On the Bus With Pavement: Tour Diary
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by Mina Tavakoli
6h ago
Pavement. Photograph by Marcus Roth, Courtesy of Matador Records. One of the more remarkable things about being behind the wheel of a tour bus for Pavement is that you can easily kill Pavement if you want to. I bring this up with their driver, Jason, who responds only by smiling at me while driving at a professionally breakneck speed on the interstate somewhere between Saint Paul and Chicago at 4 A.M. as every one of the six members of the beloved nineties band lies asleep in their bunks in the cabin behind us. To my left, Jason’s freshly filled coffee mug—personalized to read LORDY LORDY, L ..read more
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Diary of Nuance
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by Adam Thirlwell
2d ago
In May 2020 I began an intermittent diary, a notebook of infrathin sensations. I was housebound in a heat wave in London, in a pandemic, with my wife, A., and our daughter, R. S., who was then four. I started to notice what I was noticing in this reduced era: minuscule sensations, tastes. I was becoming obsessed with everything that was nonverbal. I started to seek it out. I was getting into perfume samples, which I ordered in batches from a perfume shop in town, the perfumes all decanted into miniature atomizers and sent in clear plastic sachets; and also natural wines I bought online, old m ..read more
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His Ex-Wife’s Plates
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by Holly Connolly
4d ago
In our Winter issue, we published Mieko Kanai’s “Tap Water,” a story whose remarkable first sentence spills across more than two pages and describes the interior of the narrator’s new apartment as if it were the architecture of her emotional landscape. Who among us has not resolved to stop obsessing over some small piece of our home, only to fail? Inspired by Kanai’s story, we’re launching a series called Home Improvements, in which writers consider the aspects of their homes, gardens, and interior design that have driven them to distraction. The second time I met my boyfriend, S., he to ..read more
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Isabella Hammad, Elisa Gonzalez, and Peter Mishler Recommend
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by The Paris Review
1w ago
Katana. Photo by Kakidai, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Last week, I watched my first Kurosawa movie: Kagemusha, or Shadow Warrior. One of Kurosawa’s final productions, Kagemusha takes place in sixteenth-century Japan and tells the story of a thief who looks uncannily like Shingen, the leader of the Takeda clan, and who is employed to impersonate him in the event of his death to keep the clan together and protect it from its enemies. Shingen dies: enter the shadow warrior. This three-hour insight into feudal Japan, its structures of power, and the paradigm shift enacted by the introdu ..read more
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Sometimes a Little Bullshit Is Fine: A Conversation with Charles Simic
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by Chard deNiord
1w ago
Photo by Abigail Simic. I first met Charles Simic in 1994 at dinner to celebrate the Harvard Review’s special issue dedicated to Simic. I had written an essay for the issue titled “He Who Remembers His Shoes” that focused on several of his poems and so was invited to this dinner and seated next to him. While we were eating, a small black ant started crawling across the white table cloth. Simic became mesmerized by this ant. We both wondered if the ant was going to “make it” to the other side, and then, suddenly, our waiter appeared and swept it up. Simic almost wept. (I later learned that an ..read more
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A Place for Fire
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by Elisa Gabbert
1w ago
In our Winter issue, we published Mieko Kanai’s “Tap Water,” a story whose remarkable first sentence spills across more than two pages and describes the interior of the narrator’s new apartment as if it were the architecture of her emotional landscape. Who among us has not resolved to stop obsessing over some small piece of our home, only to fail? Inspired by Kanai’s story, we’re launching a series called Home Improvements, in which writers consider the aspects of their homes, gardens, and interior design that have driven them to distraction. We were still in Colorado when we booked a fi ..read more
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On Three Plays
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by The Paris Review
2w ago
MassDOT salt shed, Sandwich, Massachusetts, November 7, 2013. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. In Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House, a group of former theater collaborators reunite at the bar they once frequented together. They’ve since all gone their separate ways, some making good money in TV; others have cobbled together livings from various odd jobs. But when their sad-sack friend Dick (played by Shawn himself in the New York premiere of the play) arrives late to the party, face bruised and crusted with dried blood, the play reveals its insidious side. At first, Dick acts as ..read more
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An Angle in My Eye: An Interview with Mary Manning
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by Olivia Kan-Sperling
2w ago
From Ciao!, in issue no. 242 (Winter 2022). Courtesy of Mary Manning and Canada Gallery. Mary Manning’s portfolio for the Winter issue of the Review documents a summer spent in Italy. Their collages are perfect expressions of the special kind of vision you have on vacation, when everything—pizza receipts, sidewalk seating, wildflowers—looks new and exciting, strangely saturated. Manning’s work not only captures but literally incorporates their world in order to rearrange it, ever so gently, at an angle: in Ciao!, there’s a cantaloupe wrapper and a bag from a pharmacy, plus photographs o ..read more
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Relentlessness: A Syllabus
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by Colm Tóibín
2w ago
Photograph by Sophie Haigney. In our new Winter issue, Belinda McKeon interviewed Colm Tóibín, the author of ten novels, two books of short stories, and several collections of essays and journalism. “In the autumn of 2000,” he told her, “I taught a course at the New School called Relentlessness, and I chose to teach translations of some ancient Greek texts, and Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Ingmar Bergman, Sylvia Plath. The class was very useful because it gave me a bedrock of theory about what this sort of work was doing. … Once you have that certain authority, you can actually write a plaine ..read more
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In Remembrance of Charles Simic, 1938–2022
The Paris Review | Literary Magazine
by The Paris Review
2w ago
A manuscript page from Charles Simic’s “One to Worry About.” Charles Simic, the former poet Laureate and a giant of life and literature, died Monday at the age of eighty-four. A winner of the Pulitzer Prize and countless other accolades, and longtime teacher at the University of New Hampshire, Simic was also a beloved poetry editor of The Review, alongside Meghan O’Rourke, from 2005 to 2008. Born in 1938, Simic was a prolific writer of both poetry and nonfiction. He wrote often about war-torn Belgrade, where his childhood was overshadowed by the Nazi invasion. (He immigrated to the United St ..read more
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