It's tempting, when reading the memoir of a novelist one admires, to spend time combing through the details of the author's life hoping to find the seeds of inspiration for his or her fiction. Certainly there are moments in Paul Auster's new memoir Winter Journal where this project can bear fruit - such as the lengthy film synopsis which is one of Auster's trademarks, or the passage where he writes "that is how you see yourself whenever you stop to think about who you are: a man who walks, a man who has spent his life walking through the streets of cities." This passage will resonate with anyone who's read Auster's novel City of Glass, which centers on the idea of walking through the streets of cities.
Sooner or later, though, it's worthwhile to put this project aside and instead focus on Winter Journal for what it is, namely a thoughtful, elegiac meditation on the body that moves ...
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