The Locked Room

The New York Trilogy (FF Classics)
The Locked Room(Paul Auster/Faber and Faber)

「The Locked Room」というのは、自分が想像する、ファンショーが身を隠している部屋のことであるけれども、それは同時に、「自分の頭蓋骨の中」のことでもあるのだと、主人公は作中で語っている。これは、ものすごく的確な比喩だと思う。
I had begun with great hopes, thinking that I would become a novelist, thinking that I would eventually be able to write something that would touch people and make a difference in their lives. But time went on, and little be little I realized that this was not going to happen. I did not have such a book inside me, and at a certain point I told myself to give up my dreams.(p.209)
Stories happen only to those who are able to tell them, someone once said. In the same way, perhaps, experiences present themselves only to those who are able to have them.(p.222)
I was no more than an invisible instrument. Something had happened, and short of denying it, short of pretending I had not opened the suitcases, it would go on happening, knocking down whatever was in front of it, moving with a momentum of its own.(p.225)
Once I opened the suitcases, I would become Fanshawe’s spokesman – and I would to on speaking for him, whether I liked it or not. Both possibilities frightened me. To issue a death sentence was bad enough, but working for a dead man hardly seemed better.(p.224)
In some sense, this is where the story should end, The young genius is dead, but his work will live on, his name well be remembered for years to come. His childhood friend has rescued the beautiful young widow, and the two of them will live happily ever after. That would seem to wrap it up, with nothing left but a final curtain call. But it turns out that this is only the beginning. What I have written so far is no more than a prelude, a quick synopsis of everything that comes before the story I have to tell.(p.237)
I let my mind drift without purpose, hoping to persuade myself that idleness was proof of gathering, strength, a sign that something was about to happen.(p.246)
I don’t mean to harp on any of this. But the circumstances under which lives shift course are so various that it would seem impossible to say anything about a man until he is dead.(p.255)
“Were you surprised?”
“That’s not quite the word I would use.”
“What, then?”
“I don’t know. Angry, I think. Upset.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I was angry because the book was garbage.”
“Writers never know how to judge their work.”
“No, the book was garbage, believe me. Everything I did was garbage.”(p.308)