RARA-AVIS: City of Glass

From: Johnny Klapp ( JohnnyQKlapp@yahoo.com)
Date: 15 Jun 2003

Has anybody read CITY OF GLASS by Paul Auster? I haven't read the book, I've read the comicbook version, which I have heard is even better. I thought it was sort of astonishing. What I loved about it was the dialogue between noir and postmodern conventions -- where the
'detective' (who is also the writer, or is he?) kind of forgets what he's supposed to be detecting, and pretty much forgets who he is, or was, too.

It's about how language constructs reality and it's about the conventions as much as it uses them. When it uses them, it uses them in quotes.

To tell you the truth, I don't think I like actual Paul Auster, but I do like what/who Paul Auster might be. In other words, I love his ideas and the things he tries, but I've not read anything yet that I didn't find slightly precious. The talent, I think, is less impressive than the intelligence. What was it Wittgenstein said? When the genius wears thin, the talent shows through. Well in his case, when the talent wears this, the thinking shows through.

But it's very good thinking.

Anyway, does anybody know of other stimulating thriller/noir works that break convention or introduce new techniques? That's what interests me. I may have to take refuge among the French.

Best wishes


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