March 3, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
Our new Spring issue is full of firsts. That fellow on the cover is Evan Connell, whose first novel, Mrs. Bridge, originated as a short story in our Fall 1955 issue.
Then there’s our interview with Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men—the first Art of Screenwriting interview to feature a television writer. Weiner discusses the influence of T.S. Eliot, John Cheever, Alfred Hitchcock, and The Sopranos on his work:
Mad Men would have been some sort of crisp, soapy version of The West Wing if not for The Sopranos. Peggy would have been a climber. All the things that people thought were going to happen would have happened … The important thing, for me, was hearing the way David Chase indulged the subconscious. I learned not to question its communicative power.
And in the Art of Nonfiction No. 7, Adam Phillips grants us our first-ever interview with a psychoanalyst; he discusses not just his writing but his philosophy, and the importance of psychoanalysis:
When people say, “I’m the kind of person who,” my heart always sinks. These are formulas, we’ve all got about ten formulas about who we are, what we like, the kind of people we like, all that stuff. The disparity between these phrases and how one experiences oneself minute by minute is ludicrous. It’s like the caption under a painting. You think, Well, yeah, I can see it’s called that. But you need to look at the picture.
There’s also our first story from Zadie Smith; fiction from Ben Lerner, Luke Mogelson, and Bill Cotter; and the second installment of Rachel Cusk’s novel, Outline, with illustrations by Samantha Hahn. Plus new poems by John Ashbery, Dorothea Lasky, Carol Muske-Dukes, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Nick Laird, and the inimitable Frederick Seidel, who will be honored with the Hadada Award next month at our Spring Revel.
And a portfolio of previously unpublished photographs by Francesca Woodman.
It all adds up to an issue sure to put a spring in your step.
February 28, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
We at The Paris Review Daily do not ordinarily see fit to intervene in matters of geopolitics. But the Times brings news too dismaying to ignore: in a ham-fisted effort to tighten national security, Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters has intercepted millions of images from Yahoo webcams. And what have they gotten for their troubles? Not sensitive documents, hot tips, or even shifty conversation—just eyeful after eyeful of amateur porn. Worse still, they’re not even turned on by it.
“Unfortunately, there are issues with undesirable images within the data,” one GCHQ document reads. “It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person.”
An internal agency survey of 323 Yahoo usernames found that 7.1 percent of those images contained “undesirable nudity.”
“Undesirable” our asses! (Which would, if bared on Yahoo webcams, provide only the most desirable foreign intelligence in the world.)
February 12, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
Just when you thought you couldn’t wish for spring any more fervently, news arrives of our Spring Revel. Save the date: on Tuesday, April 8, writers, poets, artists, editors, readers, supporters, eminences, patrons of the arts, bon vivants, and other all-around admirable sorts will convene at Cipriani 42nd Street for a legendary evening. Women’s Wear Daily calls the Revel “the best party in town”; Mary Karr calls it “prom for New York intellectuals.”
This year, we’ll honor Frederick Seidel with the Hadada Award, to be presented by John Jeremiah Sullivan. Lydia Davis will present the Plimpton Prize for Fiction; Roz Chast will present the Terry Southern Prize for Humor; and Martin Amis, Charlotte Rampling, and Zadie Smith will all read. There will be dinner, and cocktails, and unabated merriment, thanks in no small part to our event chairs, Chris Weitz and Mercedes Martinez.
We’d love to see you there! Tickets and tables are available now.
February 12, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
This afternoon at one, join our contributing editor (and, of course, daily Daily correspondent) Sadie Stein for a live Web chat with Rebecca Mead, hosted by Jezebel. The topic: What Would Dorothea Do? In honor of Mead’s engaging new book, My Life in Middlemarch, they’ll be discussing, as Sadie says, “George Eliot, Dorothea Brooke, what the novel can teach us today, plus life, love, and, yes, sex in Middlemarch.”
It promises to be a lively and enlightening discussion about a lively and enlightening novel. For my money, whenever I make eyes at someone, which, as you can imagine, is almost constantly, I still think of a line from Middlemarch: “They were looking at each other like two fond children talking confidentially of birds.”
And whenever I confront the dubiety of my future: “Even Caesar’s fortune at one time was, but a grand presentiment. We know what a masquerade all development is, and what effective shapes may be disguised in helpless embryos.—In fact, the world is full of hopeful analogies and handsome dubious eggs called possibilities.”
And whenever I encounter a physically unattractive person: “It is so painful in you, Celia, that you will look at human beings as if they were merely animals with a toilette, and never see the great soul in a man’s face.”
And whenever I’m too hungover to pull up the window shade: “We must keep the germinating grain away from the light.” (I think of myself, you see, as germinating grain.)
If you haven’t read Middlemarch, you still have a few hours to catch up before the chat. In all honesty, though, you should read Middlemarch. Believe the hype. It is the best.
January 31, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
Last call! Our subscription deal with McSweeney’s ends at midnight tonight. As you now probably know by heart, you can get a full year of McSweeney’s and The Paris Review for just $75, a 20 percent savings on all the interviews, fiction, essays, art, poetry, and humor a discerning reader could want.
The end of January grows nigh. Has the promise of the new year already lost its luster? Has your resolve faltered vis-à-vis exercise, temperance, or chastity? Don’t fret. With this deal, you still have time—not much, though—to stoke the embers of hope and change in your life.
Subscribe now! You won’t be sorry.
January 30, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
Today is many things: Vanessa Redgrave’s birthday; the 365th anniversary of Charles I’s beheading; a Thursday. But more than any of these, it’s the penultimate day of our subscription deal with McSweeney’s. You must, in the parlance of infomercials and World War II propaganda, ACT NOW, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!
To refresh your memory: this January only, you can get a year of The Paris Review and McSweeney’s for just $75*—a twenty percent savings over individual subscriptions. It’s what known among businessmen as synergy, and among laypeople as a totally white-hot deal.
Yes, our two magazines have always appealed to different readers. Our sensibilities, like our headquarters, are a continent apart. But for 2014 we say, vive la différence. You’ll have the most cosmopolitan bookshelf, nightstand, or bathroom on the block, and a full supply of the interviews, fiction, essays, poetry, and humor that keep us reading each other and make us want to spread the love!
Subscribe now or risk infinite regret!