Editorial – May 2024 – Paul Auster



With the passing of Paul Auster, it marks the end of great Western authors, this particularly talented writer who so well depicted a certain New York life, using well-defined characters, sometimes broken but always radiant. He leaves behind works that will continue to influence future generations, novels, poetry, theater. Paul Auster in cinema, with “Lulu On The Bridge” adapted in 1998, will certainly remain the most beautiful cinematographic creation of his work, and it is to be feared that we will not have authors of this literary quality anymore, current generations for whom words no longer really make sense preferring SMS language to intellectually nourishing texts.

I had the opportunity to meet Paul at his publisher in Europe many years ago, a calm, kind man, approachable with a gaze matching his exceptional intelligence, writing out of necessity. This necessity should also be that of the readers. There’s no need to read everything and anything; readers should also focus on books that nourish them and leave entertainment to other art forms like cinema or theater, although for the latter, it can also be intellectually nourishing.

What we can take away from Paul Auster’s work is his ability to show compassion for his contemporaries, to use descriptive poetic form to move from one scene to another, to make us question what we are as human beings, whether city dwellers, artists or not, it doesn’t matter!

Paul Auster also managed to show the psychological and intellectual decadence of some of his characters who belong to an elite, which resonates with the rawest current events we are experiencing. Often a note of hope or an open door at the end of the novel. Among his most beautiful novels, let’s note besides “The New York Trilogy,” a huge success published in 1987, Moon Palace, The Music Of Chance, Timbuktu, The Book Of Illusions, Sunset Park, Invisible. Certainly worth reading urgently, the latest novel published in 2023 “Baunmgartner” which I unfortunately have not read yet.

Paul Auster has deeply marked me intellectually, just like Marguerite Yourcenar. These kinds of authors leave more than traces in you; they also imprint a form of vision and thought, I would almost say a form of education. While university studies are recommended, it is primarily to one day confront oneself with this kind of work. “Smoke” is certainly the most intriguing screenplay I’ve read; “Lulu on The Bridge” also remains engraved in me.

Paul Auster’s passing leaves many of us somewhat orphaned. It’s always intellectually disturbing to know that we won’t have any new novels from Paul in bookstores, bookstores that are gradually disappearing. Today, anyone can call themselves an author and self-publish, which diminishes somewhat the exception that made us admire figures like Paul Auster.

Thierry De Clemensat

Editor in Chief

Bayou Blue Radio

Bayou Blue News