Moon Palace Moon Palace discussion


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Auster's spirituality

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message 1: by Andy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:25AM) (new) - added it

Andy From other reviews, it sounds like Auster deals with similar themes in many of his books. I wonder if he deals with spirituality in his other books? I like his view of spirituality, it's less about god and more about balance or some sort of personal inner spirit. (The main character describes reading all his uncle's books as a spiritual task). Does anyone else get this from Auster?


Charles Plath Yeah, I think you nailed it actually. I do feel there is a lot of emphasis with that spirit within. I think thats why, even when his stories on the outside seem simplistic, his display of the internal struggles and such seems so strong.


message 3: by Duc (new) - rated it 4 stars

Duc He deal a lot with chance, fate, and destiny.


Reid Yeah, regarding balance and “spirituality”, in Moon Palace Auster specifically talks about the necessity of balance between the inner life of mind and body, and outer social life, between self-consciousness and what’s “purely...happening inside,” balance between indifference and desire, and between the purely scientific and rational compared to a bit of romantic magical dream-like enchantment of your life. Peer pressure, family pressure, and social conformity are huge outer forces on most of us and Auster is, in a way, advocating for the magical, a loosening of the strictly Efficient (Edison, Ford) and Monetary (fortunes gained, lost and given away) and Systematic (modernization) pressures, and back to a bit of human compassion and spontaneity and freedom of spirit, and love of self and others. This allows the “universe to respond” to the individual, in order to “discover things you’d never known before, things that can’t be learned in any other circumstances.” “Only when not thinking about it would the miraculous occur.” Hence the theme of travel (to the moon, to NY, to midwest, to Utah, to Europe) since that often allows us to “find ourselves”, to get in touch with ourselves, and get some distance between yourself and some of the habitual pressures of life. The spiritual also relates to redemption, his anti-war message, Native American themes, and near-death experience as a shock toward some enlightenment and freeing of your spirit that’s otherwise trapped within.


Stephen P(who no longer can participate due to illness) when i saw him interviewed in san francisco he spoke of his enjoyment with the worldly side of life but referred to it as, not sufficient. at the time either due to previous statements he made during the interview or my own slanted biases i did not take it as a specific spiritual reference but his need to search beyond the ephemeral for more substantial meaning-as through writing and other creative pursuits. hope this is accurate and helpful. he is one of my favorite authors and a favorite authorial voice to carry within my mind.


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