Paul Auster Interview: How I Became a Writer



A rare visit at Paul Auster’s brownstone home in Brooklyn. Auster shares the story of how he became a writer and how he works: “A good day’s work is if I have one typed page at the end of the day, two is amazing, three is a miracle.”

New York novelist, Paul Auster, tells the story about how striking out on an autograph from the legendary baseball player Willie Mays led him to become a writer.

“After that incident at the age of 7, I always remember to keep a pen in my pocket, because you never know when you might need one.”

Auster is widely known for his use of blurring out the lines between realism and fiction in his writing, drawing on his own experiences: “The job of a writer is to keep his eyes open. In this video he reflects on what it means to be a writer and why a good day’s work sometimes consist of crumbling up the written papers and throwing them into the trash.”

When Auster was young he wanted to write something beautiful, but as he got older he discovered that this wasn’t what it was all about: “The essence of being an artist is to confront the things you are trying to do, to tackle it head on, and if it is good, it will have its own beauty – an unpredictable beauty.”

Paul Auster (born 1947) is a highly acclaimed American novelist. He has published numerous novels such as the famous ‘The New York Trilogy’ (1987), ‘Moon Palace’ (1989), ‘Sunset Park’ (2010) and the autobiographical books ‘Winter Journal’ (2012) and ‘Report From the Interior’ (2013). He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, novelist Siri Hustvedt.

Paul Auster was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in Brooklyn, New York, December 2014.

Camera: Anders Urmacher
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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