The two artistic creations we are about to discuss may not have much in common at first sight, not only because of one masterwork being a movie, the other one a short novel, but simply because both works are so intensely and uniquely specific in their poetics and conveying of messages.
He is bluntly putting forward the idea that he will always be happy in a place where he is not. As it is the case in Kieslowskia€™s later, frantically, yet deservingly so, famous trilogy Three Colours (Blue, White, and Red), the powerful musical score (by Zbigniew Preisner) underlines almost all the scenes in the movie The Double Life of Veronique, and enhances their supernatural kind of flavor that in fact saturates the movie in its entirety.
Weronika (Irene Jacob) in Krakow, Poland in Kieslowskia€™s tender and spellbinding masterpiece from 1991, by accident (which, naturally, is not a real strike of chance, but a mysterious, evanescent sleight of fate) catches a glimpse of her French double, Veronique (also Irene Jacob), who is boarding a tourist bus and taking pictures; not knowingly she gets the Polish self into her focus. When Weronika suddenly dies of a heart attack on stage, while performing (singing) for the first time with the Krakow Philharmonic, at that very same moment the French Veronique senses an indefinable and inexplicable sense of loss and vagueness of existence.
Daniel Quinn in City of Glass (1985) is a writer of detective stories who gets involved into an intricately woven bizarre sequence of events that were, so he thinks, initially intended for a man interestingly named Paul Auster, but a phone call (this being the turning point in Quinna€™s life and the beginning of his decline) originally addressed to a Paul Auster (supposedly a well known detective) gets directed to Quinn (the phone lines got mixed up, or did they?). When Quinn is at Grand Central and in his stooped position eagerly waiting for Stillman to get off a train from Poughkeepsie so his private eye hunt can start, two identical Stillmans disembark the train, one looking like a bum, the other one, the spitting image of the first, except for the fact that he looks like a distinguished gentleman in brand new clothes and carrying an expensive leather bag.
Now all of a sudden we are faced with a quadruple doubling, not only a simple case of Weronika vs. The inscrutable Professor Stillman in his dissertation years ago talked about the doom of the Tower of Babel and the scattered, chaotic world that resulted from the Fall. He, in his insanity (or perhaps the world around him is insane for not seeing the truth, the real collapse of order and utter chaos that is destroying our lives?), is picking up trash from the grounds of Manhattan, creating with his daily walks shapes or routes shaped like the letters that form (or so Quinn tentatively concludes) the phrase a€?Tower of Babela€?. Like Stillman, Veronique too feels a crack, a rupture in the completeness of, mostly her own, inner world; the crack opens up in the instant of Weronikaa€™s death (the destruction of Babel). The Gate seems to seal for Veronique when Weronika dies; Quinn gets lost in the labyrinth (confusion) (Babel meaning confusion in Hebrew) of unresolved stories, tips, and clues that all seem to lead to a dead end, a closed door for him as well. Just as New York in City of Glass is presented as a multi-layered, frenzied society, a world of fractured, shattered identities, so does Paris become a chaotic maze of constant wondering and searching for something lost and, at the same time, something terribly imminent to Veronique. There is, both in Auster as well as in Kieslowski, an unresolved, ghostly kind of air that permeates the atmospheres of the Sin City, New York, and dreamy, melancholic Paris.


Both narratives are surrealistic, hard to pinpoint or dissect, with Austera€™s book being a real postmodernistic mystery story.
Veronique continues to live, but it looks like she will leave Alexandre, for he had completed the puzzle, showed her the insight of her dual existence, he resurrected the Tower of Babel and brought back reason and understanding of seemingly incomprehensible matters. At the end of Austera€™s story Quinn vanishes, implying that characters in fiction are dependent on the story for their very existence, and when the story comes to an end, they die. We just need to keep on moving through the maze of the mysteries of life, or as Auster writes in the book, describing Quinna€™s daily routine: a€?Motion was of the essence, the act of putting one foot in front of the other and allowing himself to follow the drift of his own bodya€¦On his best walks, he was able to feel that he was nowhere. With the destruction of the Tower of Babel, the multiplicity of languages and truths briskly and irreversibly swamped the world. The messages that the two masterpieces communicate to the audiences sometimes appear to be somewhat secreted, hiding underneath the obvious surface, and might, consequently, if not regarded closely enough, speak against our embarking on this attempt of drawing parallels between a detective story and a hypnotic cinematic tale of love and mysteries of life that dwell in an undefined area between factual reality and the misty world of dreams.
A constant tendency to move, to transgress the existing borders of being and living, the feeling that the life one leads is not real enough, a notion of a parallel world or even universe where one exists as well, in the flesh, and weaves a multifaceted net of (seemingly) random choices and decisions, unconnected with the ones being simultaneously created elsewhere, all of these colorings are meticulously brushed into the works of Paul Auster and Krysztof Kieslowski. Had Austera€™s novel been transformed into a movie, the soundtrack would have undoubtedly been as revealing of the storya€™s baffling and sinister atmosphere and at the same time as effect-boosting as it is Preisnera€™s music in Kieslowski. Kieslowski magnificently touches the area of the metaphysical and makes us believe that there is undoubtedly our double treading the Earth somewhere.
He is now still (again) on a mission to collect the scattered bits and pieces of things as well as words and from that discarded a€?debrisa€? form a new world and a new language that will again unite the hollow peoples of the world and generate the birth of a new Paradise. This is the moment when Veronique watches a puppet show in which the princess dies, but turns into a butterfly and flies over the stage into the light.
The bits and pieces of her life do get (at least partially) re-collected, as apposed to Quinna€™s, with the help of a puppeteer Alexandre Fabbri (Philippe Volter). Kieslowski is not that far away from a mystery narrative himself, just that in his story no crimes have been committed.
Yet his beloved woman does not want the completion, for the time and space we invade in a way demands mysteries to continue and bits and pieces of reality to remain scattered.


Auster and Kieslowski are puppeteers that freely operate their characters, they brilliantly master the scene, temporal and special aspects of their narratives. No more did Kieslowski strive to reach a solid, tangible conclusion than did Auster attempt to achieve a clarification or disentanglement of the labyrinth of paths and stories he interweaves.
So what precisely do this once Jewish middle class kid from Newark, New Jersey, now a renowned writer, poet, translator, and editor, and a Polish cinematic genius, originally from Warsaw, truly have in common, when it comes to the two works mentioned in this writinga€™s title? Quinn, who agrees to take on a detective job (assumes the name of Paul Auster, the not yet discovered detective, and the manners and wits of his own literary creation, Max Work) is supposed to follow a man Peter Stillman, a once renowned Columbia University Professor, just released from a mental institution and out there, on the streets of Manhattan, allegedly on a mission to kill his, once tortured a€“ supposedly by Stillman himself - son Peter. We have two Stillmans, Quinn is in fact Auster, at the same time Max Work, as well as a writer William Wilson, which is the pseudonym he always used. The lyrics of the music that offers the background to the scene is taken from Dantea€™s Inferno a€?Verso il Cieloa€? (Towards the Sky, or Into the Light, if we dare to be a bit more poetic, religious even).
The uncertainty of all things around and within Quinn makes the reader wonder about the credibility of the events (within the borders of the literary universe, naturally), although the writer himself, i.e. This doubling, or better even, multiplication, looks like the Devila€™s doppel(quardruple)ganger trick.
A touch of Dante is no doubt telling and may indeed speak of Kieslowskia€™s desire to evoke Biblical references, perhaps the (Sumerian) meaning of the word Babel (i.e. The film takes us completely into its world, and in doing so, it leaves us with the impression that our own world, once we return to it, is far richer and portentous than we had imagineda€?, states Hinson.



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  1. 27.01.2016 at 15:39:11
    GalaTasaraY writes:
    Simply plain busyness in their lives.
  2. 27.01.2016 at 19:59:21
    IDMANCI writes:
    From rites, helps develop wisdom.
  3. 27.01.2016 at 11:25:51
    dracon writes:
    Both internally and in relation to the.