Monday, April 27, 2009

On "Being Paul Auster's Ghost"


This just in from Sally Suzuki:
Beholdmyswarthyface,

Here's a fascinating article by Mr. Shibata about what it’s like to translate Paul Auster. As he puts it, Auster’s novels themselves are “analogous in various respects aspects— the way the characters make themselves disappear, the way narrators tell their tale, the way protagonists look at themselves— to the act of translation” (187). The translator, he explains, like Quinn from City of Glass seeks to reduce his own presence just to the brink of obliteration.

Shibata also discusses Auster’s rare ability to find universal expression for the particulars of life, experience, self, etc— something which reminded me of John Ashbery’s notion of the “one-size-fits-all confessional poem,” which is at once private and public, individual and collective. One might say Auster’s conception of the self— as something always already entangled in the world, as it were— is closer to Husserl or Heidegger than to the subject-object dualism of Descartes.

It's a short article, so I don't want to give away too much. For more, you'd better read it yourself.

-Sally Suzuki, Beholdmyswarthyface Media Director

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not related to your post at all, but here's the new site address:

www.studio-als-ob.com

I don't have anything up yet. Right now it's just a placeholder.

I plan to make the website and business cards in the next few days. I'll make one for you as well.

-Sky

Anonymous said...

Sally Suzuki,

If you're going to make a claim like that-- that "Auster's conception of the self [...] is closer to Husserl or Heidegger than [...] Descartes"-- your going to have to do a little more explaining. Hyperlinks do not count as evidence, nor substitute for explanation. We have no idea what you're talking about.

-Ian Hogarth

Ruth Marcus said...

We have no idea what you're talking about Sally Suzuki. Neither do I. Hyperlinks do not count as evidence. Left coast.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ry,

Hope all is well and that the swine virus is not in Japan. Wash your hands frequently!

What is your new schedule like, do you like your professors?

All is ok here. Dad is busy at work and I am just finishing up my tutor volunteering for the year. Brett got accepted into the Sal. Army program, now we just have to go there every morning at 7 am to see if they have a bed available. He is doing ok. He has been visiting Joey a lot at St. Joe's neuro physical rehab. Dad and I went with him on Sat. It is heartbreaking, but Joey is in good spirits. There is hope tho, he does keep improving. Today Brett went there to put Joey in the wheelchair and take him to the cafe for lunch. His hands are still a bit knotted, so you have to feed him. Brett has been very kind to him and wants to spend as much time with him as he can before he goes into the 6 month program. One day at a time, I will keep you posted.

It is a cloudy, kind of cool day today. Just had a coffee with Auntie at Mama Java. My books I ordered came today, I am excited to start reading them. Give my love to Hisae and write when you get a chance.

Love, mom

Anonymous said...

I like how the comments never have anything to do with the posts.

-Laurie Spiegelmann

Anonymous said...

"always already"? is that even grammatical?

-Kidera Ryujiro

Jonathan Landente said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Never ------------ about --------- until ---------- that a) ----- me b) ---------. ----------------- ------------ ---------- myself for feeling pressure to please you in what is just a venture --- in a venture that is created to do just such. I'm done and just want to die.

-Josh Lendente