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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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MODERN AMERICAN LITERATURE New Approaches Yoshinobu Hakutani, General Editor The books in this series deal with many of the major writers known as American realists, modernists, and post-modernists from 1880 to the present. This category of writers will also include less known ethnic and minority writers, a majority of whom are African American, some are Native American, Mexican American, Japanese American, Chinese American, and others. The series might also include studies on well- known contemporary writers, such as James Dickey, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, John Barth, John Updike, and Joyce Carol Oates. In general, the series will reflect new critical approaches such as deconstructionism, new historicism, psychoanalytical criticism, gender criticism/feminism, and cultural criticism. For additional information about this series or for the submission of manuscripts, please contact: Peter Lang Publishing P.O. Box 1246 Bel Air, MD 21014-1246 To order other books in this series, please contact our Customer Service Department at: 800-770-LANG (within the U.S.) (212) 647-7706 (outside the U.S.) (212) 647-7707 FAX Or browse online by series at: www

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