Saturday, December 4, 2010
From Sunset Park (Reading by Paul Auster) to Sunset Park
Hosted by Park Slope's Community Bookstore and held at a Community Cultural Center -- a place with no stage; therefor, no stage lights and alas you can see every face in the audience. Minus the baby strollers the room is filled with other Park Slope stereotypes -- a whole lot of couples (young and old), academic, and the arts and crafts enthusiasts.
While waiting for Auster to arrive, I notice a woman knitting up near the front. The mention of her is not an attempt to set the scene, it is to say that I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR HAND CRAFTED HOLIDAY SCARF LOOKS LIKE, LADY! Especially when you continuously drop your knitting needles on the ground while Paul Auster is reading from his latest novel, Sunset Park.
The novel follows a set of characters who are all linked by one man, Miles Heller. Set at the beginning of the economic collapse of 2008, the mood is both contemporary and ghostly. Like a string of coincidences Auster's novels move quickly. His characters who often seem tumbled about by chance, usually end up at a standstill with a great choice to be made, a refreshing change of the novel's fast pace. One of my favorite excerpts Auster reads:
The human body is strange and flawles and unpredictable. The human body has many secrets, and it does not divulge them to anyone, except those who have learned to wait...The human body lives in the mind of one who possesses a human body, and to live inside the human body possessed of the mind that perceives another human body is to live in a world of others.
After the reading I headed over to Sunset Park to meet my sister and friends at a Days Inn where they were filming a short. Auster writes:
"It was a rougher neighborhood, she said, but it wasn't far from where he was living now, and rents were a half or a third of the rents in Park Slope"
...so we figured this would be a cost affordable neighborhood to shoot in. I will update you more on this at a later date. But for now, here are some photos from on the set!