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The New York Trilogy City of Glass Notes

The New York Trilogy City of Glass Notes - The New York...

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The New York Trilogy Post Modern Novel Paul Auster City of Glass Car Wreck Example (A notion of Post-modernism) - There is an accident that everyone sees occur o Each person will have their own version of the accident—in their own language (voice). - The accident is the referent and the accounts of the accident the signed . - Is there any other way to explain or describe the accident other than through language? o Whose account is the true—the absolute truth—the one that was exactly how it occurred—they’re all true. Everything lies in the perception—there’s no objectivity. - What if we decide that all of the versions are invalid? o Can we get a more precise, accurate description of what happened outside of our perception and language? o Language when it reflects something, it doesn’t reflect it in a one-on-one way. We are assuming that an author can use language to reflect the real – what happens when you reach the point that language, when it reflects something, it doesn’t reflect it in a one-on-one kind of way -- between language, the text, and the social real. What happens when you reach a point that you have this awareness that language and perception and all that comes into play --then it means that the representation of the referent is signified rather than reflected? Memory comes into play, language comes into play… example of post modern – when your talking about something and you get more than one version of it and you don’t privilege a version – you have difficulty pinpointing if your getting the best version or there is a more correct version, etc. Think about how words are used – supplement means added on, but it also means vitamins. This means that the word is in play (fluidity of words). It becomes difficult to pin something down in an absolute way. In this postmodern world, we play roles. Me the mother, me the student, me the wife, etc. This is considered a decentered subject. Paul Auster - The New York Trilogy was his signature piece that established him as a post modern writer (second generation) - See handout of quotes - 1 st quote -- Auster argues that the world is full of chance rather than a cause/effect found in traditional novels and he wants to say that in this world there is chance and coincidence and mystery and accept it as being part of life. o He wants to redescribe the world and reconfigure reality that allows chance and mystery to coexist in the world.
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- 2 nd quote -- To do so you must enter the modern structure and then violate it. A traditional detective novel has the illusion that something happens, he searches the clues, he finds the murderer and then solves the problem o Auster knocks the head off of the conventional detective story. He hijacks it and makes it search for something else he wants to talk about – chance, mystery, moves the plot – it’s a chance phone call that starts the novel.
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