Today’s Work in Progress—a weekly missive from FSG—features an exclusive look at How to Read a Novelist author John Freeman’s conversation with Siri Hustvedt and Paul Auster. NB: it’s a very special bonus not included in the book.
“I kept telling Paul, when I came downstairs at the end of the night, ‘I finished another beat.’”
“That’s right,” Auster remembers.
“Each beat was a kind of breath I had to pull out,” Hustvedt continues. “I was always listening for the next beat.”
“Where to start,” Auster interjects.
“I started to think of the book as a fugue,” Hustvedt says, again, as much to him as to me. In this fashion, Auster and Hustvedt play off each other, finishing each other’s sentences, circling around from the issues of language and memory running through her new novel, to Kant and cognitive science.