A Dog Narrative: Reading Timbuktu in Terms of Existentialism

Aykaç Ö. A.

Animals in the American Popular Imagination, Madrid, Spain, 13 - 16 September 2022

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Unpublished
  • City: Madrid
  • Country: Spain


Paul Auster, who has made a habit of pursuing existential problems in many of his novels, presents an extraordinary narrative in his novel Timbuktu. Known as one of the most important postmodern American writers alive, Auster has produced important works in the genre of poetry, articles and novels. Auster, who has produced numerous works in the metafiction genre and is the author of important works that can be positioned between reality and fiction. Besides, most of these stories are extract from his own life. Auster, who is one of the important names of detective stories, preferred a different narration in his work called Timbuktu than his other books and built his narrative on a dog. Published in 1999, Timbuktu is a story told through the eyes of a dog, Mr. Bones. Themes such as existentialism, finding one's purpose in life and meditation are brought to the fore through the journeys of Mr. Bones and the crazy Willy, who is at the end of his life, to their own paradise, Timbuktu. The aim of this study is to make a reading through Mr. Bones over concepts such as authenticity, especially the questioning of existence in Timbuktu in the context of existentialism. The work, which will also be handled with an anthropomorphic reading, will be examined more in terms of existential questioning or dilemma.

Key Words: Paul Auster, Timbuktu, Dog, Narrative, Existentialism