By Paul Auster
Paperback. Pub Date :2012-08-02 Pages: 208 Language: English writer: Faber and Faber sooner or later there's lifestyles ... after which. by surprise. it occurs there's death.So starts Paul Austers relocating and private meditation on fatherhood . the 1st part. Portrait of an Invisible guy. unearths Austers thoughts and emotions after the demise of his father. within the booklet of reminiscence the viewpoint shifts to Austers position as a father. The narrator. A. contemplates his separation from his son. his demise grandfather and the solitary nature of writing and story-telling.
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What disturbed me was something else, something unrelated to death or my response to it: the realization that my father had left no traces. He had no wife, no family that depended on him, no one whose life would be altered by his absence. A brief moment of shock, perhaps, on the part of scattered friends, sobered as much by the thought of capricious death as by the loss of their friend, followed by a short period of mourning, and then nothing. Eventually, it would be as though he had never lived at all.
Not solitary in the way Thoreau was, for example, exiling himself in order to find out where he was; not solitary in the way Jonah was, praying for deliverance in the belly of the whale. Solitary in the sense of retreat. In the sense of not having to see himself, of not having to see himself being seen by anyone else. Talking to him was a trying experience. Either he would be absent, as he usually was, or he would assault you with a brittle jocularity, which was merely another form of absence. It was like trying to make yourself understood by a senile old man.
If I do not act quickly, his entire life will vanish along with him. Looking back on it now, even from so short a distance as three weeks, I find this a rather curious reaction. I had always imagined that death would numb me, immobilize me with grief. But now that it had happened, I did not shed any tears, I did not feel as though the world had collapsed around me. In some strange way, I was remarkably prepared to accept this death, in spite of its suddenness. What disturbed me was something else, something unrelated to death or my response to it: the realization that my father had left no traces.