I know that most of you have not finished reading "Man in the Dark" yet. So, don’t panick. This is just a post to invite you to start working on the novel, so that we can start discussing about it in class.
The following video (pretty long, don’t get shocked!) shows you Paul Auster reading different excerpts from his latest novel. At the end there are some questions he answers. I would love you to listen to the questions and take notes of the answers. If you have not started reading the novel, it would be nice for you to flick through the pages of the book guided by Paul Auster’s voice. If you have already finished the book, then you can skip the reading of the excerpts and get directly to the interview.
Brill’s protagonist is Owen Brick, a young man who wakes up in a hole in the ground to find himself transported between Americas: "Brill hears machine guns, exploding grenades, and under it all, no doubt miles away, a dull chorus of howling human voices.
Auster employs familiar post-modern techniques to mirror the crazy logic of nightmares. Brick is told by another character in the story that he can stop the war if he finds Brill and kills him: the civil war is only happening because a disgruntled old man is thinking it up.
Brill distracts himself with only partial success. His thoughts keep drifting back to his dead wife and suffering daughter and granddaughter. By day he watches films, one after another, with Katya, who was a film studies student before her bereavement.
Lying awake, Brill replays their conversations about Tokyo Story and other classics. These interludes are light relief for the reader: Auster on film is diverting and interesting. But then the nightmare returns. "Think dark, then, and go down into it, see it through to the end."
Towards dawn, Katya arrives in her grandfather’s room and they lie next to one another talking frankly about his life.
He wonders if the intimate details are too much to share. She tells him no, "It’s my fault. I’ve turned this into Truth Night at Castle Despair, and now that we’ve started, we might as well go all the way."
What they don’t talk about, can’t talk about, is the internet video of Katya’s husband’s gory execution in