Paul Auster, the influential writer who is going through hell today: his son is in prison for the death of his 10-month-old granddaughter

Paul Auster, the influential writer who is going through hell today: his son is in prison for the death of his 10-month-old granddaughter

American writer Paul Auster. EFE/JPGandul/File

The death of a 10-month-old baby from an overdose of fentanyl and heroin could well be the start of a novel that explores the intricate recesses of the human soul, the descent into hell of an addiction or a problematic family situation punctuated by emotional swings of all classes. To add to the allure, the man charged with negligent homicide may be the son of a world-renowned writer who, in turn, has addressed complex family relationships in several of his novels. If it’s about Chinese boxes – that’s how the narrative style of Paul Auster-, the situation in real lifeat this moment, surpasses all fiction.

“Much of Auster’s 16 novels will traverse the abyss of being a son and being a father never seeking redemption from a bond that seems impossible without some element of misfortune.” The Alfaguara Novel Prize 2022 sentence Christian Alarconpronounced during his speech to rent out d’Auster, when the University of San Martín awarded him an honorary doctorate (May 2014) takes on an unexpected resonance, amplified by the police news that flooded newsrooms around the world on an Easter Saturday afternoon.

American writer Paul Auster.  EFE/Carlota Ciudad/File

American writer Paul Auster. EFE/Carlota Ciudad/File

Paul Auster He is a novelist, essayist, translator, screenwriter and poet, one of the most influential figures on the world literary scene. His creations have been translated into more than 40 languages. He was named Chevalier of the French Order of Arts and Letters in 1992. He also received the Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters in 2006.

The complexity of his novels lies in an intrinsic mystery, which often surrounds big existential themes such as the search for identity and personal meaning, in many cases from plots that flirt with classic detective stories. Through numerous books, Auster has refined this kind of ambivalence by crossing existentialism and detective fiction. As if Raymond Chandler to meet Jorge Luis BorgesProbably in New York. Behind this particular style hides the temptation to seek – recurrently for four decades – elements of autobiography in his stories.

The family photo is completed by Daniel’s mother: Lydia Davis She is considered one of the most relevant short-story writers on the contemporary scene, translator into English of works by Proust, Flaubert, Foucault, Blanchot and Leiris, and Dutch AL Snijders, renowned literary critic and writing teacher. creative at the University of Albany. Recognized as one of America’s finest short story writers, she received a prestigious McArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2003 for outstanding merit in storytelling. Since 2005 he has been a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2013 he received the biennial Man Booker International Prize.

Lydia Davis, mother of Daniel Auster (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

Lydia Davis, mother of Daniel Auster (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

fiction and reality

Auster’s work is replete with these questions and has approached some small, big family tragedies from different angles, usually depicted with a slight melancholy behind the coldness with which the story sometimes unfolds. The invention of loneliness (1982) describes the absence bond with his father, who died at the age of 67. This sudden death has turned the life of the author upside down: all the outstanding questions have remained unanswered. He then undertook to write a memoir around a figure that had always eluded him. This novel, sustained by memory, loneliness and the conjectures of fiction, would introduce his name and surname as a relevant writer to the world literary scene. “It was a formless textual mass, but there were the plots of my first five novels. Through the discipline and experience I gained from writing The Invention of Solitude, I managed to turn them into The New York Trilogy, moon, Palace S Yes In the land of last things“, he commented on this moment.

the night of the oracle (oracle night, 2004) resonates today with the news of the arrest of her son Daniel. auster said The Paris review that he wrote it in “a trance”, and that it is read, in fact, like a dream that returns – as in almost all his novels – with a strange disorientation and these cobwebs of subplots that germinate and at the same time connect with a higher sense of understanding. It’s about two New York novelists whose writing is an in-depth exploration of their personal relationships. One of them, a veteran and frustrated with life, Trause, faces the demons within that attack him every time a drug-addicted son springs into action, until reaching a violent final scene. The brief dossier of his son Daniel, released as the news spreads, flirts with this fiction.

The shadow of family drama that looms over the seemingly – until today – enjoyable universe of a world-famous writer like Paul Auster, will trigger literary and psychological analyzes of all novels, short stories, essays and poems. The half-open door of all his work is an invitation to all sorts of research (even morbid). If this were a story set in the Austerian universe, several of these stories happening at the same time would lead to an open ending. How much of this all rubs up, even, with the real drama he’s facing right now. Obviously, once upon a time, reality is stranger than fiction.

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