Paul Auster’s website

I’m sure you are familiar with Paul Auster’s website.  Please visit it by clicking on the link below

I would like to share with you the latest news:

Alejandro Chomski’s film adaptation of ‘The Country of Last Things’ is due for release in 2008. It is being filmed in Argentina and will star Eva Green. It is currently in production.

A young woman (Green) searches for her long-lost brother in a bleak, futuristic dystopia where no industry takes place and most of the population collects garbage or scavenges for objects to resell.

According to the Guardian on Friday 24th October 2008 Paul Auster has added his name to a 200,000-strong petition in support of Roberto Saviano, and compared the threats of the Neapolitan mafia against the author to the tactics used by "extremist religious groups".

If you want to read the article click on the link below

Last but not least, I would like you to watch the two short clips referred to an interview he delivered at HardTalk (BBC).  Watch the first videoclip (Paul Auster talks to Zeinab Badawi about ‘Man In The Dark’ ) and the fourth one (Paul Auster says there is a kind of civil war in the US and religion is the fissure point ).

What are the main points he makes in the two short videoclips?  What is his latest book "Man in the Dark" about? What is the problem that according to the author seems to devide his country?

In the interview you watched on "Che tempo fa", Paul Auster mentions two personal anecdotes: his not having a pen or pencil when he met his favourite baseball player and his period of great economic difficulties when he lived in France. 

What do these two anecdotes tell you of Paul Auster as a man and writer? 

In the interview he explains better the meaning of the title of his latest novel "Man in the Dark".  What does he say?  Why does he think religion may be a problem in a country?  What does he appreciate about his country?  We know that now he is proud of the fact that Americans voted for the first black President in the history of the United States and he claimed this in a very recent interview.

If you have not had the chance to watch Fazio’s interview, visit the webpage below,10916,1092562,00.html

Your books are on the way to our school! But before we start reading "Man in the Dark", why don’t you listen to the first pages of the novel read by Paul Auster himself!

Here for my students of 5H, there are some interesting comments on translation.

Questa voce è stata pubblicata in Paul Auster. Contrassegna il permalink.

32 risposte a Paul Auster’s website

  1. anonimo scrive:

    In the first videoclip Auster talks about the plot of his latest book. It’s about a man who can’t sleep, so he invents a story: after the 2000 elections a civil war in the USA has begun. Auster says it’s like a dream, but it’s even the way he sees the real world: a world in which 9/11 and Iraq war have never happened.

    Someone was offended by his book, because some themes, as Iraq war, can’t be the subject for a novel. Auster didn’t write it to offend anyone, he just wrote about sufferings and conflicts. He says his books are not destinated to anyone.

    In the second videoclip Auster points out the divisions that afflict America. He says there is a civil war, fought with words and ideas. Religion is one of the main causes of the problem: there are ultra-religious people, and atheistic people, and between these kinds of people there can’t be dialogue.

    The anecdotes tell me that Paul Auster is a man as the others, even if he is a famous writer. He had disgraces, or moment of difficulties, and he may have moments in which he doesn’t know what to do. Religion may be a problem, because peole who are convinced of somehting, people who blindly believe in something, like creationism, don’t listen to what other people have to say. And if there is not dialogue, there can’t be progress.

    Pietro Perin

  2. PaulAuster2008 scrive:

    I join you there, when you state that without dialogue and constructive confrontation there can’t be any progress, any headway, any understanding and thus any sharing.

  3. anonimo scrive:

    Guarino Ilaria

    In the first extract taken by the interview Paul Auster delivered at Hardtalk(bbc) he explains briefly the plot of his latest creation”man in the dark”.The narrator protagonist name is August Brill.This man is lying in his bed unable to sleep.

    Paul Auster set this story in an exagerate scenario.It s a matter of fact that this man,suffering from insomnia,make up the story in his head and more precisely he immagines onother America,invased by civil war after the 2000 elections.

    But the pecularity of this kind of war is that this war IS NOT MADE BY BULLET AND GUNS BUT WITH WORDS AND IDEAS.

    Maybe if things had gone differently and Al Gore had manage to climbe up streight to the top,the terrible events of September 11 would have not happened.The eal word for Auster,as he said, is the one with Al Gore.But this is just a dream.

    The fact that he is openly critical of this kind of political line adopted by president Bush maybe could somehow “hurt” people that read the books.But,as he said,what he express in his books is is own though and his own vision of reality and with this sort of “provocation” he probabely shake people.Nove is a flexible form,everything is possible in a novel.He can t write about something if he doesn t feel it in his heart.

    After that Paul Auster focus the attention in onother problem linked to this kind of “absurd”scenario that he create to developed his story:

    There is an enormous,an huge gap between people.We don t comunicate eachother anymore.And the divide is so great that we can see this every day.When people thought they have the truth its highly impossible for them to dialoge with someone else who does not share his position.

    Paul Auster thought that one of the main things that contribute in dividing people is the religion.

    We have to find the way to tollerate eachother and cooperate otherwise we run the risk to make the story of August Brill come true!

  4. anonimo scrive:

    Guarino Ilaria

    At the very beginning of the interview on “Che tempo che fa” Paul Auster shares with Fazio and with the pubblic a curious anecdote concerning his childhood.

    As soon as i heard this episode i thought about Paul Auster as a man that doesn t want to miss a second of his life and he wants to absorb all the information that comes from what surrounds him.I think he is always ready to catch events,feelings and emotions and put them in writing.

    The second anecdote, however, is is the one i liked the most.Paul Auster is not afraid to tell those who were his difficulties and weaknesses of the past.I was very impressed by his simplicity and his being humble.Remember the “bad bite” rather than “good” clearly indicates the fact that even if everything went wrong for him,he continued on his way because writing was(and is)the only thing that made(and make)him happy.

    Regarding his new book, Auster along with Fazio has described the plot explaining why the setting and title.Referring to the title the writer states that protagonis of the book is also the Dark.Dark is a metaphor and has a deep meaning.Dark means confusion,fear.And even if he write his novels in an enormous lightning room he can write a book about the dark.This mean that the power of immagination,as he said,can bring you far away from the reality.

    Auster decide to set this book in an extremely scenario because he thought that nowadays we live in a reality in where country is divide and nobody seems to comunicate with each other.The main point that seem to split up people is the religion.If a person thought that the world was made up in 7 days this person thought that has the truth and it is impossible for this person to comunicate with a person that has a different view of the creation.

    Luckily enough United States are a free country in which every body can express his own idea.

  5. anonimo scrive:

    Auster’s latest novel: “man in the dark”(whose deepest meaning is “humanity in the dark”, as he explained in Fazio’s interview) is the story of a man, August Brill(“a man shining in the dark”, as crack Mrs Badawi),that imagine a kind of civil war in the U.S.A.( consequently of a great frustration about 2000 elections, which disappointed him, he started to writing about an imaginary parallel world in a night of loneliness and insomnia).

    Auster said, “there is a kind of civil war growing up in the U.S.A., a war fought with words and ideas” that are dividing the country; people are not open to dialogue, and this is the problem, according to P.A., that creates a gap in the society.

    Another thing he pointed out is the theme of religion: there are too people

    with who you can’t discuss or debate because of a lack of mind’s opening(“44%of population in the USA belief that the world has been created in 6 days; and with this people I can’t have a rational debate”);the problem with religion, every religion, is that who thinks he get the truth, can’t be rational: with this statement, Auster specifies, it doesn’t neither mean that believer are completely wrong, nor that disbeliever are completely right. It simply means that in order to have a real rational debate, people are requested to abandon their prejudices and accept to put away and discuss everyone’s truth.

    The two anecdotes he told in the interview (che tempo che fa), struck me in a positive way. It gave me a good impression of PA as man: I imagined him as a presumptuous American succeeding writer, but I must say I was wrong…his past as a sort of ‘bohémien’ (he told he backed an onion timbale because he and his wife didn’t have any other kind of food and any money) show me him as a determined, humble and courageous man; the other fact, that happened much more years ago, when he was a child, and that contributed to influence his career’s choice.


  6. PaulAuster2008 scrive:

    Dear Ilaria,

    thanks for pointing out that the war Auster envisages is his latest novel is a war fought by means of words and ideas. A bullet may kill you, but words and ideas may mould you to the extent that you become a living dead, incapable of feeling, incapable of thinking autonomously.

    As you mentioned, the scenario depicted by P. Auster in the novel is not farfetched at all, it may well anticipate what our world will be like if we ……..

    Thank you for your thorough comments.

    Erica, you reveal the typical attitude we all have as readers. Not necessarily we fall in love with a writer straighaway, we can learn to appreciate him/her little by little, and after a while we may grow so close to him/her that we cannot possibly “live” without their work!

  7. anonimo scrive:

    In “Man in the dark” Auster expresses his anger after 2003 presidential elections, won by George Bush. There are still lots of doubts about that victory, many people think he cheated; for this reason in that period there were lot of demonstrations and Auster in this book tries to imagine what could have happened if the protests degenerated into a civil war. He writes a parallel history, another world. The idea of a civil war is not completely fictional: according to Auster, today there’s one going on in the USA, it doesn’t imply weapons, just words and opinions, but it divides the country as well. He’s talking about a blind kind of religion, about people whom you can’t dialog with, because their view is too narrow. This point is deeply linked with the federal system of the country: it is unfair because there is a huge disparity about the value of the votes, it depends on the state you live in.

    About the episodes he mentioned during the interview with Fazio, I think the second one is emblematic of his attention to coincidences: I’ve read a collection of this kind of short stories (which includes even these two anecdotes) and it was really unbelievable, his life is like a movie! It seems that coincidences had a huge role in his career, from the famous “left at home“ pencil, to a strange phone call that inspired one of his books. I must admit that I’ve not understood yet what’s his opinion about these events: are they incidental episodes or do they belong to some kind of plan?

    About his country he says that fortunately it is not a fascist country, people is free to say whatever they want (here Fazio hints to what happened some years ago in Italy, it is unfair and gives a wrong view of our country) but he also says that the darkness he refers to is a sense of disorientation and disbelief, a metaphor, but I think it was quite clear to everybody 🙂

    federica zille

  8. anonimo scrive:

    The author meditates on the social situation of his country, divided by politics and religion. On one hand, there is war that kills many people and is a deep emotional torment, on the other hand there are ideologies, religions, cultural differences that divide society like a civil war. Auster’s society is always on the brink of a dark abyss where reason, dialogue, human mind can’t look beyond, can’t build and make progresses.

    The first anecdote –the meeting with his favourite football player- makes me think of a failed meeting with destiny. The fate that so fascinates the writer, the randomness –in this case the meeting with the football player- which can become a dream realized but it not become (there is not a pen to have an autograph). One occasion, a big, missed opportunity because the author can’t seize it; and then a regret and a great sense of frustration.

    The second anecdote makes us think to a particular aspect of Auster’s character: I perceive the difficulty of the writer in saving in his memory the good of his life –in this case the free lunch n a restaurant- and his tendency to bring out the negative situations, keeping them alive in the memory. This makes me believe in the immense humanity of the author, that shows moments of euphoria or timidity and confusion for what life has in store for him.

    Auster is proud of his country because it is a state that guarantees the freedom to say what you want, dialogue and the free circulation of ideas; because of that the author fears –as he expresses in his latest book “Man in the dark”- intellectual darkness of societies. He sees in the presence of different religions, some of them “fanatics”, a danger of social fissure because they could be an obstacle to a peaceful dialogue, and so to the progress of humanity.

    Raggiotto Francesco

  9. anonimo scrive:

    Arnoldi Martina

    Listening to these two anecdotes I feel Paul Auster near to common people.Expecially the pencil’s anecdote strucked me.when Auster told his anecdoted to Fazio I thought:”what is he saying?!”I wasn’t able to understand why he was telling us that things.When he finished I found many meanings.the lack of a pen in a special and unique moment can be foundamental in a man’s life..there is another time randomness.the chance is always present in Auster’s book but also in his life and in our life.i think this anecdote is a flash of inspiration and all of us should take it in mind.

    his economic difficulties bring Auster near to common society.also Auster whom now is a world known man was a man with problems and thanks of his ability was able to change his life.

    Auster explains why his latest book is entitled “Man in the dark”.man doesn’t mean the protagonist August Brill,it means human kind.we all are in the dark.and what’s the dark?the dark is our society,our life.differents events brought us in a sort of blindness.of course man in the dark is also referred to the protagonis,he stays alone in his bed and thinks about an ipotetic civil war between americans.this is a work of his immagination but he has many hints from the the specific of the book,the dark is also the family’s situation.all three members are in the dark.august lost his whife.his doutheris divorcing and the granddauther was in love with a guy but he died while was in war.

  10. anonimo scrive:

    in the first video about man in the dark auster explains the link between the book and the real history. one point that he highlites is that the civil war in the novel is an idea that came from his frustration after the election. when george bush became the new president some democratic parties accuse him for cheating and there were many protests. so the idea of this book started from the fact that bush won the election, and auster asks himself if there would have been the 9-11 with al gore as president. but the attack in september isn’t the main theme. what he wrote is a parallel story, about a parallel world in which the election won by al gore has caused a civil war. auster said that with this degeneration and the illusory changement of events he wants to shake the mind of the readers. the civil war that bush and the opposition, and then all the supporters, caused in the novel denounces in my opinion the warmonger and aggressive temper of the repubblican’s candidate ( he caused the gulf war and his son declared the war in iraq)

    in the second video he decribes the role played by words: the civil war in man in the dark is fought with words, not with guns. but the gap create by the convinction ( of all the 2 arrays) of being in the right side stops any possible dialogues: and this convinction is the religion.

    in my opinion auster is one of the simpler man that has got such popolarity. he went trough very difficult times and it seems the randomness he tells in his novels has hitten him, at first. with the first anecdote it seems that a baseball player forced him to become a writer. but i’ve a question: the quotation “every family has got the own skeletons in the wardrobe” …is it another reference to his life? ( i’m referring to the murder of his grandfather….)

    elena giacomin

  11. anonimo scrive:

    Paul Auster’s “Man in the dark” is set in a fictional America; in a civil war happened after the 2000 elections. As he says at “Che tempo che fa”, he was against Bush’s election and he hoped that Obama would be chosen for the president, as happened, or he doesn’t understand the war in Iraq. Maybe now he is happy to see that Obama pulls back the army from some places in the world.

    What Auster underlines is that the civil war, in his imaginary world, isn’t made by “bullet or guns, but with words and ideas”. He would like to see that in his country could be a dialogue between people who hasn’t the same ideas. People has the possibility to compare themselves; but what Auster declines, is that nowadays people doesn’t listen to the other. People doesn’t want to change their ideas also if are wrongs.

    Paul Auster says Religion is the “fissure point” of this civil war in the USA. If a person think that the World was made in six days, this person can’t communicate with another who has a different ideas of the creation. This example taken by the author, teach us as we are strict in our opinion. But if there isn’t any form of confrontation, we can’t improve ourselves, but above all, there will be not progress, because of stupidity of humankind behaviours. However, he thinks in his country there is still freedom of words: all people can say what they think. Linked to that, he says his book isn’t refers to everybody: it’s his point of view, his vision of reality, that could be read as a form of provocation.

    About the two anecdotes, I liked the first regarding his childhood: it is as he wanted to less a minute of his life. He wanted to take all the information he can. And as the same Auster says, this the way a person became a writer. Only who is always ready to every eventuality, can then put his emotions or feelings in a white page. The second anecdote tall me he is as anyone who can be in difficult. But I already understood that from the precedents posts put in this blog.

    Monica Santi

  12. anonimo scrive:

    In the first videoclip Paul Auster explains the plot of his latest novel “man in the dark”,he says it is a story within a story,the protagonist August Brill is lying on his bed unable to sleep,so he makes up a story,he imagines a different America,which is afflicted by a civil war begun after the 2000 election.The author claims the novel is the result of the anger and frustration that came out after Bush election,in fact at the time,the new president was accused of cheating and thus caused protests and criticism.this fact inspired Auster that imagined the protests lead to a civil war.

    Moreover Auster expresses his support to Al Gore and claims that maybe the 9/11 and iraq war would have never happened if this candidate had won the elections.

    In the novel there are lots of references to Iraq war and criticism of the bush government and many critics think that such themes are not suitable to literary games,but the author claims that the novel is a flexible form that can deal with every theme specially war,that is really happening and that causes real sufferings and pain.

    In the second vieoclip he says that in the USA there is a non fictional civil war caused by religion and fought by words. Religious people are not open minded they consider themselves as the bearer of the revealed truth.this prevents and stops dialogues and the exchange of opinions and ideas,the consequence is the regression of the nation.

    Montrasio Valentina

  13. anonimo scrive:

    In his latest book “man in the dark” Paul Auster tells about a house where 3 loneliness live:a man,August Brill,his daughter and his niece,who has recently lost her boyfriend.Everybody is lonely in a specific room of the house.During the night,the man runs over again his life,that is not so good,and to escape his thoughts he invents a parallel world.A world where there is a civil war in the USA.They don’t invade Iraq,the 11 of september don’t happen and Al Gore becomes the President of the United States.Paul Auster says that this parallel world is the conflict that is happening now in America.It’s not break out a civil war in the USA with guns and weapons but there is the civil war of ideas and words.There are 2 parts,the country is split in half,people don’t speak each other any longer.This is what Paul Auster says in the video.

    The only thing that i can understand about Paul Auster,is that his life is characterized by randomness.He said that randomness stalks us everyday of our lives.He described it with the 2 anecdotes:in the first the meeting with his favourite baseball player Willy M. without a pen or a pencil and so the link between this episode and his career of writer; the second anecdote when somebody went to his house,where there is lots of smoke coming out,and brought he and his girlfriend to a restaurant.Paul Auster is interesting because to underline his thought of a life stalked by randomness,he uses it also in his films(the film i refer to is smoke).

    “man in the dark” stands for the darkness of humanity,it means that i and the others don’t understand what is happening.Paul Auster says that the religion may be a problem in a country because it divides people.For example he talks about the creation of the world,there are more than 44% of the americans who believe that the world was created in 6 days and the others don’t agree.So if he wants to talk seriously with somebody about this issue,he can’t because this person would not hear to him because of s/he conviction.Well i disegree a little bit because it’s true,there are different opinions by people but it doesn’t mean that if i want tell somebodyelse my opinion,or my idea,i can’t and i would being considered an inhuman!the world is good because not everybody think the same things…Sometimes we have to open with people who don’t think as we think and not always with people who agree with us,otherwise we would be always right!

    Santarossa Barbara

  14. anonimo scrive:

    In the first videoclip Paul Auster talks about his latest book “Man in the Dark”. He tells how it was conceived and what it is about. The idea of writing the book comes after the 2000 presidential elections. The success of George Bush made him feel frustrated and angry and he expresses his disappointment somehow by writing this novel. He was so convinced of the possible success of Al Gore that he doubted about a “sabotage” in the election in favour of Bush.

    His book is placed in a fictional America set in a civil war which started after the famous and contested elections. There is not the usual war with weapons and shells but a conflict of ideas and words. The nation is divided because there is not dialogue anymore, there is a substantial contrast of conceptions.

    His book deals with the story of a men, who is lying in his bed unable to sleep. He has lots of thoughts in his mind and he does not manage to fall asleep, so he decided to make up a story. The plot is a little bit complicated, a sort of story inside another story carried out thanks to the immagination. This is one of the cardinal points in Paul Auster’s poetics. He defines it as a cerebral organism that can bring you elsewhere in a minute. It is a peculiarity that characterized almost all his novel.

    So the protagonist named August Brill immagined another world, a parallel dimension in which the 9.11 and the invasion of the Iraq have never happened.

    The second protagonist is the DARK that is the mataphor used to describe the confusion in human’s mind. Here we see lots of Paul Auster’s favourite themes: immagination as i said before, darkness, randomness…

    In the fourth videoclip he explains his view about his nation. He said that it is divided in two parts: one made up of the secular Americans and the other of the religious ones.

    He said that there is a marked gap between them and that they are not open to dialogue any more. It is very hard to comunicate. The principal fault is of the religion, it is the fissure point and the basement of the gap. To clarify this, he pointed out a question that somehow synthetize the problem: “How can a person, who believe that the world has been created in six days, have a rational conversation with me who do not believe that?”…..all these people feel the truth in their ideas and it is very difficult to find a compromise.

    The title “Man in the Dark” is a sort of metaphor which stands for the darkness in relation to confusion. The chaos in human’s life.

    In the interview on “che tempo che fa”, Paul Auster mentions two experiences of his life which in my opinion are important to understand his person. On what i have heard i think he is a simple man. “Writing” is his passion and he does that for pleasure. He does not care about money, he is against consumerism exactly as his wife whose conception came out on the video i saw some time ago.

    He wants only show and put his immagination into practice through all his novel.

    Marson Chiara

  15. anonimo scrive:

    Paul Auster pointed out the things on which his book is about, the 9/11 and the possible causes of the tragic fact and the cheated election of 2004 in which Al Gore maybe was the real candidate who had to enter the White House. Auster’s novel “Man in the dark” is characterized by being a story within a story: it is about the old man August Brill who tells a story in the night because he can’t sleep. He imagines another America, the America after the 2000 election, which is in a whole civil war.

    The writer said that there is a sort of civil word with words and ideas in America today. It seems to be divide in two sides, the conservative American part, and the religious one. He said that it is becoming harder and harder for the two sides to communicate, the gap between the two side is wider everyday. This because they are not opened to dialogue, of course both side are guilty. Certain is that there is too much hatred in USA.

    After having listened the video drew from “Che tempo che fa” I have a little changed my idea on him. I still think that he is a very complicated man, with strange thoughts and feelings, with a mysterious inner life, a complicated man who explicit all his doubt, his problems trough the act of write. But I also keep in touch with some natural and genuine parts of his way of being like the anecdote about the baseball and the pencil which point out his sensitivity and his hard attachment to his idol.

    Carolina Braghin

  16. anonimo scrive:

    Paul Auster’s “Man in the Dark”

    is about a man, August Brill that can sleep so he creates different stories changing some event of the past, for example the result of the 2000 presidential election, and imaging how the history takes a different turn. This turn is the civil war (the title is about this: humanity living in the shadow of a war).

    There are two main points that Auster makes: that he wants to shake people up with talking about 9/11 and Iraq war and that after the 2000 elections he seems not to live in the real world. But now he is proud of Americans for choose Barak Obama as a candidate.

    There is another point he makes and is that USA is divided by religion because both parts (seculars and religious) are certain to detain the truth, so they can’t communicate, and he pointed out that with the federal organization of America the 40% that doesn’t believe in the evolution theories politically is more important that the majority of voters.

    In the interview on “Che tempo fa” I realize that he is a man who fully lives his life, and he isn’t over other human beings but he is one like others.

    Francesca Cazorzi

  17. anonimo scrive:

    In the first video Paul Auster is asked to talk about his latest novel “Man in the dark”, and he is asked to focus mainly on August Brill’s dream about a different world where the USA didn’t invade Iraq and where maybe the 9/11 didn’t have happened. Auster explains that the idea of the book actually came after the 2000 presidential elections. He was soo angry and frustrated by those elections as he thinks that the elections results had been manipulated, he is sure that Al Gore has won them, and this makes him feel like writing a book whose story describes a different world with Al Gore as the President of the USA. As he somehow wants to protest against the ballots rigging, he makes his character dream of a civil war in the USA between the people who think that Al Gore won the elections, and who thinks he didn’t.

    In the second videoclip Auster claims that there is a kind of a civil war in America, and this war is not been fought with guns and bullets, but with words and ideas. Auster feels that there is a division between religious americans and secular americans, these people are divided not only for the principles and theories they support, but mainly for their ways of thinking, both of them are absolutely convinced that they are on the truth, and they both consider inhuman who doesn’t think as they do; these are the reasons hy they aren’t open to dialoge. Auster explains this division by making an example:”How is it possible to have a rational conversation with someone who believes that the world was created in 6 days and s/he doesn’t believe in the theory of evolution?”

    In the interview at “chetempochefa” Auster explains the meaning of the title of the book “Man in the dark”. If I say in English “I am in the dark” I mean that I’m not able to understand what’s happening around me, things are not clear, its meaning is similar to italian “brancolare nel buio”. Auster then tells us 2 importants anecdotes of his life: the one of the pencil and the baseball player, and the one of the onions-cake. From these 2 anecdotes I understand the reason why in all his books and films he gives an important role to randomness. Unlike other famous writers, Auster lives as ordinary people live, he doesn’t have a big house with lots of compfort, he doesn’t have strange hobies…he doesn’t even have a car!! (but this means that he takes the taxi!!…) even because in his earlier career as a writer he tried out the lack of food and money.

    Chiara Pinardi

  18. anonimo scrive:

    Paul Auster in two short video has spoken of his new book “man in the dark” and of the divisions that there are in America. His new book is a novel. This talks of a man that every night in bed imagines new stories set in America in full civil war. An America where the tragedy of the Twin Towers and the war in Iraq are never occurred.

    In the second video instead Auster speaks of another type of civil war that, this time, it is really in the course in America: the war of ideas and intolerance. As the author America is divided in the ideas, and what is worse is that there is no tolerance: atheists and Christians do not talk to each other, and do not tolerate.

    These two anecdotes have made me understand that the stories told by Auster are never random, underlying a deep meaning related to contemporary society and that this author, as shown by the films smoke and blue in the face, it is very attentive to the society that surrounds and is able to get the ideas and feelings.

    Paul Auster it says proud of Americans for having proposed as a candidate to the White House a black, but fears that at the elections some people could have racist feelings.


  19. anonimo scrive:

    The first video deals with the plot of “man in the dark”. This book is about a man,who lying in bad, he can’t sleep and so he invents and makes different stories. His name is August Brill. He images onother America and this man lives during a civil war which started after the 2000 President election.

    Paul Auster was ispired to write this because of the anger and frustation he thought after that election. His vision of reality was that was obvious that Algore won the election. And in that story he doesn’t mention the 9/11 tragedy as if it never happened. This is just a dream. He said that his book wasn’t for everybody. He doesn’t want to offend somebody whit his words. He also said that what he writes was only the real life, pain and suffering.

    For him a novel is a flexible form where everything is possible, where you can writes what you feel in your heart.

    In the fourth video Auster sees the gap between secular and religious Americans widening by the day. And it will became harder and harder for the two sides to comunicate, because if everybody think that what they say is true ,they don’t listen and they don’t believe in what the others say. Both sides are guilty. For him the religion is the main cause of american division.


  20. anonimo scrive:

    The first video is entirely based on the story of “Man in the Dark” and on some reflections the book contains, that are about Bush’s win at elections (this event was cheated in Paul Auster’s opinion, Al Gore should had won). In the fourth clip Paul Auster claims his idea that in the US there is a war, with no guns but with words and ideas. Communication is becoming harder and harder because people believe they are right, so don’t want to hear each other. In Auster’s opinion there is too much hatred and the fissure point of this situation is religion (he explains this conception through some examples concerning different States). The author is convinced we need to tolerate other opinions and feelings, but reaching this “goal” is really difficult(as he says, 44% of Americans does not believe in the theory of evolution,so how can we communicate with them?).

    His latest book “Man in the Dark” is about a man unable to sleep, who mixes up different stories, dreaming another America, with no war. The book was inspired by the anger and frustration linked to politics in America and to the first election of George W.Bush. Auster imagines a different America, in which is faced the possibility of a civil war after the “scandal of the gerrymandering”. The author himself claims to have used the novel to explain the Americans’ division since the moment in which Bush was elected, in 2000.

    The two anecdotes tell me that Paul Auster is a man as all the other men, he misses things (I’m thinking about the pencil) and also lived in uncomfortable conditions, during his life. He is human, so he must cope with difficulties of life, but I really liked to hear his experiences, because I find really interesting how he could learn something from these moments.

    Paul Auster explains the meaning of the title, that is correspondent of the italian expression “brancolare nel buio”. The title expresses the condition of a man who have lost himself and tries to find his identity but doesn’t know how to do. He also thinks religion can be a problem in a country, because it enforces people’s positions and complicates communication. He appreciates the place in which he lives and Brooklyn, and last but not least, the candidacy of Obama, a figure in which he had put a dream that has now become true.

    Giulia Marcassa

  21. anonimo scrive:

    Paul Auster in “Man in the Dark” asks himself if the ideological division between Democratises and Republicans could be so strong to lead his nation to a civil war, but he analyze this idea in a non-conventional novel, in a famous (the story within the story) but always new method, that could be also defined a bit oniric.

    About his anecdotes, these confirm my opinion that Paul Auster is a strange person, but he can however maintain the connection between his way of thinking and reality, and explain one in the other one.

    Damiano Verardo

    PS: I wrote this comment few weeks ago, but I forgot to send it. Luckily today I cheched all my posts…

  22. anonimo scrive:

    In the first videoclip Paul Auster talks about the story of the novel “Man in the Dark”: it is about a man, August Brill, unable to sleep, who makes up different stories. In particular, he imagines another America, involved in a civil war, where the Iraq war and the tragedy of 9/11 had never occurred. Some people have criticised his book for the presence of problematic issues, such as the war in Iraq, but Auster replied that his book talks about the real life, the real suffer and pain and that novel is a very flexible form, so it can takes into consideration various aspects, without being offensive. In the second videoclip Auster brings to light a problem which is considered a “fissure point”: a civil war made of words and ideas, a gap between secular and religious, that leads both sides to be closed to dialogue, to be fixed on their opinions.

    In my opinion the two anecdotes allow us to understand something fundamental in Paul Auster: first of all that is a man like all of us, who had to deal with various difficulties and negative experiences, then that Randomness and coincidences have fascinated him since young, and the importance of writing as a way to fix emotions, thoughts, etc…

    Federica Cozzarin

  23. MicheleDB scrive:

    The first viedeoclip is about a little explanation of what “Man in the Dark” is and how it is linked to Iraq war, and 11th September. After that, Paul Auster elucidates what he thinks about the election of 2000 (among Bush and Al Gore) and what Bush did in his legislation.

    In “Man in the Dark”, the protagonist is a man that cannot sleep, so he creates stories. In one of this story, he imagine to be inside an American civil war.

    In the second videoclip Paul Auster says that nowadays there is a sort of civil war in USA. People are divided by religions: religious and seculars are convinced to tell the truth, this war is based not on guns and bullets but on words and ideas.

    The interview broadcasts on “Che tempo fa” shows a man different from the crowd, e.g. not having a pen conditioned his career.

    Happy New Year!!

  24. anonimo scrive:

    In the first clip he point out that he wrote this book (Man in the Dark) basing it on his dream of a different world. He wanted Gore as president, he wanted America had never gone to Iraq, never begun this war that caused (in part) the 11th September attack to the Twin Towers in New York. He is deeply convinced that some bad things would have never happened if Bush didn’t become the president and made different choices. I think Auster lives in an another world, for what concern the psychological view, because he wanted to pointed out in his book all the tragedies that occurred in an another world (without the 11th September and in the middle of a civil war). But I asked myself: Are we sure that with Gore (or anyone else) everything would have been better? We ask several time a year if we had done this thing or that thing in another way, how and what would have changed in our lives. It’s easy to point out all the problems after they occurred! Everyone makes choices: some good, some others worse. Everyone pays their consequences. It’s amazing thinking about a world without Mafia, without wars, also without Berlusconi. It’s amazing and it’s easy. I don’t have read the book yet. I’m sure that this is an interesting book but it is simply a book. It hasn’t the power yet to change things. It would be great if it will have this power one day!

    Paul Auster also told about an other kind of civil war in America between words and ideas in the second video. He thinks that is quite impossible having a conversation between one person who believe that God creates the world in 6 days and a person who has a “scientific” mind. This (for the umpteenth time) is caused by society that grew up us as soldiers: the only one who has the reason on its side is who has the power. The others are only followers. But who’s got the power? The Church? The State? Some (more believer) follow the first, some others (more rational) follow the second. But who’s better? No one knows.

    I’ve already express my opinion on the interview at “Che tempo che fa”. I think he is a kind person, sweet in some part of the interview (his story about having a pencil with him or his life in France). But I started changing my mind about him, he is a good writer but I think he talks too much about “what if” and too much about psychological things and their meanings. But this is my thought.

    Elena Poles

  25. anonimo scrive:

    The first video is written all around “Man in the dark” and on thoughts connected to the American elections of 2000,in which Bush won .As a Democratic Auster points out that Gore should have won. In the fourth video Auster assert a fundamental thesis: in the Unites States the war is not made with guns but with words and thoughts. The main problem is that there is impassable wall built of strong beliefs and vacuity: people are so convinced of their ideas that they are not more able to communicate. The most evident example is Religion seen as the “fissure point” by the author. That instrument is used in different ways also by governments .

    “Man in the dark” is the story of August Brill, a man who lives in a dimension where 9.11 and the invasion of Iraq did not happen. After many troubles August tries to escape from his world with imagination, that’s why he creates stories which make him capable to spend the hours of insomnia .In this situation the civil war generated after the American elections of 2000 which is imagined by Brill is the transfer of Auster worries (the author asserted that he had written the book in order to explicate to American people the divisions during the elections).As said in “Chetempochefa “ the title is referred to the Dark which dominates human life and its randomness. The two anecdotes point out that Auster is a normal person who has accidents and troubles as all people and know how to use his experiences in order to enrich his baggage.

    Perin Marco

  26. anonimo scrive:

    The first video is the description of the Auster’s last book, “Man in the dark”. An hypothetic story during these years, started from the Bush’s non-election in 2000. The story is narrated by a paralytic man, housebounded by his pain, who invents this unrealistic world to fight against his sleeplessness. In the fourth video, on the contrary, Auster claims that in America there is a war, “no with guns but with words and ideas”. People are divided by themselves opinions, which don’t led to communicate and understand other point of view. Both the video deal with a civil war: one imaginary other real, the first directly mortality, the second cause of a slowly death of the community. That is very similar on what he said to Fazio in the show “Che tempo che fa”: people are divided by themselves ideas and the can’t live together. The main problem is the religion, because in America, many people are convinced on the authenticity of Biblical theory as creationism. This people can’t help the community to grow up, so they and their ignorance became a problem for America.

    To concern the anecdotes told in the Fazio’s show, I’ve understood that Paul Auster puts his experience in his books, because he has had the lucky to life a exiting life (or the misfortune as for the anecdote about the Nazism, pointed by Fazio). I shouldn’t be surprised if the event of the pen and the baseball player was the caused of the Auster’s life as writer.

    Nicola Truant

  27. anonimo scrive:

    The first video deals with “Man in the Dark”, Auster’s latest work, which he decided to write after the disappointing 2000 elections won by President Bush. The author was shocked, in his opinion the winner should have been Al Gore, he thought it was obvious but perhaps Bush cheated and this created in Auster a sort of frustration and anger that many other americans felt provoking protests that inspired the civil war imagined by the protagonist of the book, August Brill. This is only a dream: the Iraq war and the catastrophe of the 9/11 would have never exhisted. Anyway, many critics think these arguments shouldn’t be written in literature; Auster answers saying literature can deal with everything, fortunately he is still freee to say and write whaterver he thinks and these themes shouldn’t be put aside: they are REAL problems and his book is about the REAL world.

    In the second videoclip Auster says there is a sort of civil war in the USA nowadays, not fought with guns or bullets but just with ideas and words; this is the war of the religious and non-religious americans who think their truth is absolute and are not open to dialogue with the others. This is a strong division which Auster contributes to create himself: the author in fact doesn’t believe in God and finds impossible to have a rational conversation with “people who believe the world was created in 6 days”. Auster expresses these thoughts even in the interview at “chetempochefa”, where he also tells us two anecdotes about his life: the one of the pen that thanks to a baseball player he has always in his pocket and helped him to start his career as a writer and the one of the onions cake which gives us a good vision of the poet (he’s a normal man, an usual man and lived many of the problems that people every day live: poverty, hunger, family problems. All these things forged him as a good man and a good writer; there are always hints at his life, his passions and his hobbies in his works. In this interview he also explains that the title of his book has a secondary meaning which the italian language couldn’t understand: “to be in the dark” means even “not to be able to understand what is happening or the meaning of something”. This is a thinness which tells us a lot about the importance of reading books in the language they were written…but this is another story 🙂

    –Maiutto Jessica–

  28. anonimo scrive:


    In the first video Paul Auster speaks about his latest novel “Man in the Dark”. He refers to the Iraq war and to 9-11, when there was the terrorist attack to the Twin Towers. He shares with us his political choice and expectations.

    In the second video he talks about religion and his rule played in the division of America. He said that we must find a way to collaborate and to tolerate other kind of religions and believes.

  29. anonimo scrive:

    Luca Gasparin

    I’m so sorry of being late, but I had some problems with my internet connection anyway now I will post all my comments.

    In this two short video clips Paul Auster talks about his latest book “Man in the dark” and the problem that divide his country. In the first clip he introduces his book and he talk about his political choice. The book is about a man, how can sleep and he tells himself a story set in America during a war.

    The author thinks that religion is the problem that is dividing his country.

  30. anonimo scrive:

    In the first videoclip Paul Auster speck about his latest book “Man in the Dark”. It is a story about a man, Augustus Brill, his daughter and granddaughter who are all alone. It is night and Brill can’t sleep so he thinks about his life that was not so beautiful. To escape from his thought about his life he imagines another world: there is a civil war in the USA after the presidential election of the 2000. It is a story about someone who has a very bad life more than the Augustus one.

    The title of his book could be read in two ways: literally “Man in the dark” means man in the dark because it is set at night, than there is the metaphorical meaning that means the confusion of the humanity.

    In the second videoclip the writer says that the USA is divided because there is not open dialog. He thinks that religion is one of the causes of this problem: because of religion many people think that they are the keeper of the truth and with this kind of person it could not be dialog. He says that he appreciates the freedom of speech of his country: he does not like the president George W. Bush and he can say that freely without being censored.

    I understand that Auster is a man like us: he has lived some difficult moment in the past and he learns from experience, that is what all of us should do.

    Federica Battistin

  31. anonimo scrive:

    In the first videoclip Paul Auster talks about his new novel “Man in the Dark”, he says that it is a story within the story, the story of a man that tells himself stories. The main point of the book is the election of 2000, when Bush won on Al Gore. The public opinion knew that the Americans wanted Al Gore as president, but mysteriously won his opponent (quite similar to what happened in Italy). From the moment of the elections on, develops a parallel story where Al Gore won the presidential , Twin Towers stand still, Iraq war never started but where a civil war devastates the States. In the second video Paul Auster explains the problem that divides the country: Religion. In his opinion it is a war fought with words and ideas, the result is that there is no more communication, it is impossible a rational conversation between the two parts, they who believe and who doesn’t, but in the end both sides are guilty. In the third excerpt Auster tells two anecdotes, these stories shows the way his personal life influences his professional life. Not having a pen when he met his favorite baseball player made him carrying a pen wherever he goes, and this maybe made him begin to write. About “Man in the Dark” Auster says that the protagonist, which in the novel is in the dark, is emblematic of the humanity, which is in the dark as well, in a period of difficulty in which it is passing through , in the novel and in the reality. Paul Auster is not exactly in favor of President Bush but at least, he says, there is the freedom of speech, he’s not a dictator and in his country there is not a totalitarian regime!

    Riccardo Bagattin

  32. PaulAuster2008 scrive:

    Dear Federica (n.7), you should pose your question directly to Paul Auster himself when you meet him. I myself am eager to know the answer.

    For those who have not posted their answers yet, I suggest reading Chiara’s posting (n. 14) since it summarises all the points raised in main post.

    Dear Carolina (n. 15), I think that for most writers the act of writing is somehow therapeutic. I have not yet understood why you think Paul Auster is a “strange” man. It is obvious that his postmodern way of writing may puzzle the reader, especially a reader whose mother tongue is not English. Yet, I can’t understand when you state that he is a complex man because he reveals his inner doubts. Is that negative? Is that being complex?

    I would like you all to read Francesca’s final comment (n.16): “In the interview on “Che tempo fa” I realize that he is a man who fully lives his life, and he isn’t over other human beings but he is one like others”. Thanks Fancesca.

    Chiara (n. 17), thanks for your clarification about the title of Paul Auster’s latest novel: “In the interview at “chetempochefa” Auster explains the meaning of the title of the book “Man in the dark”. If I say in English “I am in the dark” I mean that I’m not able to understand what’s happening around me, things are not clear, its meaning is similar to italian “brancolare nel buio”. ”

    Damiano (n.21), just like Carolina, you consider Paul Auster a strange writer, can you clarify what you mean by “strange”?

    Dear Elena (n.24), Thanks for your post. Quite different from the others. YOu see, if it were not for this writer, you would not have raised so many objections. Like you I think that nobody can be perfect and we do not have the certainty that with a different leader our country would be a better place. Yet, not questioning things may be dangerous. On top of that, if writing were just factual, if it just dealt with facts, then it would be somehow a sort of summary, it would not involve the reader. I think a good writer has the capability of plunging the reader into the psyche of the character. You share the character’s outer and inner world. I do not understand in what way the psychological focus of the writer puts you off. Please explain, I am eager to understand.