Commentary has been referred to in several Woody Allen films. In Annie Hall (1977), Allen (as character Alvy Singer) makes a pun by saying that he heard that Dissent and Commentary had merged to form " Dysentery . " In Bananas (1971), as an old lady is threatened on a subway car, Allen hides his face by holding up an issue of Commentary. This image is featured at the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn Heights . In Crimes and Misdemeanors , an issue of Commentary lies on a character's bedside table.
The sun was now low beneath the horizon. Darkness spread rapidly. None of my selves could see anything beyond the tapering light of our headlamps on the hedge. I summoned them together. "Now," I said, "comes the season of making up our accounts. Now we have got to collect ourselves; we have got to be one self. Nothing is to be seen any more, except one wedge of road and bank which our lights repeat incessantly. We are perfectly provided for. We are warmly wrapped in a rug; we are protected from wind and rain. We are alone. Now is the time of reckoning. Now I, who preside over the company, am going to arrange in order the trophies which we have all brought in. Let me see; there was a great deal of beauty brought in to-day: farmhouses; cliffs standing out to sea; marbled fields; mottled fields; red feathered skies; all that. Also there was disappearance and the death of the individual. The vanishing road and the window lit for a second and then dark. And then there was the sudden dancing light, that was hung in the future. What we have made then to-day," I said, "is this: that beauty; death of the individual; and the future. Look, I will make a little figure for your satisfaction; here he comes. Does this little figure advancing through beauty, through death, to the economical, powerful and efficient future when houses will be cleansed by a puff of hot wind satisfy you? Look at him; there on my knee." We sat and looked at the figure we had made that day. Great sheer slabs of rock, tree tufted, surrounded him. He was for a second very, very solemn. Indeed it seemed as if the reality of things were displayed there on the rug. A violent thrill ran through us; as if a charge of electricity had entered in to us. We cried out together: "Yes, yes," as if affirming something, in a moment of recognition.
Paul Auster achieved critical acclaim with his first work, a memoir, “The Invention of Solitude.” He followed that up with the equally praised “The New York Trilogy,” a series of detective stories published in one volume. Auster’s detective stories are anything but traditional, as they explore issues of identity and existentialism. He has gone on to pen such notable works as “The Book of Illusions” and “Travels in the Scriptorium.” He is also an accomplished poet and translator, who has translated works by such notable writers as Jean-Paul Sartre and Stephane Mallarme. Numerous awards have come Auster’s way, and he is a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Auster will participate in the Books in Translation panel in the Poetry & Prose pavilion. His newest work is “Report from the Interior” (Picador).