Auster in? Auster out: Lifewriting as a Game? A novelist turns into an editor for the purposes of a unique experiment in lifewriting …
Keywords:Language, Experience, Self, Lebensform
Life as the touchpoint between language and silence, the said and the unsaid. Take a famous writer who offers his readers to take part in an exercise in lifewriting? Based on life’s ability to be condensed into an atom of experience, Paul Auster’s collection of stories tackles the problem of preserving reality for readers outside this experience. For Wittgenstein the linguistic cradle shapes each person’s life, for themselves and for others. The stories show that people spontaneously turn their lives into narratives, often relying on unspoken data. Here lies the life / experience distinction : experience becomes a metaphor making life understandable. Secondly, whatever is alive is humanized; conversely, time structures and the social context are constant props of reality. Surprisingly, acausal connections (e.g. coincidences) are a recurring feature in lifewriting — a way of transcending space and time. Wittgenstein’s concept of lebensform (what is said about life initially and eventually forms your life itself) explains why the stories make sense. Lifewriting means discovering one’s freedom, which ultimately raises the issue of the subject : the one who is free ? the one who has found oneself?
Copyright (c) 2022 Michel-Guy Gouverneur
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