Winter Journal

What are you supposed to do when your heart enjoys a book in spite of your mind's insistent, recurrent signals that it could have been better?

Will you choose the path of your brain or the path of your emotions? Will you judge it as a writer or as a reader?

Well, I know what I used to do: I used to enjoy the book, maybe to weep at the final page, to read the end over and over again and then ... let the night pass by, sleep over it, try to put it under trial, discriminate right and wrong, strength and frailty, and put down on one page rather the critical products of my judgement than the feeble sensations of my reader-self.

Maybe not this time. Not so easily...

I have repeatedly shared with you my admiration for the Hustvedt-Auster family, the longing for being able to say one day, just like they did, that my significant relationship was "a very long conversation", the sometimes overwhelming joy and emotion that their books revealed in me (What I loved, A summer without men, The New York Trilogy) as well as their common fascination for the matters of identity.

It is almost unbearable for a 'groupie' like me to be invited in the personal universe of her writer and to resist all emotions. I submerged into the book, I almost undertook the invitation of the journey into Paul Auster's different homes over time as if it was a Universal studio's bus leading me to Bel Air, I completely overlooked the unconsistency of style and purpose and I jumped into self-indulgement every paragraph on each page. How else to go through a book that starts with my very personal immense fear as translated into the paragraph above (in the photo)?

I wanted to know how it feels like to be Paul Auster, how it feels like to grow old, how it feels like to look behind to the most terrible moments of your life, what it gives to measure up your life with the help of your trajectory, both in travelling and housing...

And then the sharp question on the final page: How many mornings left? Would we really want to know how many?