The Paris Review5 min read
What Our Contributors Are Reading This Fall
Lucie Brock-Broido and Henri Cole Recently, I visited New York City to attend a tribute for Lucie Brock-Broido, a poet who, like many of the finest, died too young. So I reread Lucie’s last book, Still, Illusion, which was her best. One of the functi
The Paris Review12 min read
Surviving Unrequited Love with Ivan Turgenev
I found out about Ivan Turgenev’s existence at a crucial moment. There had been a very small leap for me between obsessing over Anna Karenina in my midteens and deciding that learning Russian was my destiny. There was, unsurprisingly, an even smaller
The Paris Review6 min readFood & Wine
Cooking with Georges Bataille
It is an unfortunate quirk that when I try to think of food scenes in literature, one of the first that comes to mind is from the opening pages of a 1928 classic of transgressive pornography, The Story of the Eye, by the French philosopher Georges Ba
The Paris Review6 min read
Virginia Woolf’s Little-Known Biography of a Cocker Spaniel
Sawrey Gilpin, English Springer Spaniel on a Cushion, 1807 In her 1911 opus Toy Dogs and Their Ancestors, Judith Blunt-Lytton, sixteenth baroness of Wentworth, great-granddaughter of Lord Byron, wrote, “It has cost me years of research both in the Br
The Paris Review13 min read
A Reckoning Is Different than a Tell-All: An Interview with Kiese Laymon
Heavy: An American Memoir is Kiese Laymon’s third book. The first, Long Division, a novel, and the second, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, an essay collection, were both published in the summer of 2013—one in June and one in August
The Paris Review6 min read
Poetry Rx: A Love Poem without Clichés
In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Claire Schwartz is on the line. © Ellis Rosen Dear Poe
The Paris Review6 min read
The Erotics of Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly in Grottaferrata, 1957 ©Betty Stokes Early in Chalk: The Art and Erasure of Cy Twombly, author Joshua Rivkin confesses that the book “is not a biography. This is something, I hope, stranger and more personal.” What, a reader may wonder, co
The Paris Review3 min read
Bring Back Cortázar
Argentine writer Julio Cortázar at home in Paris. Photo: Ulf Andersen / Getty Images. Sometimes I think the only thing we did in school was read Julio Cortázar. I remember taking tests on “The Night Face Up” in each of my last three years of school,
The Paris Review6 min readPsychology
Uwe Johnson: Not This But That
This week marks the publication in English of Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl. This is the third of three essays by the translator, Damion Searls, a Paris Review contributor and former translation corresponden
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: Two Hundred Perfect Words Every Day
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review6 min read
On Uwe Johnson: The Hardest Book I’ve Ever Translated
This week marks the publication in English of Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl. This is the second of three essays by the translator, Damion Searls, a Paris Review contributor and former translation corresponde
The Paris Review6 min read
Dick and Jane, Forcibly Drowned and Then Brought Back to Life
Diane Williams has spent her long, prolific career concocting fictions of perfect strangeness, most of them no more than a page long. She’s a hero of the form: the sudden fiction, the flash fiction, whatever it’s being called these days. The stories
The Paris Review6 min read
A History of the Novel in Two Hundred Essays
V. S. Pritchett As an undergraduate, I gave up trying to write fiction (my only completed story bore the decidedly unpromising title “Growing Marijuana”) and realized I wanted to write literary criticism instead. Troubled by the cavernous gaps in my
The Paris Review6 min read
On Uwe Johnson: Poet of Both Germanys
This week marks the publication in English of one of the great novels of New York City, and of the twentieth century: Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl, by the German writer Uwe Johnson. This is the first of three essays by t
The Paris Review6 min read
Staff Picks: Potters, Porridge Bowls, and Pastries as Existential Truths
Kathy Butterly, Yellow Glow, 2018, clay and glaze, 6 1/2″ x 9 7/8″ x 7″. There are several things I miss about living in Louisiana, one of them being its proximity to Mississippi and the strange wonder of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, the Frank Gehr
The Paris Review9 min read
Ave Marías: An Interview with Javier Marías
It has been said of Anthony Trollope that as soon as he finished a novel, he turned to a fresh page and started on the next, and it’s tempting to think that Javier Marías enjoys a similarly unstoppable flow of invention. The Spanish author has publis
The Paris Review6 min read
The First Abstract Painter Was a Woman
Hilma af Klint, Group IX/SUW, The Swan, No. 17, 1915 In 1905, the Swedish female artist Hilma af Klint began cleansing herself, in preparation for a series of artworks that would be executed at the directives of someone named Amaliel. More than a cen
The Paris Review5 min read
Lionel Trilling’s Hottest Takes
Everybody’s a critic, but in the past hundred years, few have reached the heights of Lionel Trilling. When he died in 1975, his obituary ran on the front page of the New York Times—a rarity for those in the thankless field of criticism. Through his e
The Paris Review5 min read
Behind the Author’s Photo
Beowulf Sheehan is the master of the literary portrait. His new book, AUTHOR, collects his photographs of two hundred writers, historians, journalists, playwrights, and poets from thirty-five countries, from Roxane Gay to Masha Gessen, Patti Smith to
The Paris Review3 min read
Time Warps Are Real and What You Should Do About It
Original illustration by Jason Novak All of us have been thinking about this kind of thing for years, here at the Department of Ordinary Magic. We are very, very interested in supernatural phenomena that are entirely natural and that everyone ignores
The Paris Review3 min read
In Praise Of The Photocopy
Essays by Roland Barthes marked with fluorescent highlighters; poems by Carlos de Rokha or Enrique Lihn stapled together; ring-bound or precariously fastened novels by Witold Gombrowicz or Clarice Lispector: it’s good to remember that we learned to r
The Paris Review10 min read
Feminize Your Canon: Violet Trefusis
Young Violet Trefusis Our monthly column Feminize Your Canon explores the lives of underrated and underread female authors. “O darling, aren’t you glad you aren’t me?” wrote Violet Trefusis to her pined-for lover, Vita Sackville-West, in the summer o
The Paris Review2 min read
Redux: The Idea of Women’s Language
Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Re
The Paris Review8 min readSociety
I Want a Reckoning
Usually it is a woman who asks the question—always the same question. She sits near the door in the last row of the auditorium, where I have spent the last hour talking about what it means to have been kidnapped and raped by a man I loved, a man with
The Paris Review7 min read
The Godmother of Flash Fiction
Volumes of collected stories are often difficult documents. The career of any writer who has been successful enough to warrant one is likely to be long enough that there are a number of duds. They also often come after a writer’s legacy is set, makin
The Paris Review8 min read
Cracked Fairy Tales and the Holocaust
From the Bruno Schulz documentary ‘Finding Pictures’ (© Benjamin Geissler) I wake up early so I can get to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum, by eight o’clock, when it opens. I am in Jerusalem with my family, and I have only one hour because we are sc
The Paris Review6 min read
Staff Picks: Bald Heads, Baldwin, and Bruce LaBruce
Photo: Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia. Sabrina Orah Mark’s Wild Milk, one of the book duo released this year by the small press Dorothy, is a debut story collection that displays just how compelling surrealism can be, even almost a century after th
The Paris Review12 min read
Why Charles Aznavour’s Global Fame Never Reached American Shores
When he passed away this week at the age of ninety-four, the singer, songwriter, and actor Charles Aznavour was still touring. He was a living link to the golden age of French chanson. As a young man, he had been maligned as short and ugly, an immigr
The Paris Review6 min read
Cooking with Richard Brautigan
“In watermelon sugar the deeds were done and done again as my life is done in watermelon sugar. I will tell you about it because I am here and you are distant.” These are the opening lines of In Watermelon Sugar, the third novel by Richard Brautigan
The Paris Review4 min read
Five Hundred Faces of Mass Incarceration
Before he went to prison, Mark Loughney used watercolors and acrylics to create bright, playful portraits of his favorite musicians. His early work features Trey Anastasio and Grace Potter and Snoop Dogg, all smiling and content, deep into their guit
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