From the Archive
August 27, 2010 | by Thessaly La Force
Here's a short and lovely video for a Friday afternoon. Rose Styron, the wife of the late William Styron, recalls the earlier days of The Paris Review, and the parties that the Styrons used to throw. “We had the John Marquands,” she says, “The Peter Matthiessens, the Tom Guinzburgs, and George Plimpton. We were all a gang, and had a wonderful time.” What a vibrant literary life! And what friendships! Her memories remind me of the touching speech Philip Roth gave at our Revel this year to accept the Hadada Award. Roth describes his first visit to New York to meet Plimpton, and how he made friends with the magazine's young editors and writers. The result? “This time I sent my story not to The Paris Review slush pile, from which I’d been plucked first time around by none other than Rose Styron, but right to the top.”
July 28, 2010 | by Lorin Stein
July 7, 2010 | by Christopher Cox
July 2, 2010 | by Christopher Cox
The night sky in North Korea might be the most brilliant in northeast Asia, the only airspace spared the coal dust, Gobi Desert sand, and carbon monoxide choking the rest of the continent. And no electrical glow competes with the intensity of the stars there. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, which had propped up its old Communist ally with cheap fuel oil, North Korea’s power stations rusted into ruin. The lights went out. Now when the sun drops low in the sky, the landscape fades to gray and the squat little houses are swallowed by the night. Entire villages vanish into the dusk. Even in parts of Pyongyang, the capital, you can stroll down the middle of a street at night without being able to see the buildings on either side.
Such darkness is a curse, of course, but it also has its advantages. If you are a teenager dating somebody you can’t be seen with, invisibility confers measures of privacy and freedom that are hard to come by in North Korea. You can do what you like without worrying about the eyes of parents, neighbors, or the secret police.
You can read a little bit more here, but you have to either buy the book or the Fall 2009 issue to get the full story.
June 11, 2010 | by Christopher Cox