The Paris Review5 min letti
Staff Picks: Freedom, Frailty, and Four Damn Cellos
Aria Aber. Photo: Nadine Aber. Jack Gilbert’s masterful poem “The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart” ends with lines that remind us of the very limits of language: “What we feel most has / no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.” Hard D
The Paris Review4 min letti
A Polyphonic Novel of Midcentury San Francisco
Protesters link arms in front of the International Hotel in San Francisco in an attempt to prevent the police from evicting elderly tenants on August 4, 1977. Photo: Nancy Wong. Via Wikimedia Commons. Imagine that you’re a sullen, sheltered kid from
The Paris Review9 min letti
Emeric Pressburger’s Lost Nazi Novel
In her monthly column, Re-Covered, Lucy Scholes exhumes the out-of-print and forgotten books that shouldn’t be. Today, the words “written, produced, and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger” are considered a stamp of genius. The mid-twe
The Paris Review10 min letti
How To Write A Poem About Noguchi
The Noguchi Museum (Image © NYCGO) When I lived in New York many years ago, I used to go to the Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. It was his studio, and now is a series of rooms full of sculptures and drawings, short films, the akari lanterns for w
The Paris Review6 min letti
Gail Scott’s Most Novel-Like Novel
Gail Scott. I’ve been gloriously wandering through Gail Scott’s Heroine for a month. I brought it with me to Norway where I created a temporary reading space in order to make my residency be something social. About twenty of us were seated in the bea
The Paris Review7 min letti
One Word: Avareh
I have lived outside Iran, my home country, for almost a decade, and I am yet to know what to call myself. Australia and the U.S. have been my hosts, so the labels I have at my disposal belong to the English vocabulary: immigrant, exilé, refugee, exp
The Paris Review3 min letti
The Man Who Eats Glass
Photo: Frank Vincentz (CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)). Via Wikimedia Commons. From inside a circle made of shards of glass in front of Porto Alegre’s Public Market, a scrawny man, little more than a twig of skin, fired
The Paris Review4 min letti
Harold Bloom’s Immortality
Harold Bloom (Yale University Press) The last email I got from Harold came in on October 8 at 4:08 P.M., eight days ago. It said: Dear Lucas, I am trying to cut the size of the book. This is the new table of contents. Love, Harold Table of Contents 
The Paris Review2 min letti
Redux: What You Usually Find in Novels
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 Review1 min letti
Harold Bloom, 1930–2019
Harold Bloom.(photo: Nancy Crampton) Harold Bloom, one of the most popular and controversial critics in American literature, died Monday at age eighty-nine. He was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the author of more than forty books, inclu
The Paris Review5 min letti
The Many Reincarnations of Kim Deitch
Artist Kim Deitch wakes up at 4 A.M. every morning. In less than an hour, he is sitting at his drawing table, doing what he has done for more than fifty years: drawing comics. His latest—and most ambitious—graphic novel, Reincarnation Stories, reflec
The Paris Review6 min letti
Staff Picks: Monsters, Monkeys, and Maladies
Patti Smith. Photo: © Jesse Dittmar. In her latest memoir, Year of the Monkey, Patti Smith writes of Sandy Pearlman: “We stood on either side of him, promising to mentally hold onto him, keep an open channel, ready to intercept and accept any signal.
The Paris Review7 min letti
Eye Of The Beholder
Alice Mattison reckons with the impacts of macular degeneration … Rembrandt, self-portrait, 1660 (modified) My mother thought children should visit museums, and back in the fifties, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was free. The Egyptian tomb was satis
The Paris Review3 min letti
The Nobel Prize Was Made for Olga Tokarczuk
Olga Tokarczuk. Photo: © K. Dubiel. I’ve been saying it for years! Every fall, the big night would come and I would set my alarm for four or six or eight in the morning, depending on my time zone, and then not sleep because I was sure Olga Tokarczuk
The Paris Review11 min letti
Voyage around My Cell
© Mathier / Adobe Stock. When I was eight my views on literature were precise and unshakable and my confidence in myself much greater than it is now. I had decided O. Henry was the world’s best author. During Prohibition, the folks who bought one of
The Paris Review14 min letti
Nostalgia for a Less Innocent Time
On the glory and depravity of hair metal. Still from The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years is a documentary that often feels like a mockumentary—in part because of th
The Paris Review4 min letti
What Poetry Can Predict
Naja Marie Aidt’s When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back is an account of the first few years after her twenty-five-year-old son Carl died in a tragic accident. The excerpt below is addressed to him. Photo: Amanda Hill. Credit: the NOAA Wea
The Paris Review4 min letti
The Most Interior Text of the 1300s
It’s not the one you think… Decameron—that’s a long book. I powered through it this past summer. I was like a self-propelled lawn mower, had to be. I had a lot of big books on my to-do list. Each one of ’em was allotted two weeks and no more. I “had
The Paris Review2 min letti
Redux: The Deep Well of Other Beings
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 Review9 min letti
The Stuntwoman Named for a Continent
In the late summer of 1866 a Black equestrian stuntwoman made her Paris debut and galvanized the city. She was known only as “Sarah the African,” and history has left us few traces of her: just some battered posters, inky clippings and burlesque scri
The Paris Review5 min letti
Our Town and the Next Town Over
The author as a child, dressed as Oscar the Grouch. Every year it floods on three sides of our town. I do not know how any town could have floods on three sides, but there it is. My mom says it is because the very rich people who live on the lake to
The Paris Review10 min letti
The Perseverance of Eve Babitz’s Vision
Eve Babitz. Photo: Mirandi Babitz. © Mirandi Babitz. And because we were in Southern California—in Hollywood even—there was no history for us. There were no books or traditions telling us how we could turn out or what anything meant. —Eve Babitz My g
The Paris Review8 min letti
What Our Contributors Are Reading This Fall
Contributors from our Fall issue share their favorite recent finds.  Jericho Brown I’ve spent the past few days thinking about a poem by Jericho Brown, published this summer in The Progressive. It’s an outtake poem, one that didn’t appear in his new
The Paris Review2 min letti
The Ritual of American Racism
The multidisciplinary artist Betye Saar is best known for her assemblages: meticulous arrangements of found objects, religious iconography, and cultural ephemera that, together, interrogate the ritual of American racism. “Betye Saar: Call and Respons
The Paris Review6 min letti
A Bluebeard of Wives
Sabrina Orah Mark’s monthly column, Happily, focuses on fairy tales and motherhood. Bluebeard Illustration, “What She Sees There,” by Winslow Homer, 1868 “Sabrina,” says my husband’s first wife, “is married to my husband.” I hear this through The Gra
The Paris Review10 min letti
Dinner with Martin Amis
The one time I had an opportunity to meet Martin Amis, I ended up taking heroin instead. I’m not especially proud of this fact, it was a kind of accident, but also perhaps a lucky swerve from the more difficult experience of having to have dinner wit
The Paris Review8 min lettiSociety
Memoirs Of A Queer Revolutionary
Like many other queer writers and activists of his generation, Lou Sullivan lived a painfully short life: he died in 1991, at the age of thirty-nine, from complications related to AIDS. But he left behind a wealth of material, thirty years of diaries
The Paris Review8 min letti
Are We All Living in a Simulation?
In his monthly column, Conspiracy, Rich Cohen gets to the bottom of it all.  The best conspiracy theories make sense of what has always seemed senseless. They let you believe you are finally connecting the dots, finding the missing pieces, experienc
The Paris Review11 min letti
Motherhood Makes You Obscene
Marguerite Duras. My mother had green eyes. Black hair. Her name was Marie Augustine Adeline Legrand. She was born a peasant, daughter of farmers, near Dunkirk. She had one sister and seven brothers. She went to teachers college, on a scholarship, an
The Paris Review7 min letti
Giorgio de Chirico’s Italian Poetry
Left: Giorgio de Chirico, The Soothsayer’s Recompense, 1913 Right: De Cherico in 1936, photographed by Carl Van Vechten Despite living in New York City for more than five decades, my ninety-three-year-old grandfather still doesn’t speak English. No,
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