Jan.30 , 2013
- Answer how or why
- Why is this important?
- How is this important?
- You need to avoid plot summary, instead talk about why it is important
- When writing essays you can include passages and discuss its importance and how
it can support your argument
1) Opening chapter
a. Major topics in the opening chapters are introduced which will be addressed later
in the text
2) Page 6: “Every once in a while…as if he were trying to live a posthumous life” (top of
a. Posthumous after death
b. Living a life after death Quinn’s purpose in life to be a husband and father has
ended and now he feels he has nothing. In a way he is kind of like a zombie. He
just goes on with his business but he really isn’t alive
c. Strong paragraph where we get an insight into the emotions of Quinn
3) “Quinn lay on the bed…work had become a comrade in solitude.” (also on page 6)
a. Work has taken over his life
b. Because of the loss of his wife and child he has allowed himself to lose himself in
work. Work is his escape
c. “Wilson is the tranquilatist, Quinn is the dummy and work is the voice”- Quinn is
just a place holder now. He has allowed for work to take over
d. Quinn Wilson Work : this hierarchy of characters we see in the novel
i. We have a doubling of characters in reality
1. Auster Narrator Quinn
ii. Work is the narrative detective
4) “What he likes about these books…till the book has come to an end.” (page 9)
a. Contrast between our narrator who is telling us lies and Quinn who is telling us
everything is important b. He is telling us how to read the book, we have to pay attention to everything
i. But we find out it all leads no where
c. Everything is equal in the text, there isn’t one thing more important than another
d. You can’t draw a circumference around because the book comes to nothing. A
circumference could be drawn but it would be leaky and not complete.
5) “The detective…Quinn had been living in the grip of this pun.”
a. i I eye significant pun because there is the same hierarchy as there is with the
characters. Quinn is all three in this book.
b. “The writer and the detective are interchangeable” Paul Auster is suggesting
that he is Quinn. This is a novel inflecting upon itself as fiction.
6) Page 46-47 “He looked through the pile...walked over to the cash register and bought it.”
a. He finally found something that he enjoys. He has some kind of emotional
response to the red note book.
7) “Back in his apartment…and made the first entry in the red notebook.”
a. He is physically and mentally bearing himself into this notebook. He is vulnerable
and as he writes is initials he shows his vulnerability (seeing as he never wrote
his initials before)
b. This is a fresh start for him. He clears off the garbage, clears the clothes off
himself and writes his initials. This is a moment of rebirth where he has a purpose
where he will engage in this case. He is entering the world as someone new.
8) “Across the way…don’t think of anything else.” (page 62)
a. He is detaching himself from his old life. We have Daniel Quinn su