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Paul Auster   ::   The Brooklyn Follies

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"Gliding through Times Square at three-thirty in the morning, and all the traffic is gone, and suddenly you're alone in the center of the world, with neon raining down on you from every corner of the sky. Or pushing the speedometer up past seventy on the Belt Parkway just before dawn and smelling the ocean as it pours in on you through the open window. Or traveling across the Brooklyn Bridge at the very moment a full moon rises into the arch, and that's all you can see, the bright yellow roundness of the moon, so big that it frightens you, and you forget that you live down here on earth and imagine you're flying, that the cab has wings and you're actually flying through space. No book can duplicate those things."
"Con men and tricksters run the world. Rascals rule. And do you know why?"
"Tell me, Master. I'm all ears."
"Because they're hungrier than we are. Because they know what they want. Because they believe in life more than we do."
"By the time a man gets to our age, Nathan, he's little more than a series of exes. N'est-ce pas? In my own case, I could probably reel off a dozen or more. Ex-husband. Ex-art dealer. Ex-navy man. Ex-window dresser. Ex-perfume salesman. Ex-millionaire. Ex-Buffalonian. Ex-Chicagoan. Ex-convict."
As Oscar Wilde once put it, after twenty-five everyone is the same age...
... at least I knew my dream girl's name, and whenever I repaired to the Cosmic Diner and sat down at my regular table, I could actually talk to her. That was enough for an old has-been like myself. I had already danced my dance and had my fun, and what happened to me was of little importance. If the opportunity came along to add another notch to my belt, I wouldn't have said no, but it was hardly a matter of life and death.
"I miss everyone I've lost. I get so sad sometimes, I can't believe I don't just drop dead from the weight that's crushing down on me."
"... when a person is lucky enough to live inside a story, to live inside an imaginary world, the pains of this world disappear. For as long as the story goes on, reality no longer exists."
Joyce and I hadn't reached the December of our lives, but there was no question that May was well behind us. What we were together was an afternoon in mid- to late October, one of those bright fall days with a vivid blue sky above, a gusty nip in the air, and a million leaves still clinging to the branches - most of them brown, but with enough golds and reds and yellows left to make you want to stay outdoors as long as you can.
"Nancy's my daughter..."
"And Rory's my niece. So what? They don't belong to us. We just have them on loan."
Most lives vanish. A person dies, and little by little all traces of that life disappear. An inventor survives in his inventions, an architect survives in his buildings, but most people leave behind no monuments or lasting achievements: a shelf of photograph albums, a fifth-grade report card, a bowling trophy, an ashtray filched from a Florida hotel room on the final morning of some dimly remembered vacation. A few objects, a few documents, and a smattering of impressions made on other people. Those people invariably tell stories about the dead person, but more often than not dates are scrambled, facts are left out, and the truth becomes increasingly distorted, and when those people die in their turn, most of the stories vanish with them.
books i've read..
2013 [12 read]
2012 [36 read]
2011 [5 read]
2010 [6 read]
2009 [5 read]
2008 [21 read]
2007 [31 read]
2006 [37 read]
2005 [37 read]
2004 [32 read]
2003 [18 read]
2002 [52 read]
2001 [43 read]
2000 [7 read]
1999 [25 read]
1998 [3 read]
unknown year [65 read]

read over the years