Friday, December 26, 2008

Aimless Reading: The A's, Part 30.2

Auster, Paul
The New York Trliogy
"City of Glass"
"Ghosts"
"The Locked Room"


I don't remember buying this book, though I am sure I did so in the mid-nineties in NYC. This is Auster's first published fiction effort, three novellas that bring into being all the literary characteristics one might call "Austeresque": character doubling, mixing fiction with overtly autobiographical fact, using the detective novel as a narrative device, etc.

It opens with "City of Glass," but my favorite is "Ghosts," which begins thusly:

First of all there is Blue. Later there is White, and then there is Black, and before the beginning there is Brown. Brown broke him in, Brown taught him the ropes, and when Brown grew old, Blue took over. That is how it begins. The place is New York, the time is the present, and neither one will ever change. Blue goes to his office every day and sits at his desk, waiting for something to happen. For a long time nothing does, and then a man named White walks through the door, and that is how it begins.

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