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The Paris Review No. 205, Summer 2013

Purchase this Issue $25.00

Michael Holroyd on the art of biography: “I believe in private life for the living, and I think that when one is dead one should be a little bit bolder, so that the rest of us may have some record of how things actually were.” And Hermione Lee: “Some cynical biographer said to me, Make sure it’s a good death. Make sure you’re not picking someone who just declined.” Imre Kertész on the art of fiction: “Perhaps I’m being impertinent, but I feel that my work has a rare quality—I tried to depict the human face of this history, I wanted to write a book that people would actually want to read.”

New fiction from Lydia Davis, Ben Lerner, Robert Walser, Gillian Linden, David Gates, and Emma Cline, an essay by Kristin Dombek, and the winner of the NPR Three-Minute Fiction Contest.

Poems by Patrizia Cavalli, D. Nurkse, Henri Cole, Geoffrey Brock, Gretchen Marquette, Karl Kirchwey, Donna Stonecipher, Rachel Hadas, Charles Harper Webb, and Henk Rossouw. A portfolio from the collection of Annette and Peter Nobel.

Table of Contents


Emma Cline, Marion  Full Text

Lydia Davis, Five Stories

David Gates, The Curse of the Davenports

Ben Lerner, False Spring

Gillian Linden, Pests

Lisa Rubenson, The NPR Three-Minute Fiction Contest

Robert Walser, From the Essays of Fritz Kocher


Michael Holroyd, The Art of Biography No. 3  Full Text

Imre Kertész, The Art of Fiction No. 220  Full Text

Hermione Lee, The Art of Biography No. 4  Full Text


Geoffrey Brock, Dental Hygiene Through the Ages

Patrizia Cavalli, “Isn’t it amazing that one evening…”

Patrizia Cavalli, “Surely it’s ridiculous maybe even scandalous…”  Full Text

Patrizia Cavalli, “There she is turned into a lollipop…”

Patrizia Cavalli, “In the seething almost Indian heat…”

Patrizia Cavalli, “Oh really, she’s with somebody?…”

Patrizia Cavalli, “You sit at the head of the table…”  Full Text

Patrizia Cavalli, “When, thanks to the virtues of wine,…”

Patrizia Cavalli, “Very simple love that believes in words,…”  Full Text

Patrizia Cavalli, “To look at beauty and never make it yours…”

Patrizia Cavalli, “But you, are you Christians?…”

Henri Cole, Self-Portrait With Rifle

Henri Cole, Free Dirt  Full Text

Rachel Hadas, The Veil and the Baby

Karl Kirchwey, A Hundred Years from Now

Gretchen Marquette, Ode to a Man in Dress Clothes

D. Nurkse, Secret of the Lit Window

Henk Rossouw, The Dream of the Road

Donna Stonecipher, From “Model City”

Charles Harper Webb, Respect


Peter Nobel, Press Art


Kristin Dombek, Letter from Williamsburg  Full Text