The Brooklyn Follies – Paul Auster

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“I was looking for a quiet place to die. Someone recommended Brooklyn, and so the next morning I traveled down there from Westchester to scope out the terrain.”

“One Sunday morning, I went into a crowded deli with the absurd name of La Bagel Delight. I was intending to ask for a cinnamon-raisin bagel, but the word caught in my mouth and came out as cinnamon-reagan. Without missing a beat, the young guy behind the counter answered, “Sorry, we don’t have any of those. How about a pumpernixon instead?” Fast. So damned fast. I nearly wet my drawers.”

“Harry’s heart had been broken many times, but now it was no more than a pile of ashes clogging up a hole in his chest.”

“There were no rules when it came to writing, he said. Take a close look at the lives of poets and novelists, and what you wound up with was a unalloyed chaos, an infinite jumble of exceptions. That was because writing was a disease, Tom continued, what you might call an infection or influenza of the spirit, and therefore it could strike anyone at any time.”

“The thousand leaves of an aspen tree fluttering like wounded moths as the wind slides through the branches.”

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