Update 7/03: in the book there is the story of a guy who drops his whole life (wife, work…) because a falling gargoyle fall one foot away from him. It happens to a guy passing under balconies just next to where I live, except it was a vase. I’m wondering if he dropped his life yet.
As Paul Auster often does, the story of a book inside the story of a book. This goes well, as the story flows easily : after Paulo Coehlo spiritual writing, the profoundly human speech of Paul Auster was a bliss.
Moreover, I got some descriptions from this book as well, and I may plunge into Boris Vian again to find his : I noticed I’m completely unable to describe someone, with any word. I hope focusing on authors’ descriptions will help me find a way.
She is dressed in the simplest clothes, has almost no makeup on, wears her hair in a short, unfashionable cut, and yet her face is so lovely, Nick finds, so achingly young and unguarded, so much (he suddenly thinks) an emblem of hope and uncoiled human energy, that he momentarily stops breathing.
The set and slant of the eyes, the rounded chin, the elegant mouth, the bridge of the nose – it was Tina in a man’s body, or little flashes of her at any rate, darting out at random moments.
Football games, sitcoms, cop shows, nature specials – he loves everything about television. But he never reads, never votes, never even bothers to pretend to have an opinion about what’s going on in the world. He’s known me for sixteen years, and in all that time he hasn’t once taken the trouble to open one of my books. I don’t mind, of course, but I mention it in order to show how lazy he is, how thoroughly lacking of curiosity.
How red the blood looked against the whiteness of the porcelain sink, I thought. How vividly imagined that color was, how aesthetically shocking. The other fluids that came out of us were dull in comparison, the palest of squirts. Whitish spittle, milky semen, yellow pee, green-brown mucus. We excreted autumn and winter colors, but running invisibly through our veins, the very stuff that kept us alive, was crimson of a mad artist – a red as brilliant as fresh paint.
You begin two hundreds years before your birth, roughly seven generations back, and then gradually work your way home to the present. The purpose of this trip is to teach you humility and compassion, tolerance for your fellow men. out of the hundreds of forebear you encounter on the voyage, the entire gamut of human possibilities will be played out before you, every number of the genetic lottery will turn up. The traveller will understand that he has come from an immense cauldron of contradictions and that among his antecedents are beggars and fools, saints and heroes, cripples and beauties, gentle souls and violent criminals, altruists and thieves. To be exposed to so many lives in such a short span of time is to gain a new understanding of yourself and your place in the world. You see yourself as a part of something greater than yourself, and you see yourself as a distinct individual, an unprecedented being in your own irreplaceable future. You understand, finally, that you alone are responsible for making yourself who you are.