first, an old man in the dark August Brill / white night: house; story of Owen Brick trapped and saved; back to August, scattered papers, Katya's films; Owen arrives in Wellington, meets Molly Wald; August pees; story of Rose Hawthorne ("the weird world rolls on") and Miriam; Owen and Molly's small apartment: dream about Flora, Virginia's house, Lou Frisk ("There's no single world. There are many worlds, and they all run parallel to one another, words and anti-worlds, worlds and shadow-worlds, and each world is dreamed or imagined or written by someone in another world. Each world is the creation of a mind.") and Brill/creator god. Brill: caughs and another movie - time - Betty's story [the 1967 Newark riots] ("Betty died of a broken heart. Some people laugh when they hear that phrase, but that's because they don't know anything about the world. People die of broken hearts. It happens every day, and it will go on happening to the end of times.") Brick jolted back to Flora and normal life ("Chekhov, Calvino and Camus", I just liked the three Cs), then given another week. Brill remembering Sonia, acknowledging his suicidal plan. Back to Brick, moving north and the end "fantastical machine". and then Sonia in Europe, story of Jean-Luc. story of Alec. story of Bertrand. Dialogue with Katya, not in the dark. Brill's story. Katya's story and Titus' death. somehow atonement was only possible when movement ceased and stories began. a great book, this Man in the Dark.
"Of course, Auster has always been a master of metafiction, of the story thrust uneasily inside another story. Even in an early effort, such as his The New York Trilogy, Auster was setting up conflicts between different levels in the narrative the way youngsters create head-on collisions with their Lionel train set. In Man in the Dark, as in so many other Auster works, the main character is a writer, and the stories he tells have the potential to obliterate real life." (Ted Gioia, from the Blogcritics Magazine)
"So what I am supposed to do?
What do you mean, nothing?
We start living again. You do your job, I do mine. We eat and sleep and pay the bills. We wash dishes and vacuum the floor. We make a baby together. You put me in the bath and shampoo my hair. I rub your back. You learn new tricks. We visit your parents and listen to your mother complain about her health. We go on, baby, and live our little life. That's what I'm talking about. Nothing."
"In this way Brick and Flora swim along in their conjugal nothing, the little life she lured him back to with the good sense of a woman who doesn't believe in other worlds, who knows there is only this world and that numbing routines and brief squabbles and financial worries are an essential part of it, that in spite of the aches and boredoms and disappointments, living in this world is the closest we will ever come to seeing paradise."