“A Poet of the Eye” – The Role of Art in Paul Auster’s Works
"Art" is not the first topic that comes to mind when thinking of Paul Auster’s novels and films. "Solitude", "emptiness", "loss" and "desperation" are more likely to suit the reader’s expectation. Add "intertextuality", "pastiche", and "metalinguistic games" and you find yourself amidst postmodern scholars appraising his works. However, it is indeed a mistake not to consider creativity and art when reading Paul Auster. Although his protagonists often find themselves confronted with hopeless predicaments, they often manage to overcome their crises of orientation by means of creative processes. Art is presented as a strategy to cope with the chaos of the postmodern living situation. Martina Süßenguth looks at Auster’s early novels and films and analyses how Auster views art as an experience through which to cope with reality. She examines the inclusion of chance into creative processes as well as Auster’s collaborations with contemporary artists like Sophie Calle and Sam Messer.