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Report from the Interior by Paul Auster
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Report from the Interior (2013)

by Paul Auster

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I have mixed reactions to this new memoir from a Paul Auster. His observations and his life make for a good story, but the second-person narration (referring to himself as “you”) is off-putting and, eventually, annoying. And just when I got so I could ignore the style enough to appreciate the substance, Auster turns from a biography of his childhood to describing, in great detail, the plots of movies he watched. It is possible to glean interesting bits from Report from the Interior, but it was an overall disappointment. ( )
  RoseCityReader | Aug 5, 2014 |
I could read the first 100+ pages again and again. Reading this with Lydia Davis is like creative couples therapy. ( )
  objectplace | Apr 11, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I read this "memoir" in one sitting and then reread much of it trying to figure out if I enjoyed it or was bored to death by it. A little of both. I love books like this but in many ways this is not "a book like this". It is almost as if Auster's publisher said give me something -however scattered - by next week and we will publish it. Still, it is Paul Auster so there is much to be enjoyed here and a new reader should be encouraged to explore him deeply. Even half-baked he is a small delicious treat to be savored. ( )
  michaelg16 | Feb 5, 2014 |
You loved Winter's Tale, and figured this could even be better, billed as it was as a report of how his life felt from the inside. Well, it started out like that, and was quite good, but about a third of the way through he seems to have run out of steam, taking you not only outside of himself but way far away, into the plots of two movies, one of which takes him 40 pages to recount.

Still not done, with pages to go, he decides to copy down his letters to his girlfriend, at which point his use of the second person throughout, which has been getting rather tiring, is jarringly juxtaposed with the "you" of the letters, which of course refers to the girlfriend.

Then, finally, still not done, he concludes with pages of blurry black and white photos, many devoted to the movie again, with which you are already thoroughly bored.

"Contrived" is the word you used for "Invisible," the only novel you've read by Auster. Contrived this was too - and it will be your last book by him. ( )
  bobbieharv | Jan 29, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
http://wineandabook.com/2014/01/20/review-report-from-the-interior-by-paul-auste...

Last week, I shared with you my thoughts on Siri Hustvedt’s The Sorrows of an American, and this week, I’m talking about her husband’s new memoir Report From the Interior, though memoir doesn’t seem to be the correct term. Scrapbook? Exploration? Contemplation? In Winter Journal, Auster tells the story of his physical self, whereas in Report From the Interior, he begins to map his intellectual, moral and emotional development: his childhood in New Jersey, his familial relationships, the movies and books that left their thumbprint in his consciousness, his time at Columbia and the letters he wrote to first wife Lydia Davis, who’s writing I also adore. What drew me to this book? I really enjoyed Auster’s novel Oracle Night, and was really interested in any insight into the creative development of the author. Few things interest me more than peeking into the mind of an artist to try to gain any insight, no matter how small, into where the impulse to create comes from and what fuels that passion.

A few things I really appreciated about this book:

~there was a part where Auster describes a movie that had a huge impact on him as a child, but he doesn’t just reference this movie. No, he describes the action, scene by scene. Now, movies are inherently visual creations, but Auster’s retelling is so vivid I left that sequence feeling as if I had seen the movie as well.

~he includes his correspondence with Lydia Davis at the beginning of their relationship when he was at Columbia and she was in Paris. Auster relates that he recommended to her that she read the work of Flaubert and Proust. Later in life, she went on to translate both Madame Bovary and Swann’s Way…and is my personal favorite translator of French literature. Now, this inclusion…I can’t tell if he’s taking a bit of credit for her current literary success or not. She is his ex-wife, and our exes are exes for a reason, and I think even the most generous among us are guilty of taking the low road from time to time as far as our mutual past is concerned…that said, I don’t pretend to know enough about their marriage or their current relationship to suggest I have any particular insight into this matter. It’s merely an observation and a wondering…maybe Auster really was the impetus for a part of her writerly formation.

~the last third of the book is a visual photo album of many of the references Auster makes, further aiding my visualization, really taking the internal journey and making it a bit more three-dimensional (especially for this child of the 80s).

Report From the Interior was my train read for about a week, and I averaged 30-40 pages a day…the pace and the flow just lent itself well to a 45 minute uninterrupted stretch of time. That said, it was also easy to dip in and out of. If you’re a fan of Auster’s work, it should prove to be an enjoyable, insightful read.

Rubric rating: 7.5 I am absolutely adding Winter Journal to my epic “to read” pile. ( )
  jaclyn_michelle | Jan 22, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Auster, Paulprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hastrup, RasmusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schroderus, ArtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805098577, Hardcover)

Paul Auster’s most intimate autobiographical work to date

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 in Report from the Interior.

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 postwar 1950s 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—which makes it everyone’s story—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.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:09:27 -0400)

"Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in Winter journal ... 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, [this book] charts Auster's moral, political, and intellectual journey as he inches his way toward adulthood through the postwar 1950s and into the turbulent 1960s"--… (more)

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