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Winter Journal by Paul Auster

Winter Journal (2012)

by Paul Auster

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4193925,318 (3.81)37
  1. 10
    The collected stories of Lydia Davis by Lydia Davis (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Lydia Davis ware die erste Ehefrau von Paul Auster, die er in seiner Autobiografie allerdings nicht beim Namen nennt.
  2. 00
    The shaking woman, or, A history of my nerves by Siri Hustvedt (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Siri Hustvedt ist die zweite Eherfrau von Paul Auster, der er in diesen Memoiren huldigt (auch wenn es in diesen Memoiren eigentlich um seine Eltern geht). Ihre Nervenprobleme werden nicht weiter angesprochen, die Breite ihres Interesses auch außerhalb der Belletristik jedoch hervorgehoben.… (more)
  3. 00
    Paul Auster - Harte Texte, weiche Menschen by Du (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Die Du-Ausgabe enthält z.B. Fotos der Straßen, die im Winter-Journal als Aufzählung seiner verschiedensten Wohnorte beschrieben werden sowie ergänzend verschiedene Interviews.

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English (26)  Spanish (5)  Italian (3)  Dutch (3)  French (2)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Auster's second memoir was interesting, if a bit weird. Who writes a memoir in second person? I am sure, knowing the profound nature of his novels, that Auster has a reason, but it was distracting to me. Frankly, the last third was the most interesting. Auster compares writing to dance, and both of them to expressions of the heart rhythm. Love that part of it! Auster is one of my favorite authors, but this fell short of my expectations. ( )
  hemlokgang | Oct 31, 2014 |
Winter Journal is Paul Auster revealing himself. He swoops down into the darkest (and lightest) bits of him and PRESTO we have the inner workings of an excellent artistic writer. I decided to audio book this because Auster reads the book himself, giving you the perfect tone and inflection. The "journal" is done in second person which pulls you right into his life. He sets the mood for each setting so well, I could close my eyes and imagine I was right in the middle of his life. I feel like I should have more to say about this book (especially since it has now become a "favorite")but I think you'll have to read it yourself to experience the magic it holds. However, I do recommend listening to it on audio if you have the option. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
In which Paul Auster demonstrates that, at 64, he is totally in control of his craft. A masterly, and engrossing account of what should be quite personal material not necessarily interesting to anyone outside his family. I found it hard to put down.

This is an non linear memoir, not quite autobiography, but more his memories of significant parts of his life. The section where he describes every address he's ever lived at, is particularly moving. As are the recollections of his mother who sounds like an enormous influence (his father, not so much). There is a lot of honestly in there as well, although whether some of the people mentioned, such as his first wife, would necessarily appreciate that honesty, is another matter.

Auster's fiction has not been as sharp, at least for me, as when at is peak (which for me is about 10 years ago at the time of The Brooklyn Follies, The Book of Illusions and Oracle Night). Perhaps he will never write outstanding fiction again. But as an autobiographer he's outstanding. I shall now go and buy the companion volume, Notes From The Interior ( )
  Opinionated | Jul 5, 2014 |
Paul Auster's Winter journal is more like a note-book than a journal. In the book, author writes that he began this journal when he was 64 years old. The Winter journal is neither chronological, nor does it have dated entries.

The Winter journal is a contemplative autobiography. Auster goes over his life, step by step, creating lists of, for example, all the addresses he has lived at, all illnesses he had and all near-misses with death. The book is a bit morbid in the sense that it contemplates life as much as it contemplates death. It is a modern memento mori, as seemingly so many are published these days.

While the Winter journal has some boring parts, there are also some very impressive sections, with outstanding prose; for instance, the episode about the swallowed fish bone is captivating, while Auster's description of his visit to the site of the former concentration camp Bergen-Belsen is chilling.

Reiteration and parallels, as in one's own life, and comparison with other lives, reveals the element of chance in one's survival. Diseases, a car accident, the famous "small accidents around the house", they all occur when one least expects it. The solid oak leg of the table can be the banal cause of death of the one, or a near miss to another.

While many books on this theme are pessimistic or mainly appeal to an older readership, Auster's Winter Journal offers as much to older as to younger readers. Firstly, the Winter Journal gives readers an peek from an unusual perspective into the author's life. The many described details are of the kind usually left out of official biographies. Not much autobiographical material has been published about Auster so far. It is actually interesting to discover through reading the Winter Journal that some of Auster's novels which seem so totally fictional do include references to real life which caused irritation on the part of his relatives.

Another optimistic outlook Winter Journal permits is the sense that 64 is not that very old, and although the author tends to see 64 as a high age, there are several suggestions that at 64 one is just at the threshold of a next stage in life, and that the contemplative, brooding mood is something like a mini-"mid"-life crisis, which marks the transition to the next stage. This optimism should appeal to readers of all ages, as does the book ( )
  edwinbcn | Jan 4, 2014 |
Ordinary reflections on his life. Seemingly nothing profound, but the significance of ordinary occurences that make a life. ( )
  ghefferon | Oct 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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Paul Austerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Facing his sixty-third winter, novelist Auster sits down to write a history of his body and its sensations. He takes us from childhood to the brink of old age as he summons a universe of physical sensation, of pleasures and pains, moving from the awakening of sexual desire to the ever deepening bonds of married love; from meditations on eating and sleeping to an account of his mother's sudden death.… (more)

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