The implied author in Paul Auster's, "City of Glass", Written for Literary Theory
Disintegration of the Vernacular
City of Glass presents a new prototype of the typical detective novel. It is greatly concerned with the relationship between the author and characters, but additionally, who is in control in this complex relationship. What can be said then, for the implied author? Auster calls into question the notions of language and identity that transcend the logic of the traditional detective.
Contrary to the impulse to order and organize, a course in "City of Glass", the space of New York City, does not perform as it does within the standard of detective fiction. In effect, the "detective" of the story, has his identity thrown into crisis. This has the potential to detach and disengage the reader from the text.
It is nearly impossible to examine literature without preconceived notions and intentionality must be taken into consideration. A 'private eye' must rely on his ability to analyze and deconstruct his environment to its simplest form. Quinn is unable to do so; he can neither solve nor diffuse his case. He finds himself inside a case in which there "were no clues, no leads, no moves to be made" (109)
Quinn discovers that the world does not function on the same level of logic as the detective novels he loves so much. This is unconventional in terms of the standard detective novel because it is greatly unfulfilling on the surface. In this way Paul Auster breaks the paradigm by leaving readers wanting. The novel preserves the forever reaching for a transcendental end, as Derrida would put it. Is there satisfaction to be had in the novel prototype Auster has chosen to practice?
The overwhelming sense of instability both of character and of time and place create uncertainty within the text. Quinn often wavers between the detective figure and...