes of solitude, chance, and paternity found in works such as The Invention of Solitude, City of Glass, Ghosts, The Locked Room, In the Country of Last Things, Moon Palace, The Music of Chance, and Leviathan.

This volume includes contributions from Pascal Bruckner, Marc Chenetier, Norman Finkelstein, Derek Rubin, Madeleine Sorapure, Stephen Bernstein, Tim Woods, Steven Weisenburger, Arthur Saltzman, Eric Wirth, and Motoyuki Shibata. The extensive bibliography, prepared by William Drenttel, will greatly benefit both scholars and general readers.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction: Paul Auster and the Postmodern American Novel

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pp. 1-26

Before the publication of The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster was known primarily for having edited the Random House anthology of twentieth-century French poetry and for having written several insightful literary essays. In the short time since the publication of the Trilogy (1985-1986) he has become one ...

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Paul Auster, or The Heir Intestate

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pp. 27-33

The Invention of Solitude is both the ars poetica and the seminal work of Paul Auster. To understand him we must start here; all his books lead us back to this one. Novel-manifesto in two parts, "Portrait of an Invisible Man" and "The Book of Memory," this work immediately sounds the theme of remorse. ...

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Paul Auster's Pseudonymous World

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pp. 34-43

In City of Glass, Quinn, who writes popular detective novels under a pseudonym, is waiting for his train. Seated next to him, a sheep-like young woman grazes one of his books: "He did not like [her] and it offended him that she should be casually skimming the pages that had cost him so much effort" (85). ...

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In the Realm of the Naked Eye: The Poetry of Paul Auster

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pp. 44-59

Paul Auster the novelist came into print later than Paul Auster the poet, essayist, and translator, and presently eclipses all of his other personae, at least in the eyes of a general literary audience. The New York Trilogy has tantalized readers for some time now; more recent novels have also been well received. ...

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"The Hunger Must Be Preserved at All Cost": A Reading of The Invention of Solitude

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pp. 60-70

The future of Jewish-American literature has been a controversial issue for some time. It goes back at least to the publication of Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus (1959), when Irving Howe argued in a review of the book that Roth "is one of the first American Jewish writers who finds ... almost no sustenance in the ...

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The Detective and the Author: City of Glass

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pp. 71-87

Readers of detective fiction typically admire the interpretive skill of the detective, who, in the midst of mysterious, misleading, and disparate clues, is able to discern logical and necessary connections leading invariably to the solution of the mystery. Part of the strong appeal of detective fiction, ...

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Auster's Sublime Closure: The Locked Room

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pp. 88-106

In The Locked Room, as in the other novels of Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, the path the reader follows diverges considerably from what might be expected in conventional detective fiction. This is due to what are, by this stage in the trilogy, predictable recourses to narratorial unreliability, epistemological ...

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"Looking for Signs in the Air": Urban Space and the Post­modern in In the Country of Last Things

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pp. 107-128

"Space is for us an existential and cultural dominant." So concludes Fredric Jameson, having described postmodernism's dependence on a "supplement of spatiality" that results from its depletion of history and consequent exaggeration of the present (365). Indeed, recent years have seen an increasing interest ...

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Inside Moon Palace

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pp. 129-142

This epigraph is lifted from Andrei Codrescu's 1989 essay, "The North American Combine: Moloch and Eros," first published in Columbia magazine. Columbia University is also the alma mater of Marco Stanley Fogg, narrator of Paul Auster's Moon Palace, a 1989 novel saturated with references to 1492 an ...

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The Music of Chance: Aleatorical (Dis) harmonies Within "The City of the World"

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pp. 143-161

Characteristic of his abiding interest in the way our narratives ground our perspective, and constitute dialectical relationships of power, this passage demonstrates Paul Auster's preoccupation with the fictions of power and the power of fictions. In many of his novels, Auster's focus falls on the single or isolated ...

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Leviathan: Post Hoc Harmonies

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pp. 162-170

The detective novel provides some of literature's most durable endowments. Its sureties constitute a method and a message: mystery condenses then lifts like the day's weather; seemingly encouraged by the very conventions of his context, the hero patiently debrides whatever wound to propriety summons him; ...

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A Look Back from the Horizon

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pp. 171-182

Between the completed overrunning of the earth by humankind and the future spread of the species or its successors to other planets, it may be that the slough Paul Auster and the rest in the hiatus explore had to open. That we have filled up the world eliminates the world or (this amounts to the same thing) ...

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Being Paul Auster's Ghost

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pp. 183-188

Having quoted the passage that marvelously illustrates my own fascination in translating Auster into Japanese, there still remains one question that seems to be worth pursuing. Is translating Auster in any significant sense different from translating other authors? In other words, does this passage apply ...

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Paul Auster: A Selected Bibliography

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pp. 189-198

This bibliography is a selected chronological checklist of the primary and secondary works of Paul Auster, edited to highlight fiction and prose. While Auster has published a significant amount of poetry and translation in literary journals, catalogues, and anthologies, this list includes only separate ...

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List of Contributors

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pp. 199-200

DENNIS BARONE is Professor of American Studies and English at Saint Joseph College (Connecticut). He is the author of many articles on early American and contemporary American literature. A fiction writer and poet, his most recent works are The Returns (Sun & Moon Press, 1995) ...

Index

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pp. 201-203


E-ISBN-13: 9780812206685
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812215564

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 1995

Series Title: Penn Studies in Contemporary American Fiction