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Report from the Interior

Report from the Interior [Kindle Edition]

Paul Auster
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“Intimate, even claustrophobic, this journey into the author’s memory banks reads like a primal scream, an attempt to relive his youth and evolution.”-- Oprah Magazine

“Auster should be recognized as one of the great American prose stylists of our time…. [Auster’s] autobiographical works are jewels perfectly cut, luminous little books… It would not be inaccurate to describe the first section, which gives the book its title, as perfect.” – The New York Times Book Review

Report from the Interior is a fetchingly original, if eclectic, examination of what it feels like to be a young person in a puzzle-world that still hasn’t fallen into place. We all felt it as children; Auster has simply revisited it and put it into words.” -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

“[Report From the Interior] adds another piece to the jigsaw puzzle of one of our greatest writers.... There are wonderful Austerian twists and ruminations here, making for a satisfying addition to his eclectic canon.” -- Shelf Awareness

“[Auster is an] achingly talented essayist.” -- Denver Post

"Celebrated author Auster (Sunset Park) observes his own life in this engaging memoir… Auster presents a fascinating take on the memoir. Students and fans will appreciate his original examination of his interior self." – Library Journal (Starred)
“A high-wire explication of his inner life… Auster’s phenomenal literary powers are generated by his equal fluency in matters emotional and cerebral. Here the origins of that sustaining duality are revealed.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist

"The interplay of memory, identity and the creative imagination informs this portrait of the artist as a young man, a memoir that the novelist’s avid readership will find particularly compelling…. Auster has long rendered life as something of a puzzle; here are some significant, illuminating pieces." —Kirkus


In the beginning, everything was alive. The smallest objects were endowed with beating hearts . . .

Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in Winter Journal, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster now remembers the experience of his development from within, through the encounters of his interior self with the outer world.

From his baby's-eye view of the man in the moon to his childhood worship of the movie cowboy Buster Crabbe to the composition of his first poem at the age of nine to his dawning awareness of the injustices of American life, Report from the Interior charts Auster's moral, political and intellectual journey as he inches his way toward adulthood through the post-war fifties and into the turbulent 1960s.

Auster evokes the sounds, smells, and tactile sensations that marked his early life-and the many images that came at him, including moving images (he adored cartoons, he was in love with films), until, at its unique climax, the book breaks away from prose into pure imagery: The final section of Report from the Interior recapitulates the first three parts, told in an album of pictures.

At once a story of the times and the story of the emerging consciousness of a renowned literary artist, this four-part work answers the challenge of autobiography in ways rarely, if ever, seen before.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 18035 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 352 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0805098577
  • Verlag: Faber & Faber Non Fiction (5. November 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #106.077 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Mehr über den Autor

Den ersten Entwurf eines Romans schreibt Paul Auster noch immer mit der Hand, ein echtes Manuskript also. Die Arbeitsweise passt zu dem Autor, der mit seiner Frau zurückgezogen in Brooklyn lebt und nicht gern über seine literarische Arbeit spricht. Geboren wurde Auster 1947 in Newark, New Jersey. Seine Vorfahren waren jüdische Einwanderer aus Österreich. Nach dem Studium fuhr er als Matrose auf einem Öltanker zur See. Von 1971-74 lebte Auster in Frankreich. Danach hatte er einen Lehrauftrag an der Columbia University und war Übersetzer und Herausgeber französischer Autoren. Mit Romanen wie "Mond über Manhattan", "Die Brooklyn Revue" und "Unsichtbar" sowie seiner klaren, bildreichen Sprache avancierte er zu einem der erfolgreichsten US-amerikanischen Autoren.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Marvelous! 13. Juli 2014
Von Mayra
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Everyone who has a heart for children will surely find great pleasure and joy in reading Paul Auster's "Report from the Interior".
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Too Much Filler 19. November 2013
Von L. Young - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Paul Auster has admitted in interviews that in the past few years he has found it harder and harder to come up with ideas for novels. So given this lack of ideas for fiction he seems to be churning out non-fiction of late, 'Winter Journal' in August 2012 and just 9 months ago 'Here and Now', a collection of his not very interesting correspondence with novelist J.M. Coetzee. Now we have 'Report from the Interior'. Where in 'Winter Journal' he examined his life through his physical self, he here examines his life through his interior life - his memories. For the most part I found the results lackluster. The first section of the book about his childhood, spent in middle class, suburban New Jersey is filled with memories of school, summer camp, school dances and girls, not any different from the memories of other suburban boys. Nothing makes this material rise about the ordinary, although there are occasional flashes of humor as when a family friend arrives with baseball legend Whitey Ford in tow to introduce to the young, baseball loving Auster. Is it Whitey or an imposter? Fifty years later he still doesn't know.There is an occasional flash of brillance when early in the book he describes his experience as a youngster floating outside himself, 'a phantom without weight', a dissassociatve feeling that still comes back to haunt him so many years later. But such instances are few and far between here.

The third section of the book is relatively interesting. While writing this book his first wife author, Lydia Davis, offered to provide him with copies of his correspondence to her, written while in their twenties. He focuses here on the earliest ones written to her between the ages of 19-22. These letters tell of his time at Columbia University and then in Paris doing some translation work, and his agonizing over whether to complete his junior year abroad or drop out of Columbia making him eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War. In these letters we catch glimpses of the superb writer that Auster will become. Unfortunately this section which ends the book ends with a lengthly letter to Davis describing apartment hunting in NYC, drunkenness and carousing - a touch of the juvenile. To me it was mere filler which is the main problem with this book. To be honest this book is chock full of filler. In the second section of the book Auster spends seventy pages describing in excruciating detail the plots of two films that impacted his childhood - 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' and 'I am a Fugitve from a Chain Gang'. It's easy to understand the emotional impact of these films on a young boy, but I can't explain his need to fill so many pages on them, far more pages then he gives to any books that may have influenced him as a child, which are barely mentioned at all.

Then there is the final section of filler entitled 'Album', grainy black and white photos that illustrate his text - photos from the two movies, as well as news events, and baseball and entertainment figures mentioned in the text, all unneccessary and added to fatten the otherwise slim content of this book. All in all I found it disappointing.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen One Writer's Beginnings 4. Februar 2014
Von H. F. Corbin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
While all of REPORT FROM THE INTERIOR is interesting, the first section is in a word simply brilliant as Paul Auster remembers the first years of his life. (The section ends with an event that happened when the writer was in seventh grade and he was born in 1947.) The opening paragraph is stunning and one I reread again and again: "In the beginning, everything was alive. The smallest objects were endowed with beating hearts and even the clouds had names. Scissors could walk, telephones and teapots were first cousins, eyes and eyeglasses were brothers. . . The branches of trees were arms. Stones could think, and God was everywhere."

To those of us of his generation, Mr. Auster brings that time vividly back to our remembrance: the polio scare, the unsuccessful campaign of Stevenson for President in 1952, Hopalong Cassidy, the Long Ranger and Tonto, "The Twilight Zone" and literally dozens of other references to what was happening in the U. S. Mr. Auster cannot remember learning how to read. "At some point in your adolescence, your mother told you that you could identify the letters of the alphabet by the time you were three or four." He isn't sure this is a true statement since his mother "tended to exaggerate" about the accomplishments of her son. (Sound familiar?) At any rate Mr. Auster fell in love with reading and books,-- although he says there were few books in his home-- purchasing the Modern Library edition of Poe's complete poems and stories when he was only nine-- he didn't understand all that he was reading but loved the sounds of the words -- and later becoming enamored with O. Henry and purchasing in 1958 DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, another book way too difficult for an eleven year old to understand.

Mr. Auster of course was taught by his teachers that "no country could compare to the paradise you lived in" and that every boy [no girl certainly] could grow up to dream of becoming president; but nothing was said about the plight of poor black people or the Indians. He also learned that his father had worked briefly for Thomas Edison, one of Mr. Auster's heroes, and had lost the job only because he was Jewish as Edison was rabidly Anti-Semitic. The writer is not sure exactly when he understood he was a Jew, but it probably came sometime after he realized he was an American. "By the time you were seven or eight, you were beginning to catch on. Jews were invisible, they had no part to play in American life, and they never appeared as heroes in books or films or television shows."

This book would have been incredible if it consisted of only the first section. But we have more although nothing in the rest of the book is quite as good as this part. In the second section "Two Blows to the Head" Mr. Auster remembers two films from his youth that left indelible impressions on him: "The Incredible Shrinking Man" and "I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang." The third section "Tim Capsule" consists of letters he wrote to his first wife Lydia Davis when he was a first young man while a student at Columbia, living both in New York and Paris. We get inside the head of a young man in love who is against the war in Vietnam and anxious about being called up for the draft. Finally he writes to Ms. Davis of his early attempts at becoming a writer.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Trying hard to care 26. Januar 2014
Von Thomas F. Dillingham - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I am really uncertain why this book has annoyed me as much as it has. I have admired several of Paul Auster's novels and would rate them high; I have enjoyed reading his essays in periodicals when I have encountered them. I know that he is admired and awarded as a writer. But this book has struck me as so tiresome and trivial that I had a hard time finishing reading it.

The memoir purports to describe Auster's childhood and early adult years. The opening paragraphs offer a charming child's view of the world around him, not really reminiscent of Joyce's similar self-portrait in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, but having some of the same naive appeal. But in the opening paragraph, Auster begins what is one of the narrative tics that he continues throughout the book--the narrator separates himself from the subject (himself as a younger person) by addressing that younger person as "you": "The face of the clock was a human face, each pea in your bowl had a different personality, and the grille on the front of your parents' car was a grinning mouth with many teeth." And later: "There was no problem in believing that the man in the moon was an actual man. You couild see his face looking down at you from the night sky . . ."

Of course, it is true that a 65 year old man is in many ways NOT the same person as the toddler or even himself as a 22 year old writing to a lover, soon to be lost. The span of this memoir is from babyhood to about 22 (1947 to 1969), and Auster frequently reminds the reader that he has no records--no photos, no letters, no documents--to support the claims he makes about his experiences. He bases his narrative on his memory, and we all know that memory is untrustworthy--gapped, inclined to fill in or even fabricate what we would like to have had happen, whether it did or not, and so on. So Auster constantly asks us to remember his "authority" as a narrator by asserting his honesty in saying that these may be false memories, though he is doing his best to tell the truth as he remembers it. But then in part three, "Time Capsule," he reports that his former wife has returned a batch of letters to him, those he had written to her over a period of several years, including his time at Columbia University in the late 1960s, when the turmoil of the rebellious student takeover of the campus occurred--part of his own experience, reported at that time.

All through the memoir, Auster speaks to "you," then, as though the younger self were a separate entity, even though he acknowledges and hopes we will agree that his memories of that other self are part of himself now. The subject of the
memoir is the problem of writing memoir--one does or does not have documentation to support the validity of one's memories; one is or is not the same person one remembers being at an earlier time; one is or is not the product of the earlier experiences, feelings, readings, viewings, fights, romantic crushes, and so on. And what if the truth is that one is NOT a product of the past, but a constantly evolving new entity--if that were so, what would be the point of repeating all those stories, which have no relationship or outcome. Of if one is the same person, why would one write a memoir as though it were a letter of advice and interpretation to the "you", the separate person, who lived these experiences and is now being reminded of them from a voice separated by many decades. And so on and on.

Part Two of this memoir is devoted almost entirely to detailed scene-by-scene recapitulations of two movies that had a powerful impact on the earlier Paul Auster. The first, "The Incredible Shrinking Man," and the second, "I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang"; both movies are thought-provoking and emotionally engaging in ways that Auster makes clear--both in terms of their impact on his earlier self and, by describing them in detail, showing that they still have the power to challenge and move viewers.
These movies are two titles among many--Auster tells us of many of the books he read during his youth and college years, and speaks often of influential movies. Anyone who grew up in the 50s and 60s will recognize the titles, probably will have read and seen many of them during the same period. A reader might well agree that Diary of Anne Frank and On the Beach and many of his other titles were formative in one's own experience. And there is part of the problem.

Auster effectively disowns the effort to claim or to portray the power and the fascination of his early experiences. They all happened to the "you" he addresses, often in sympathetic tones. It certainly makes sense to treat with some skepticism the attitudes, enthusiasms, tastes, and supposed experiences of a much younger person, especially if one is not confident that the earlier person can be trusted as a construct of oneself. But how is that of interest to a reader? At one point, Auster tells us that he started to write a journal when he was 18, but quit because he could not see the point of writing about what he knew had just happened, and he concludes that his self at that time did not understand that the audience for that journal was his older self. Indeed.

The final section of this memoir is a collection of drawings and photographs, mostly still shots from the movies he has mentioned, a few news photos, especially of the Newark riots and the Columbia University insurrection, and for the most part, the photos are impersonal, except that they are all related to details narrated earlier in the book. They do not include pictures of Paul Auster.

I shared many of the experiences Auster describes, including much of the reading and many of the movies mentioned, as well as living near many of the dramatic events (even having been involved in a few) described. So why would I not be interested in reading Auster's account of them. It's very odd, but I was repeatedly bored and irritated and had to force myself, as I have already said, to continue to the end. I have no idea who the audience for this book might be--except for Paul Auster.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen original approach to an autobiography from a writer who excels in fiction 20. Februar 2014
Von AIROLF - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
It occurs to me that I should state that I read almost every book Paul Auster ever written. In fact, I first stumbled on him as a writer when I picked up a copy of "Timbuktu" browsing through library stacks in college. "Timbuktu" was the book I had planned to write post graduation, only Auster had better plot, writing, and execution.

I proceeded to read every book he wrote up until "Timbuktu". I kept revising Auster's characters, some of whom stayed with me (particularly, the protagonist of "In The Country of Last Things").

I remember reading in an interview with Auster when he stated that the characters take over him brain and make him tell their stories. When he sits down to write he doesn't know what will happen, he just lets his characters develop and progress.

Auster is one of the best contemporary novelists today, but in recent years his work has turned even more autobiographical than before. It was one thing to write novels that had elements of his life, It's all-together different to write an autobiography.

For that is what Auster does in his latest book, "Report from the Interior." In his latest book, Auster continues to explore themes that are important to him - his childhood, his loves, his relationship with his parents. Auster has always been huge on self-identity and self-exploration. In this novel, he looks upon himself in the second-person. The book ends with intimate letters to the woman who would become his first wife.

This is probably the most original viewpoint one can give his readers in an autobiography. The "you do this, you feel this," draws the reader in. There is a lot of buy-in; a reader must determine fairly quickly whether he is willing to put the time investment to read it.

Out of the previous ten Auster novels I read, each took me hours, several days at the most, to read. "Report from the Interior" took me weeks. Why the discrepancy? Although it is a unique approach to retelling your story, the second-person usage is often cumbersome to read.

Because I judge books by how engaging they are, I can't give this book its full five stars.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen A Disappointment 21. Dezember 2013
Von Maria Mann - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Sadly let down by this cobbled-together effort. Miles of wasted pages, detailed descriptions of movies and TV shows that gave the distinct impression that Auster had nothing real to say. Endless letters of no consequence. And while I am very much a fan, I felt nothing except cheated.
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