Friday, January 24, 2014

From Timbuktu By Paul Auster

Auster's brilliance, as I see it, is that he doesn't go the route of having the dog narrate, yet he presents things ostensibly from the P.O.V. of the dog, in a profoundly believable way, while really presenting an in depth human portrait of the dog's owner.
"Mr. Bones knew that Willy wasn't long for this world... What was a poor dog to do? Mr. Bones had been with Willy since his earliest days as a pup, and by now it was next to impossible for him to imagine a world that did not have his master in it. Every thought, every memory, every particle of the earth and air was saturated with Willy's presence. Habits die hard, and no doubt there's some truth to the adage about old dogs and new tricks, but it was more than just love or devotion that caused Mr. Bones to dread what was coming. It was pure ontological terror. Subtract Willy from the world, and the odds were that the world itself would seize to exist. 
Such was the quandary that Mr. Bones suffered that August morning as he shuffled through the streets of Baltimore with his ailing master. A dog alone was no better than a dead dog, and once Willy breathed his last, he'd have nothing to look forward to but his own imminent demise. Willy had been cautioning him about this for many days now and Mr. Bones knew the drill by heart: how to avoid the dogcatchers and constables, the paddy wagons and unmarked cars, the hypocrites from the so-called humane societies..." 


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