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Auster Narrative Style

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American writer and director Paul Auster uses different literary devices and narrative styles to create a new form of crime fiction, that links the traditional genre characteristics with experimental metafiction and postmodern irony. In the “New York Trilogy” novels published sequentially as “City of Glass” (1985), “Ghosts” (1986) and “The Locked Room” (1986), Auster uses a number of different narrative styles including pastiche, parody and intertextuality to mix postmodernism with crime fiction. Previously, the most important aspect in a detective story according to Encyclopedia Britannica has been: “solving the crime and answering the whodunit question” (“Detective Story”). For that reason, most literature on criminal fiction has focused…show more content…
According to literary criticist William G. Little: “While the goal of detection is to uncover the whole story, in Auster’s work, nothing, especially not nothing, is grasped in its all. No case is closed…his calculations and representations lead to no final illumination, no climatic discovery.” (p. 133). It is clear, that the postmodern detective fiction has a different purpose than just answering all the questions and restore order. At the beginning of “City of Glass” the narrator describes that “detective” Quinn’s knowledge regarding crime in general, is very average: “Like most people, Quinn knew almost nothing about crime. He had never murdered anyone, had never stolen anything, and he did not know anyone who had. He had never been inside a police station, had never met a private detective, had never spoken to a criminal. Whatever he knew about these things, he had learned from books, films, and newspapers.” (p. 7). Therefore, Quinn as the writer of crime novels does not have any actual information about real crime and his stories are not real, but the kind that parodies the genre on which he lacks experience. On the use of parody M. H. Abrams says: “it imitates the serious manner and characteristic features of a particular literary work, or the distinctive style of
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