Paul Auster Interview: Early Readings

In this short video, Paul Auster – one of the USA’s most important contemporary writers – shares which literature inspired him as a child, and how he began writing at the age of nine.

Auster’s family weren’t particularly intellectual, and as there were few books in the house, he spent a lot of time at the local library. When he was around nine years old, he bought a pen and a notebook – and wrote his first poem, which was to give way to future attempts at writing: “I felt more alive doing this, than any other activity. I felt more connected to the world by looking closely at it and trying to write about it.” Following, he continued trying to write.

As a boy, Auster enjoyed reading Robert L. Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Later, at the age of 11, he tried reading Dr. Zhivago (1957) by Boris Pasternak, but without succeeding: “The funny thing is I’ve never read Dr. Zhivago. I never went back.”

Paul Auster (b. 1947) is a highly acclaimed American novelist. He has published numerous novels such as the ‘The New York Trilogy’ (1985-1987), ‘Moon Palace’ (1989), ‘The Music of Chance’ (1990), ‘Levia-than’ (1992’), ‘The Book of Illusions’ (2002), ‘Man in the Dark’ (2008), ‘Sunset Park’ (2010) and ‘4321’ (2017), as well as autobiographical books such as ‘The Invention of Solitude’ (1982), ‘Winter Journal’ (2012) and ‘Report From the Interior’ (2013). He has also written screenplays for several films, including ‘Smoke’ (1995). Auster is the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Prix Médicis Étranger (1993) and the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence.

Paul Auster was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in August 2017 in connection with the Louisiana Literature festival in Denmark.

Camera: Klaus Elmer Edited by: Klaus Elmer Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2018

Supported by Nordea-fonden


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