In the latest issue of The Paris Review, Nicole Rudick has curated a portfolio of images from the archives of Willa Kim, the widow of William Pène du Bois, who served as the art editor of the review from 1953 to 1960. The portfolio is filled with rare early pictures, illustrations, and some of Kim’s costume designs. Preview a few of the images from the vault after the jump, and then be sure to check out the full portfolio in The Paris Review. … Read More
the paris review
If you’re like us, your jaw may have dropped just a smidgeon at the sight of the venerable Paris Review website publishing an article entitled “Festival Guide: A List of Don’ts for the Lady Music Writer” earlier today. The article was the work of one Natalie Elliot, a film columnist based in Italy, and its advice ranged from the obvious to the head-scratching to the flat-out bewildering. What, we wondered, was it doing in the Paris Review? Well, it turns out the PR isn’t as staid as we thought — it seems they’ve been publishing an “Art of Music Journalism” series to go with their more well-known “Art of Fiction” interviews. Who knew?! Anyway, we’ve unearthed Ms. Elliot’s entry, and suddenly everything makes a lot more sense. … Read More
We all know authors can insult one another with aplomb, but do those bitter wordsmiths ever have anything nice to say? Well, yes, of course. If we had to guess, we’d say that most authors’ biggest fans are other authors, who might understand a given piece of literature better than any mere mortal — or they might just be more likely to write about it. In the excellent collection Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, which hit shelves last week, 20 famous writers choose and introduce the short stories from the periodical that moved and thrilled them. In honor of the book’s publication, we’ve put together a few of our favorite author-on-author compliments. Click through to spread the love, and if we’ve missed your favorite compliment, add to our list in the comments. … Read More
We’ve been hearing that print is dead for years now. It obviously isn’t true: look at the beautiful food magazine Lucky Peach, or any issue of McSweeney’s, or the excitement around reissues of old classics with fresh cover designs (Peter Mendelsund’s Kafka editions, anyone?), or any other print book with striking presentation (the paperbacks of Bolaño’s 2666 or Murakami’s 1Q84, to name just a couple). Yet the Web has grown into an equally great place for lovely presentation of lovely writing. Long-established journalism outlets have moved their book coverage online, or revamped it— check out the Slate Book Review, or the New Yorker’s renamed Page-Turner blog — but scores of literary magazines have been killing it online for years.
We’d like to present just a few that have particularly nice design online. Some of these are print magazines that also publish on the Web, while some are online-only. Alert: this is by no means a ranking of the best literary magazines! Nor are we evaluating the literary style of these publications. We just want to share a sampling of those with great-looking web sites. Still, sound off in the comments, litnerds, and let us know which is your favorite, and which ones we forgot. … Read More
VIDA, a website devoted to women in the literary arts, recently released their 2011 comparison of the rates of publication for women vs. men in important literary outlets like The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and many more, all in handy, mildly alarming pie-chart form. If you’ve been paying any attention to this issue at all in recent years, you may not be surprised to find out that, almost across the board, women writers are wildly underrepresented compared to their male counterparts, whether they be book reviewers, book authors, or writers of magazine articles. While there are a couple notable exceptions (hooray for Granta, which published men and women in almost equal measure in 2011), the vast majority hovers around 25% female, 75% male. Which, while not particularly new information, still sort of rankles. Click through to see a few examples of the gender breakdowns in literary coverage from major news outlets, visit VIDA for the whole list — and then let’s get to work putting a little more blue on the board. … Read More
It’s hard to imagine that the definitive icons of literature could have been subject to the same iciness of the high-gated publishing-house “no” machines that we know all too well. Of course, even down-to-earth publishers can miss a great work sitting on their desks; with thousands of titles of varying merit clogging editors’ mailboxes, it’s impossible to skim every page of every slush-pile manuscript, let alone give it its proper consideration. Furthermore, some of our most adored geniuses churned out well-spotted crap before maturing into the artists we remember.
Prescience is no hard science, but hindsight can be a kick in the shins nonetheless, especially for the editors who sent these rejection letters to writers who would later become the bestselling, influential giants of their day — and ours. … Read More
If you’ve ever fantasized about being curled up in bed with James Franco late at night while he reads you a short story from the summer issue of The Paris Review, then you’re in luck! The actor/artist/writer recently recorded a video of himself doing just that, and sent it in to the magazine, who has posted it for all the world to enjoy. If you’ve got 20 minutes to spare, click through to have him read Amie Barrodale’s intriguing but definitely NSFW story, “William Wei,” to you now. … Read More
We’re totally loving this fall’s cover of The Paris Review, and the newest cool design got us to thinking about some of our favorites from years past. The literary quarterly, founded in 1953 by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen and George Plimpton, has had many different designs grace its face — from the beautiful to the silly, from the abstract to the realistically rendered. With a publication like The Paris Review, of course it’s what inside that counts the most, but that doesn’t stop us from appreciating the packaging. Click through to see our 30 favorite Paris Review covers since their first printing, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your beloved picks in the comments. … Read More
When I called John Jeremiah Sullivan midway through the week at 9:30 in the morning, I was addled from too much coffee and more than a little bit jumpy. I have been a fan of his work since reading his 2006 essay on Axl Rose’s comeback for GQ and was excited to ask him about his new book. (If you have any doubts about his skills, just read his latest essay for The New York Times on Disney World.) I spoke to the big-hearted southern editor at The Paris Review for over an hour. We talked about his book of essays, titled Pulphead, which comes out on November 1st, as well as his various obsessions — which are many. Also, I’d like to note that I did not include a potentially mortifying video of his Moby Dick-inspired band playing live in Bryant Park, but could have. Consider it a favor, Mr. Sullivan. So read on, dear readers, and let us know what you think about this alarmingly intelligent Southern gent in the comments section below. … Read More