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Overview

Paul Auster, der bekannte amerikanische Bestsellerautor, legt in Gestalt eines Rätselspiels sein bisher umfangreichstes Werk und Opus magnum vor: die vierfach unterschiedlich erzählte Geschichte eines jungen Amerikaners in den fünfziger und sechziger Jahren des 20. Jahrhunderts – ein Epos voll mit Politik, Zeitgeschichte, Liebe, Leidenschaft und dem wechselvollen Spiel des Zufalls. "4 3 2 1" – das sind vier Variationen eines Lebens: Archibald Ferguson, von allen nur Archie genannt, wächst im Newark der fünfziger Jahre auf. "Was für ein interessanter Gedanke", sagt er sich als kleiner Junge, "sich vorzustellen, wie für ihn alles anders sein könnte, auch wenn er selbst immer derselbe bliebe. Ja, alles war möglich, und nur weil etwas auf eine bestimmte Weise geschah, hieß das noch lange nicht, dass es nicht auch auf eine andere Weise geschehen konnte." Im Verein mit der höheren Macht einer von Paul Auster raffiniert dirigierten literarischen Vorsehung entspinnen sich nun vier unterschiedliche Versionen von Archies Leben: provinziell und bescheiden; kämpferisch, aber vom Unglück verfolgt; betroffen und besessen von den Ereignissen der Zeit; künstlerisch genial begabt und nach den Sternen greifend. Und alle vier sind vollgepackt mit Abenteuern, Liebe, Lebenskämpfen und den Schlägen eines unberechenbaren Schicksals … "4 3 2 1" ist ein faszinierendes Gedankenspiel und ein Höhepunkt in Austers Schaffen. Seine großen Themen, das Streben nach Glück, die Rolle des Zufalls, Politik und Zeitgeschichte von Hiroshima bis Vietnam – alle sind hier versammelt und verdichtet in den hoffnungsvollen Lebenswegen eines jungen Mannes, der sein Glück in der Welt zu finden sucht. (Einige Kapitel mit Nummerierung, aber ohne Text in diesem Buch sind künstlerische Absicht des Autors, keine technischen Fehler.)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783644050112
Publisher: Rowohlt E-Book
Publication date: 01/31/2017
Sold by: Bookwire
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 1264
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Paul Auster wurde 1947 in Newark, New Jersey, geboren. Er studierte Anglistik und vergleichende Literaturwissenschaften an der Columbia University und verbrachte nach dem Studium einige Jahre in Frankreich. International bekannt wurde er mit seinen Romanen Im Land der letzten Dinge und der New-York-Trilogie. Sein umfangreiches, vielfach preisgekröntes Werk umfasst neben zahlreichen Romanen auch Essays und Gedichte sowie Übersetzungen zeitgenössischer Lyrik. Sein bisheriges Lebenswerk krönte er mit dem Weltbestseller 4321.

Hometown:

Brooklyn, New York

Date of Birth:

February 3, 1947

Place of Birth:

Newark, New Jersey

Education:

B.A., M.A., Columbia University, 1970

Read an Excerpt

According to family legend, Ferguson’s grandfather departed on foot from his native city of Minsk with one hundred rubles sewn into the lining of his jacket, traveled west to Hamburg through Warsaw and Berlin, and then booked passage on a ship called the Empress of China, which crossed the Atlantic in rough winter storms and sailed into New York Harbor on the first day of the twentieth century. While waiting to be interviewed by an immigration official at Ellis Island, he struck up a conversation with a fellow Russian Jew. The man said to him: Forget the name Reznikoff. It won’t do you any good here. You need an American name for your new life in America, something with a good American ring to it. Since English was still an alien tongue to Isaac Reznikoff in 1900 he asked his older more experienced compatriot for a suggestion. Tell them you’re Rockefeller, the man said. You can’t go wrong with that. An hour passed, then another hour, and by the time the nineteen-year-old Reznikoff sat down to be questioned by the immigration official, he had forgotten the name the man had told him to give. Your name? the official asked. Slapping his head in frustration, the weary immigrant blurted out in Yiddish, Ikh hob fargessen (I’ve forgotten)! And so it was that Isaac Reznikoff began his new life in America as Ichabod Ferguson.

He had a hard time of it, especially in the beginning, but even after it was no longer the beginning, nothing ever went as he had imagined it would in his adopted country. It was true that he managed to find a wife for himself just after his twenty-sixth birthday, and it was also true that this wife, Fanny, née Grossman, bore him three robust and healthy sons, but life in America remained a struggle for Ferguson’s grandfather from the day he walked off the boat until the night of March 7, 1923, when he met an early, unexpected death at the age of forty-two – gunned down in a holdup at the leather-goods warehouse in Chicago where he had been employed as a night watchman.

No photographs survive him, but by all accounts he was a large man with a strong back and enormous hands, uneducated, unskilled, the quintessential greenhorn know-nothing. On his first afternoon in New York, he chanced upon a street peddler hawking the reddest, roundest, most perfect apples he had ever seen. Unable to resist, he bought one and eagerly bit into it. Instead of the sweetness he had been anticipating, the taste was bitter and strange. Even worse, the apple was sickeningly soft, and once his teeth had pierced the skin, the inside of the fruit came pouring down the front of his coat in a shower of pale red liquid dotted with scores of pellet-like seeds. Such was his first encounter with a Jersey tomato.

Not a Rockefeller, then, but a broad-shouldered roustabout, a Hebrew giant with an absurd name and a pair of restless feet who tried his luck in Manhattan and Brooklyn, in Baltimore and Charleston, in Duluth and Chicago, employed variously as a dockhand, an ordinary seaman on a Great Lakes tanker, an animal handler for a traveling circus, an assembly-line worker in a tin-can factory, a truck driver, a ditchdigger, a night watchman. For all his efforts, he never earned more than nickels and dimes, and therefore the only things poor Ike Ferguson bequeathed to his wife and three boys were the stories he had told them about the vagabond adventures of his youth. In the long run, stories are probably no less valuable than money, but in the short run they have their decided limitations.

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