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 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 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 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
The Paris Review8 min read
Poetry Rx: Pain Will Become Interesting
© Ellis Rosen Dear Poets, This year, I have seen so much death. Losing the people I love used to be my biggest fear, but now I have lost so many so quickly that I find myself with a new one. I jump into problem-solving zombie mode every time it happe
The Paris Review5 min read
The Silence of Sexual Assault in Literature
Detail from the cover of the Penguin Classics edition of Shirley Jackson’s Hangsaman Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony last week opened a desperately needed national conversation about the nature of silence in the aftermath of trauma. Why didn’t Blas
The Paris Review8 min read
Hooker’s Green: The Color of Apple Trees and Envy
“William Wilson” was published in 1839. It is not one of Edgar Allan Poe’s more popular tales. It is not as fun as “Hop-Frog” or as dread inducing as “The Tell-Tale Heart.” But it is my favorite of his stories, because it taps into a narcissistic fea
The Paris Review3 min read
Obligatory Readings
I still remember the day when the teacher turned to the chalkboard and wrote the words test, next, Friday, Madame, Bovary, Gustave, Flaubert, French. With each word, the silence grew, and by the end, the only sound was the sad squeaking of the chalk.
The Paris Review1 min read
Redux: The Whims of Men
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 Review14 min read
The Adoptee’s Perspective: An Interview with Nicole Chung
Nicole Chung (photo: Erica B. Tappis) By the time I received Nicole Chung’s proposal for All You Can Ever Know on submission at Catapult, I was already—like so many others—a fan of her work. Her essays about identity and family in places like the New
The Paris Review9 min read
My Mother and Me (and J. M. Coetzee)
I was born the year J. M. Coetzee published his third novel, Waiting for the Barbarians. My mother read this dark, disturbing novel, with its many scenes of torture, as she breastfed me at night, while my older sister slept and the house was quiet. I
The Paris Review6 min read
Alain Mabanckou’s Masterfully Unstructured Novel of Addiction
Alain Mabanckou’s Broken Glass was first published in France under the title Verre cassé in 2005. It immediately received massive attention. Mabanckou, a French citizen and lawyer born in Republic of the Congo, was already a known talent in Francopho
The Paris Review7 min read
The Surprising Story of Eartha Kitt in Istanbul
Eartha Kitt in Istanbul, 1949 One month into their marriage, my parents leave Turkey for good. It’s my mom’s first time on a plane. They fly from Ankara to Brisbane, an Australian city where they don’t know anyone. The trip takes two days. Their tick
The Paris Review6 min read
Schiele, Shoes, and Kavanaugh
“Old World Bootie” for sale at Modcloth If you arrived at your formation of taste in the late aughts to the early teens—right around the time that hipster became a social category and twee was a kind of music and it was conceivable that an attractive
The Paris Review7 min read
Staff Picks: Museum Heists, Midsixties Teens, and Munchesque Prisoners
Photo: Lucas Marquardt. Ada Limón’s poetry is like staring into a cloudy night sky and searching desperately for any signs of a star. Just when you’re about to give up, you find a single pinprick in the dark, enough light to remind you that something
The Paris Review12 min read
The Surprising History (and Future) of Dinosaurs
Heinrich Harder, Pteranodon. Reconstructed by Hans Jochen Ihle, 1982. Most dinosaurs are dusted off as fragmentary skeletons. Paleontologists like Stephen Brusatte, author of the recent book, The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs, say they are “scrappy.” Bu
The Paris Review5 min read
The Last of French Seventies Counterculture
A French cult classic from 1972 is being published in English for the first time. Jean-Jacque Schuhl Jean-Jacques Schuhl answered the door in slippers, no socks. He offered me, in knowing jest, bio coffee, bio juice, or bio wine (bio is French shorth
The Paris Review4 min read
There is No Story That is Not True: An Interview with Toyin Ojih Odutola
What Her Daughter Sees, 2018. “There is no story that is not true,” says Uchendu halfway through Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Storytelling is at the core of Brooklyn-based artist Toyin Ojih Odutola’s drawings, which focus on the fictional narra
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