The Reader Strikes Back:A Narratological Approach to Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy
The detective novel genre has long been a genre of conventions. Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy is a detective story with a twist that challenges the established conventions of the genre. In this essay, I will use narratology, with a focus on Roland Barthes’ S/Z, to study Auster’s text. I will show that it is by using the five codes that Barthes presents in S/Z, that I am able to display how Auster challenges the conventions. In this reading I will also relate The New York Trilogy to other detective fiction and to Barthes’ notion of ‘the death of the author’. Ultimately, I will show that Auster does confirm ‘the death of the author’. In the narratives the author is disseminated step by step, and eventually ceases to play an important role.