Author(s)  N.N. Smirnova
Information about the author(s)  Natalia N. Smirnova, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Received  January 30, 2017
Published  March 25, 2017
Issue  2017 Vol.2, №1
Department  Literary Theory
Pages  22-43
DOI  10.22455/2500-4247-2017-2-1-22-43
UDK  82.0
BBK  83.0
Abstract The article deals with the way a literary work “creates” a document out of itself, on the example of Paul Auster’s novels. A document here is the report of a character, a private detective who is watching another character (a writer) but also the book of a fictional writer who is writing a story of the detective who is watching him, and eventually the book about this whole story. In this case, the search for the other, watching him, is inevitably associated with the search for oneself, self-observation. Biography becomes autobiography, e.g. a document rather than a narrative based on a document. This story becomes projected on the story of Don Quixote (of which “some” Paul Auster, a fictional writer, is writing an essay). The Other is a landmark in the vast desert of fictional worlds where Paul Auster’s Don Quixote wanders alongside other characters of the trilogy. The author may not return from his endless journey through imaginary worlds; his life does not belong to either real life or fiction. He gives life to his characters while remaining invisible himself. Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy explores such existential situation where the only evidence of the author’s life is a document left by his character. The author leaves a documentary record of a kind about his own existence. It this sense, literature is a document of life and of the endless search for a reason to the existence of an individual who, being not equal to him- or herself, is always the other and never a type or a template. 
Keywords iterary theory, literary work, document, author, character, Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy 
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