the image of literature to be found in contemporary culture is tyrannically
centered on the author, his person, his history, his tastes, his passions; criticism still
consists, most of the time, in saying that Baudelaire’s work is the failure of the man
Baudelaire, Van Gogh’s work his madness, Tchaikovsky’s his vice: the explanation of
the work is always sought in the man who has produced it, as if, through the more or
less transparent allegory of fiction, it was always finally the voice of one and the same
person, the author, which delivered his “confidence.”
The Author, when we believe in him, is always conceived as the past of his own book: the book and the author take their places of their own accord on the same line, cast as a before and an after: the Author is supposed to feed the book — that is, he pre-exists it, thinks, suffers, lives for it; he maintains with his work the same relation of antecedence a father maintains with his child.
There is only one thing a writer can write about: what is in front of his senses at the moment of writing... I am a recording instrument… I do not presume to impose ‘story’ ‘plot’ ‘continuity’…
…an author is free to mean anything he wishes by the words he employs.
Auster leaned back on the sofa, smiled with a certain ironic pleasure, and lit a cigerette.
‘The author is a man who radically absorbs the world’s why in a how to write.’