Trying to decide a new novel to go with, I read the opening pages of Michael Innes's Hamlet, Revenge! (another English murder mystery packed with literary allusions), George Peleconos's Hard Revolution (DC-based noir), and Paul Auster's Oracle Night (more noir). Auster won, though I want to come back around to the others at some point. My only hesitation is having read Auster too often in the last couple years, or perhaps having read too much Blanchot in grad school, I balk at the prospect of yet another protagonist allegorized as textuality, as writing-equals-death, as singularity/totality, and so forth. This is never really the case with Auster, who quickly turns the theoretical scenario (or how I take it) inside out. But we'll see this time. Staight off the major investments are a sickly writer, a mysterious blue notebook, and another Brooklyn setting. Okay... maybe this is another way of saying I want to get another novel by Charlie Williams.

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Blogger gina said ... (4:23 PM) : 

I read Oracle Night myself rather recently...After having a course on Paul Auster, I try not to read him anymore but nonetheless the books keep finding their way to me...


Blogger -k said ... (4:39 PM) : 

Oh yep--I remember talking about the course when you were down last time. I would think reading all his novels together would draw out a slew of connections. In Oracle Night, he is again fixated on "Wakefield" (dropping out of life suddenly), reading/writing in isolated rooms... The main character even has a long mediation on colors. In the NY-Trilogy colors functioned more like abstractions (Mr. Black, Mr. Blue, Mr. White...). In Oracle Night the colors signify feelings... though nobody can decide what blue ultimately means... Anyhow, I picked up a stack of Auster remainders for cheap and will dig into some more by the end of summer... unless I get more Charlie Williams!

And speaking of metafiction, this moment I'm reading another Ed McBain novel _Fat Ollie's Book_ in which one of his detectives actually decides to write a crime novel. This little gimmick gives McBain the opportunity to complain about current trends in police procedurals. He takes a swipe at the whole Amazon review system too. Of course the whole tirade is voiced by the slob-like Ollie, so it could be ironic. Still it's pretty funny either way...


Blogger gina said ... (9:40 PM) : 

When I was packing I came across my thesis for the Auster paper, something along the lines of "Truth is Stranger than Fiction," etc. If I find it unpacking & it isn't too embarassing, maybe I'll forward it to you!

The connections between novels, plays, movie scripts, essays, etc were sometimes too overwhelming--I don't know that they ever end! I remember enjoying the string of connections/interwoven narratives like where a name in mentioned in one novel was a main character in a movie and was really Auster's psuedonym for the mystery books he published, etc. Perhaps the Paul Auster connection game can be a new parlour game...


Blogger -k said ... (8:52 AM) : 

I'd love to see it!


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