In The Brooklyn Follies, Nathan Glass recalls how some time after his arrival inBrooklyn he foolishly sets out to write his magnum opus, The Book of Human Folly. The book is to be a collection of anecdotes, memoriesand stories, from the most insignificant and sometimes hilarious ones to the most tragic ones. It is set to represent what it means tobe a human being and what life is all about.
In a way, the passage dealing with The Book of Human Folly is a mise en abyme of TheBrooklyn Follies itself and of the writing process at work in Paul Auster’s book.
The Brooklyn Follies is, in fact, a hotchpotch ofanecdotes and stories, some very funny or gently ironical, others darker and tragic. It is like a set of Chinese boxes.
It is alsoThe Book of Human Folly , in that it is about the dark side to Mankind and the America , I quote , of the Fuck Channel, the VomitChannel, the America of freaks of all kinds, religious fundamentalists , perverts…etc
But it is also The Book of sweet human folly, asembodied by Tom and Nathan, those who , despite it all, go ahead , making the most of life and being like two kids that yearn todiscover what life is all about. Sweet folly will lead them from bitterness and despair to love and a sense of marvel at being still alive.