A Memory of ’68

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Writer Paul Auster, CC’69, perhaps best known for the postmodern detective novels collected in the New York Trilogy (and subject of a Columbia College Today cover story not too long ago), has a very enjoyable and candid personal essay in today’s NYT about his involvement in the protests of ’68.

“Being crazy,” Auster writes, “struck me as a perfectly sane response to the hand I had been dealt–the hand that all young men had been dealt in 1968. The instant I graduated from college, I would be drafted to fight in a war I despised to the depths of my being, and because I had already made up my mind to refuse to fight in that war, I knew that my future held only two options: prison or exile.”

He describes himself as a “quiet and bookish” young man who discovered his wild side in the protests, which happened exactly 40 years ago today. “I am 61 now, but my thinking has not changed much since that year of fire and blood, and as I sit alone in this room with a pen in my hand, I realize that I am still crazy, perhaps crazier than ever.”

Maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll see him at the Manhattanville construction site, flinging feces at the gates.

UPDATE: See also the funny nymag.com listicle that anoints Auster the “Brooklyn Literary 1”



  1. Yet again  

    Fuck you Bwog for yet again inserting a pretentious, angsty one-liner that attempts to de-legitimize what this guy is saying. Get off your Hipster Horse.

  2. lost  

    This is a long shot, but I'm desperate.

    Lost backpack evening of 4/23/08. Blue/white/black. If you've seen it, please drop me a line at ajw2137. Thanks!

  3. Bwog!  

    You should set up another sister site...The BwostandFound!

  4. for #6  

    Thanks Kulawik.

  5. Interesting

    I kind of hate campus radicals, but I read the op-ed thinking he sounded rather reasonable, at least until the last paragraph where he talked about never having outgrown being fucking crazy. That's when I realized campus radicals are fucking crazy.

  6. Hooray!!  

    Thank you Bwog, for providing a link to my favorite author ever, which I would not have seen otherwise in the midst of my busy day!!

    (On a side note, when I first saw this headline I read it as "In Memory" along with a quick glance at the photo, and freaked out, thinking Paul Auster had just died.)

  7. Settle Down,Children  

    Considering this and the Massad posts, I cannot understand how people are so cranky given the current weather. Unless you are stuck in the basement of Pupin with no windows. In which case, I sympathize.

  8. huh

    I always thought walt whitman was brooklyn's literary 1.

  9. for anonymous  

    I'm not your buddy, friend.

  10. 60s generation

    ... what a colossal waste. Here's hoping the 9/11 generation can redeem their sins.

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