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Les premières phrases

«  You think it will never happen to you, that it cannot happen to you, that you are the only person in the world to whom none of these things will ever happen, and then, one by one, they all begin to happen to you, in the same way they happen to everyone else.

Your bare feet on the cold floor as you climb out of bed and walk to the window. You are six years old. Outside, snow is falling, and the branches of the trees in the backyard are turning white.

Speak now before it is too late, and then hope to go on speaking until there is nothing more to be said. Time is running out, after all. Perhaps it is just as well to put aside your stories for now and try to examine what it has felt like to live inside this body from the first day you can remember being alive until this one. A catalogue of sensory data. What one might call a phenomenology of breathing. »

Circonstances de lecture

Paul Auster, encore et toujours. Un de mes auteurs préférés. J’achète ses livres les yeux fermés.


A 64 ans, Paul Auster laisse de côté la fiction pour revenir sur sa vie et écrire ce « Winter Journal », avec un objectif : se poser et essayer de comprendre concrètement ce que signifie l’expression « être en vie », ce que signifie vivre dans ce corps qui est le sien. Passant d’un paragraphe à un autre d’une époque de sa vie à une autre, Paul Auster revient sur des événements marquants, des sensations, des rencontres, les différents lieux où il a habité, les décès qu’il a dû surmonter, en utilisant la deuxième personne du singulier. Un très très beau roman qui se lit d’une traite. Vivement sa sortie française pour une autre relecture !

Un passage parmi d’autres

 The inventory of your scars, in particular the ones on your face, which are visible to you each morning when you look into the bathroom mirror to shave or comb your hair. You seldom think about them, but whenever you do, you understand that they are marks of life, that the assorted jagged lines etched into the skin of your face are letters from the secret alphabet that tells the story of who you are, for each scar is the trace of a healed wound, and each wound was caused by an unexpected collision with the world – that is to say, an accident, or something that need not have happened, since by definition an accident is something that need not happen. Contingent facts as opposed to necessary facts, and the realization as you look into the mirror this morning that all life is contingent, except for the one necessary fact that sooner or later it will come to an end.


In order to do what you do, you need to walk. Walking is what brings the words to you, what allows you to hear the rhythms of the words as you write them in your head. One foot forward, and then the other foot forward, the double drumbeat of your heart. Two eyes, two ears, two arms, two legs, two feet. This, and then that. That, and then this. Writing begins in the body, it is the music of the body, and even if the words have meaning, can sometimes have meaning, the music of the words is where the meanings begin. You sit at your desk in order to write down the words, but in your head you are still walking, and what you hear is the rhythm of your heart, the beating of your heart. Mandelstam : « I wonder how many pairs of sandals Dante wore out while working on the Commedia. » Writing as a lesser form of dance.

Winter Journal – Paul Auster – 2012 (Editions Henry Holt and Company)