Brooklyn follies

19943 mots 80 pages
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies: résumé et analyse.


Summary. The narrator leaves Westchester to Brooklyn, to die there. He had lived in Brooklyn when he was a little boy (before the age of three), but doesn’t remember anything. He rents an apartment near Prospect Park. He wants nothing but being alone and quiet. He has sold his house after his divorce, and so has no problem with money. He was an insurance agent, but doesn’t know what to do now.

His daughter Rachel (a researcher in bio-chemistry) comes to visit him and suggests he should “invent a project”. He feels irritated and says he will probably die very soon, which makes Rachel very angry. The narrator admits it was a nasty thing to do, but says he is rather a friendly man (which, according to him, was a quality required by his job; however this job taught him “the dangers of family life”). He doesn’t think he was as bad a father and husband as Rachel claims he was.
In fact, he may not die that soon: we learn that he suffered from a lung cancer, but is in remission. However, he doesn’t trust the doctor very much and thinks his life may have come to an end: that’s why he has decided to move to Brooklyn.
He describes his days during the first weeks in Brooklyn: walks in the neighborhood, often to a book store, Brigthman’s Attic, lunches and dinners in several restaurants. He finally chooses the Cosmic Dinner, because he has fallen in love with a young waitress, Marina. He finds Brooklyn’s inhabitants very talkative.
After having mispronounced a word, he decides to write a book, in order to have some kind of a goal. The Book of Human Folly is supposed to be a collection of stories all related with absurd events happened to himself or “his fellow human beings”. He wants it to be something funny, and works without any method. He quotes several examples of the stories he writes. He sometimes feels depressed, and also recalls tragic events (for instance the story of Dr. Weinberg’s

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