Posts Tagged: The Paris Review

The Survival of Scripts

By

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

Moshfegh author phot credit Krystal Griffiths

The Rumpus Interview with Ottessa Moshfegh

By

Ottessa Moshfegh discusses her first full-length novel, Eileen, betrayal, self-aware narrators, and the catalytic properties of friendship. ...more

Preserving Dostoevsky’s Prose

By

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

Revenge Writing

By

After about two years of writing essays, I learned about something I will hereby in these pages name the Passive-Aggressive Writer’s Conundrum: People, particularly non-writers, are an optimistic, delusional bunch. If you mention people in an unflattering way without naming them, they will never recognize themselves in your story— even if you name actual details of circumstances surrounding the stories.

...more

A Séance for Robert Browning

By

The voice of the dead man was heard speaking… In breathless silence the little, awed group stood round the phonograph, [as] Robert Browning’s familiar and cheery voice suddenly exclaimed: “Ready?”

Poet Robert Browning may not have been able to remember all the words he wrote, but he does bear the distinction of the first literary figure to record his voice, in April 1889.

...more

Hecht Credit Claire Holt

The Rumpus Interview with Jennifer Michael Hecht

By

Poet, historian, and philosopher Jennifer Michael Hecht talks about Thomas Aquinas, Robin Williams, and her most recent book, Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It. ...more

True Detective

By

Voltaire became steeped in the country’s rules of criminal procedure, a labyrinth he found appalling: “As there are half-proofs, that is to say, half-truths, it is clear that there are half-innocent and half-guilty persons. So we start by giving them a half-death, after which we go to lunch.” He fretted at how France appeared to other nations—“Do they not say that we know how to break a man on the wheel but do not know how to fight?”—and steamed at the judicial system’s secrecy, which allowed Toulouse’s Parlement to keep to itself the evidence used to convict.

...more

This Week in Short Fiction

By

Leave it to The Toast to give us a story told by a mermaid as opposed to a story about one. And leave it to The Toast to find a very good mermaid storyteller indeed. On Wednesday, they released “Mermaids at the End of the Universe: A Short Story” by Kendra Fortmeyer, featuring illustrations by Stephanie Monohan.

...more

The First (Not-So-Great) American Novel

By

He dearly yearns for Harriot as his mistress: “Shall we not,” he asks her, “obey the dictates of nature, rather than confine ourselves to the forced, unnatural rules of—and—and shall the halcyon days of youth slip through our fingers unenjoyed?” (Actually, Harrington says all of this with “the language of the eyes.” Early Americans excelled, you see, at conducting complicated conversations using only their peepers.)

The Paris Review examines The Power of Sympathy: or, the Triumph of Nature, a 226-year-old sentimental book widely considered to be the first American novel.

...more

Nell Zink, International Woman of Mystery

By

Nell Zink’s debut novel, The Wallcreeper, offers a dark coming-of-age story of a married woman not all that dissimilar from Zink herself. Zink has lived a global lifestyle, picking up and moving to various cities on a whim. Matthew Jakubowski spoke with Zink over at the Paris Review:

I was a very excitable waitress, but management valued me for my strange talent of taking drink specials seriously.

...more

The Thomas Pynchon Myth

By

Thomas Pynchon is a reclusive author—or so we are told. Vice unearths the origins of Pynchon’s famous isolation, attributing the legend to the Paris Review‘s George Plimpton:

It all started 51 years ago, in 1963, when George Plimpton in the New York Times published the line: “Pynchon is in his early twenties; he writes in Mexico City—a recluse.” It is doubtful if Plimpton, who helped create the Paris Review, knew at the time that he was accidentally kicking off the largest and longest game of Where’s Waldo?

...more

This Week in Short Fiction

By

On Tuesday, Guernica published “Walking on Water,” an excerpt from Payem Faeli’s 2010 novella, I Will Grow, I Will Bear Fruit… Figs. In this excerpt, translated into English by Sarah Khalili, Faeli provides a meditative taste of the novella’s wandering narrator, a young boy in search of a name.

...more

What Happens When You Never Talk About Religion

By

In an interview with Jonathan Lee at The Paris Review, Joshua Ferris addresses why his new novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, “starts from the question of whether there’s a kind of private language and intimacy to religion that the mutt-y white guys like [him] are missing out on.” More personally, he worries, too, if “as a writer there’s something [he] missed out on” not growing up with a religious sensibility:

… religion offers a writer a tradition both to be nurtured in and to fight against, and that nurturing and that conflict can produce great literature.

...more