Paul Auster stood in front of the room and read. We listened.
Tonight there was a lecture, a talk about translation by Paul Auster.
I was prepared to be a little bored by a famous author talk talking about how one word in one language is a different meaning in English.
Only he didn't do that.
He read just enough chunks from his latest novel, the one that isn't out yet
, to have us all entranced.
Here's what I caught: several different characters related but distinct lists of resonant objects, attitudes of indifference in The Best Years of Our Lives
, Happy Days
, a painter lapsing from her medication and deciding to retrain herself from the figure again, Greenwood Cemetery
where 600,000 dead people live, men who don't talk (and the reasons maybe they can't), and creatives who open their veins and bleed in public.
There was no q & a really. So here is a lovely one, from 2003, from the Washington Post.
So, while I did not get to the lecture last night, stopping by the university on my way home so that I could listen to a writer spin words and images into the room was a good idea. I am glad also, I had a pencil in my pocket.