The Winter of Our Discontent

“You think it will never happen to you, that it cannot happen to you, that you are the only person in the world to whom non of these things will ever happen, and then, one by one, they all begin to happen to you, in the same way they happen to everyone else.”

– Auster (1)

I’ve just completed Paul Auster’s Winter Journal, a book-length memoir where the writer reflects on his life. There’s no real structure, no chapters or parts. It’s simply the writer and his thoughts, which barrel through (and backwards) in time and place.

The other stylistic note concerns how it is written in second person, which gives the text more of a sense of authority over the events in the book. And even though the memoir goes back and forth in time–it’s readable. In fact, it’s actually captivating.

One of my favorite parts is when he remembers every home he has lived in. He recalls the important moments that happened in those places and how the space has new memories for the current inhabitants. I guess that struck a chord with me since I’ve moved quite a lot in the last 10 years of my life.