Paul Auster

An immense writer has left us. When I think of Paul Auster, a scene from the film

“Smoke”, which was written by him, comes to mind. Auggie, the character played by

Harvey Keitel, has taken one photograph a day from the street corner outside his

shop, every day for the past 14 years. A friend tells him that all the pictures look

alike, and Auggie answers there are subtle differences: bright mornings, dark morn-

ings; weekdays, weekends; same people, different people, wearing different clothes,

according to the season. The key is to look at those snapshots slowly, paying close

attention in order to spot the differences. Being aware. I’ve always pondered on the depth of that

scene, so typical of Auster, of his trend of thought, which is also present in some of

his memorable quotes: “People are hungry for stories”; “We grow older but we don’t

change”; “We are ruled by the forces of chance and coincidence”; “If you’re not

ready for everything, you’re not ready for anything”; “You can’t put your feet on the

ground until you’ve touched the sky.” Paul Auster, you’ll be greatly missed. If

you haven’t read anything by him, please do so. It’s worth it.

Buenos Aires Times, May 4, 2024