Posts Tagged: The Paris Review
Katherine you must come to my table. I’ve got Oscar Wilde there. He’s the most marvelous man I ever met. He’s splendid!
Over at the Paris Review Daily, Dan Piepenbring posted an excerpt from Katherine Mansfield’s 1920 letter to her husband describing a dream in which she met the playwright Oscar Wilde....more
If you could only bring one book to a remote island infested by penguins, what would it be? The Paris Review’s Dan Piepenbring has a write-up of Nobel Laureate Anatole France’s novel Penguin Island, which is pretty much what it sounds like....more
Why is it that knowing how to remain alone in Paris for a year in a miserable room teaches a man more than a hundred literary salons and forty years’ experience of ‘Parisian life’?
Over at the Paris Review Daily, Alice Kaplan, author of the new biography Looking for the Stranger, writes about Albert Camus’s time in Paris, from the months he spent in a Montmartre hotel room toiling his way through the first draft of The Stranger to his return to report on and fight the German occupation....more
In his monthly series “The Lives of Others” over at the Paris Review, Edward White introduces us to globe-trotting Turkish writer, Evliya Çelebi, and the esoteric but lively book of travel stories he penned almost four centuries ago:
Evliya so adored the bustling energy of Istanbul that he dedicated the first volume of the Seyahatname to it.
One thing that interests me about Beyoncé is who her predecessors are, and how she’s a kind of symbol for all the different ways that black women are revered but also surveilled in a really intense way, put on display.
Morgan Parker’s poetry collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, comes out in 2017....more
Over at the Paris Review Daily, Wei Tchou explores writers’ presentation of their emotions via social media, and what that means for how their work is judged. Tchou concludes:
Overblown emotional posturing will go on, despite the occasional backlash, so long as clicks and voyeurism are the currency of the web.
Don’t miss the weekly staff picks over at the Paris Review. Lorin Stein recommends Brenda Shaughnessy’s soulful and stripped down So Much Synth, Jeffery Gleaves praises “mother writer” Rivka Galchen’s Little Labors, and Caitlin Youngquist writes of Bernadette Mayer’s Works and Days, “Hardly any of Mayer’s days are spectacular, but her eye is so keenly attuned to all that surrounds her that nearly everything feels touched with grandeur.”...more
If there are indeed an infinite number of universes, it’s nice to think there might be one where all of the books we have come to know bear their original, author-intended titles. For the Paris Review, Tony Tulathimutte pulls back the curtain on the process of book naming to reveal that the title we see is often not given by the author, but generated by a marketing team with a very particular set of conventions and concerns:
The history of writers fighting for their book titles is extensive and bloody; so powerful is the publisher’s veto that not even Toni Morrison, fresh off her Nobel win, got to keep her preferred title for Paradise, which was War.
For many writers, after all, a word processor was as much an appliance as it was a deeply individualized instrument—more fax machine than fountain pen. … Still, the plastic, glass, and silicon devices had stories to tell, just as did the people pictured with them.
Be unpredictable, including to yourself. So there’s the question of how do you go about finding things—or better their finding you? You have to be open to surprise and at the same time assiduous in pursuing the things you are really interested in.
Most writers have imagined the scene of their own death—in the hopes of stylizing the moment or savoring the thought of someone sifting through and publishing their old manuscripts. It seems that James Tate, even in death, outdid us all by leaving his earthly post in the most writerly way possible: with a delightful last poem stuck in his typewriter....more
Well, that’s the point of being alone—it’s not anything to do with you. It’s about being something in someone else’s life, and no one ever knows the difference, or the truth. That’s why people like bad movies and bad fiction, and it’s worth it, it’s worth it, it’s worth it.
Italian novelist, essayist, and scholar Umberto Ecco passed away last Friday. The Paris Review has republished an essay by Ecco that originally appeared in its pages back in 1994. “Traveling with a Salmon” is about traveling with a salmon, but also about communication:
My recent journey was brief: one day in Stockholm and three in London.
If you’re referring to a bomb as a daisy cutter it’s easier to distance yourself from the embodied reality of the consequence of a policy.
The Paris Review talks with Ben Lerner about his first book of poems, The Lichtenberg Figures: his first inspirations in Marjorie Welish and wine, the anxiety and self-doubt of the first book, and the violence of Topeka, Kansas....more
Count among your true friends people of various stations of life.
Do not exclaim, “Isn’t technology wonderful!”
Learn how to whistle at earsplitting volume.
Still hunting for a good New Year’s resolution? No worries! Over at the Paris Review, Rumpus illustrator Jason Novak has endeavored to help you out with some visual inspiration, taking a pen and a sketchpad to Ron Padgett’s poem “How to Be Perfect.”...more
O’Connor is so often remembered as a misanthropic homebody—but she was comforted by the idea of a God that gave preferential treatment to the most vulnerable among us.
At the Paris Review, H.S. Cross analyzes Ernest Raymond’s 1922 novel, Tell England. He explores the unique and charged relationships between a schoolteacher, Radley, and his students, Ray and Doe. The boys have an unexpected and, at least initially, seemingly erotic reverence for their teacher, which, Cross concludes, reflects the confusing and sacrificial relationship between man and God:
As surprising as it is to arrive at sacramental theology from Doe’s flamboyant disclosure, a metaphysical perspective provides the most coherent reading of Radley and Ray.
With a very few exceptions, everything in the book was written by someone in his or her 30s. Nowadays that seems to be the age at which many writers come into their own. The moment when they have something to say and the tools to say it.
In her many faces, the detective has always been both infinite and infinitely replicable, a paper-doll chain folded easily into a single entity, or expanded accordion-style into a string of captivating almost-duplicates.
To become a top-rate teenage sleuth, you’ve got to prioritize: skip the movies and stick to the Morse Code manuals, no matter how nicely Ned Nickerson asks to take you to the drive-in....more
Newspapers might be threatened by e-readers, technology may have supplanted books, and recipes can be found online in abundance. But scripts? Scripts are necessary. Scripts are tangible. They bow before no millennial’s avowedly shortened attention span.
The Paris Review argues that while everything else goes digital, scripts will always be in print....more
Desert managed, impressively, to publish lively, intelligent writing about a very dry place, month after month.
Dan Piepenbring browsed through archive.org’s huge magazine collection to discover Desert, a publication from the Southwest entirely devoted to… deserts! You can read more and take a look at some of the magazine’s covers over at the Paris Review....more
What’s one English word to sarcastically communicate Russian cosmopolitan refinement? How would you translate a page-long sentence from Tolstoy, or “the cacophonous competing voices of Dostoevsky”?
Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear (who have been married for 33 years) have translated over 30 works from Russian to English, beloved by readers worldwide (including Oprah) and praised for communicating the idiosyncrasies and styles of the original works....more