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Re: Reasearch on Paul Auster and Henry David Thoreau

Would this exile to an ascetic and natural environment be the way to escape mass consumption only or would it help an individual to understand the world and the self, as Henry David Thoreau suggests?

Would you like to write about your own experience with nature and solitude, bearing in mind Auster and Thoreau?

Re: Reasearch on Paul Auster and Henry David Thoreau

Why does anyone choose to do anything, except to exercise control over their lives? This control that everyone looks for isn't really possible. Mr. Auster knows this in his storytelling. It's why there is always the threat of violence just around the corner and this provides the suspense that carries the reader along.

I didn't really like Auster's stark novels when I first started reading him back in the 90s, but something made me keep picking them up. I'm slow in forming a lot of opinions, but I know now that it was the stark solitude and suspense that drove me.

I should point out that the solitude he writes about it often NOT voluntary. I saw early on from book to book (or movie) that his characters are often and completely trapped, literally and figuratively: Mr. Veritgo, the boy's being buried underground. Horrifying! Lulu on the Bridge, The Music of Chance, In the Country of Last Things, The New York Trilogy with a boy trapped by his father and denied language, which is it's own solitary trap..... etc.

I could go on, but they all achieve the same outcome. The solitude creates an extreme situation where the person has no other choice but to look inward, to study. and to question. Do you know people who never sit down and shut up? They're always on the phone or going going going? They're afraid to stop. If they do, they'll be forced to look inward, and they're afraid of what they'll find.

I'm sorry. I haven't read Thoreau, and of all the writers I have to choose from, he's not at the top of my list. Feel free to email me. I'm at .... and thanks for asking! Good luck in your work.

~ Georgia Choate

Re: Reasearch on Paul Auster and Henry David Thoreau

Dear Georgia,

Thank you so much for your contribution, I will definitely e-mail you later on, I really like your points about involuntary solitude and exercising control over our lives. There is an essay called 'Inventions of solitude: Auster and Thoreau' by Mark Ford and chapter 'Solitude' in Thoreau's Walden. Only if you are interested.

Thank you for your time,