The Red Notebook

The Red Notebook este inclusa in cartile autobiografice scrise de Paul Auster, categorie din care nu mai citisem nimic sa stiu la ce sa ma astept. Totusi, ca impresie imediata dupa ce am terminat-o pot sa spun ca alaturarea textelor mi s-a parut ciudata.

Volumul se deschide cu experiente personale ale autorului, majoritatea coincidente sau persoane care i-au influentat tematica in romanele de mai tarziu. Fara sa foloseasca nume reale in afara de cel al sotiei sale, mi-a placut cum Auster reuseste sa dea micilor schite acelasi aer bizar ca si cartilor sale de fictiune: nimic nu se intampla fara motiv, totul conteaza in inlantuirea intamplarilor.

Cartea mai cuprinde cateva eseuri despre scris si literatura, influentele altor scriitori, un text tradus de Auster din opera lui Mallarmé si interviuri aparute in diverse publicatii.

Dar oricat de surprinzator a fost sa citesc o analiza a poeziei franceze din secolul XX scrisa de Auster, fragmentul care mi s-a parut cel mai interesant in afara interviurilor a fost un text publicat in New York Times in 1993. Un scurt eseu despre libertatea de a scrie cu un nume sugestiv – A Prayer for Salman Rushdie – in care Auster isi manifesta dezgustul si ingrijorarea pentru situatia in care se afla Rushdie:

“ I pick up my pen, and before I begin to write, I think of my fellow novelist across the ocean. I pray that he will go on living another twenty-four hours. I pray that his English protectors will keep him hidden from the people who are out to murder him,  the same people who have already killed one of his translators and wounded another…

I pray for this man every morning, but deep down, I know that I am also praying for myself. His life is in danger because he wrote a book. Writing books is my business as well, and I know that if not for the quirks of history and pure blind luck, I could be in his shoes. If not today, then perhaps tomorrow. We belong to the same club: a secret fraternity of solitaries, shut-ins, and cranks, men and women who spend the better part of our time locked up in little rooms struggling to put words on a page. It is a strange way to live one’s life, and only a person who had no choice in the matter would choose it as a calling. It is too arduous, too underpaid, too full of disappointments to be fit for anyone else…

I wish there was something I could do to help. Frustration mounts, despair sets in, but given that I have neither the power nor the influence to affect the decisions of foreign governments, the most I can do is pray for him. He is carrying the burden for all of us.”


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