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Paul Auster and Postmodern Quest

On the Road to Nowhere


Ilana Shiloh

Paul Auster published his first prose work, the autobiographical The Invention of Solitude, in 1982; since then his fiction has gained ever growing popular and critical acclaim. This book is a stimulating pioneering study of eight works that make up the Auster canon: The Invention of Solitude, the three novellas that comprise The New York Trilogy, and the novels In the Country of Last Things, Moon Palace, The Music of Chance, and Leviathan. Focusing on the quest – which she sees as the master narrative of all of Auster’s novels – Shiloh examines Auster’s writing in a multi-layered context of literary and philosophical paradigms relevant to his practice, such as the American tradition of the «open road,» the generic conventions of detective fiction, postmodernist concepts of the subject, Sartre’s and Camus’s existentialist theories, and Freud’s and Lacan’s psychoanalytic models, all of which offer enriching and insightful perspectives on Auster’s poetics.


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Bibliography 205


BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Texts Auster, Paul. The Art of Hunger. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ---. "Auggie Wren's Christmas Story." New York Times, 25 De- cember 1990, p. 31. ---. Disapperances: Selected Poems. Woodstock, New York: Over- look Press, 1988. ---. Hand to Mouth: A Chronicle of Early Failure. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997. ---. In the Country of Last Things. New York: Penguin Books, 1988. ---.The Invention of Solitude. London: Faber and Faber, 1992. ---. "Letters from the City." Columbia Review (fall 1969), pp. 27- 33. ---.Leviathan. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ---. Lulu on the Bridge. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1998. ---. "Moonlight in the Brooklyn Museum." Art News, September 1987, pp. 104-5. ---.Moon Palace. London: Faber and Faber, 1992. ---. Mr. Vertigo. London: Faber and Faber, 1994. ---.The Music ofChance. New York: Penguin Books, 1991. ---.The Music ofChance (film). Dir. Philip Haas, 1993. ---. The New York Trilogy. London: Faber and Faber, 1990. ---.Smoke and Blue in the Face. London: Faber and Faber, 1995. ---. Timbuktu. London: Faber and Faber, 1999. ---. White Spaces. New York: Station Hill, 1980. ---. "Why Write?" New Yorker, 25 December 1995, pp. 86-9. Secondary Texts Selected critical works about Paul Auster Adams, Timothy Dow. "Camera Obscura: Paul Auster." In Light Writing & Life Writing: Photography in Autobiography. 206 Paul Auster and Postmodern Quest Chapel Hill: University ofNorth Carolina Press, 2000, pp. 25- 40. Barone, Dennis. "Auster's Memory." Review of Contemporary Fiction 14, no. 1 (spring 1994), pp. 32-34. ---....

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