Aspetti intermediali nell’universo finzionale di Paul Auster

Andrea Pitozzi


Paul Auster’s works, including filmic productions, scripts and other collaborations with illustrators and artists, can be considered as an example of organic unity—a system or a narrative universe where characters, topics and concepts reemerge by means of intratextual and intertextual strategies. Along with these literary modalities, however, Auster’s stories are often also expanded and organized both between and across multiple media, suggesting a concern for the broad idea of intermediality. By referring in particular to the notions of intermedia and transmediality as investigated by scholar Irina Rajewsky, I will firstly focus on the way Auster himself employs different means of expression and codes—in particular cinema—in order to widen and translate his own narratives into different forms. Secondly, I will investigate the way other directors, playwrights and artists have variously attempted to adapt Auster’s novels and texts through their own and particular view.

In analyzing the relationship between Auggie Wren’s Christmas Story and Smoke, or The Book of Illusions and The Inner Life of Martin Frost, I will thus consider these works as examples of intermedia strategies specifically concerning narrative issues. I will then concentrate on works such as the well-known graphic novel City of Glass—after the eponymous novel from 1985—the less-studied recent theatrical adaptation of that work by Duncan McMillan in City of Glass (2017), Derek Beaulieu’s Local Colours, and the short movie Le Carnet Rouge by Mathieu Simonet. My aim is to show how these works contribute to expand not only Auster’s stories but also his very narrative universe by adding a specific visual dimension to it.


American contemporary literature, intermediality, Transmediality, Paul Auster, adaptation studies

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