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Posts Tagged ‘Caitlin Roper’

Literary Deal Breakers; Marathon Reads

November 19, 2010 | by

It’s official. Former managing editor Caitlin Roper is leaving New York for San Francisco, where she’ll be an editor at Wired. We thought it’d be nice to let her pinch hit for team Paris Review before she leaves for the West Coast. This week, she answers our advice column. —Thessaly La Force

Is literary taste—or a lack thereof—a deal breaker? I’m dating a lovely man, but he has one major flaw: He doesn’t read. I’ve thrown everything from early Tom Wolfe to Cormac McCarthy at him, and he’s simply not interested. He’s not uneducated—he would just rather be “doing things.” Do you have any recommendations for the nonreader, or should I give him up as a lost cause? —Hopeless

I spent four years with a nonreader. I like “doing things,” too, so we had that in common. It took me about a year to stop giving him books I was sure would grab his attention (I also tried Cormac McCarthy). There was one writer he enjoyed: Eric Bogosian, especially Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead. I read it for insight into my boyfriend’s elusive literary taste. It was funny and angry—more of a rant than a story—and it finally made me give up my futile book suggestions. I’d say it’s absolutely a lost cause to turn your man into a reader, you’re going to have to let that go and ask yourself the real question: Can you be with someone who doesn’t read?

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Happy Birthday R. Crumb

August 30, 2010 | by

In honor of R. Crumb's birthday today, here are a few of my favorite outtakes from his interview, the first Art of Comics, which appears in our summer issue, still on newsstands. Interviewer Ted Widmer asks Crumb how he feels about publishing hardcover books:


You’ve taken what was a medium of thirty pages of flimsy, low quality paper with a paper cover and now you’ve conquered the hardcover book format.


Reluctantly. I love the old, cheap comic book format so much because the format itself is a statement. It keeps you from becoming too pretentious. I like that about it. Keep it cheap and low-grade, the format, keep it cheap and accessible and then you’re not required to be overly artistic or have overly deep, profound meaning or whatever, you know, all that stuff that can make you very self-conscious. I got reluctantly dragged into hardcover books.


But I think your fans are happy that those hardcover books exist because you would have to be a maniacal collector to get all of your stuff otherwise. It’s basically impossible to find back issues of The East Village Other, but for hardly any money you can buy The R. Crumb Handbook and see your greatest hits.


Yeah, that’s true. And also, the whole context of cheaply produced comic books is gone, basically. All those newsstands, that kind of distribution is gone.

In June we posted a slideshow of Crumb self-portraits. My favorite is the one where he's squinching up his nose to keep his glasses on his face.

I love Crumb's answer to Widmer about his next projects:


Do you see a sequence of more literary stories coming out? You’ve done some Samuel Johnson, Philip K. Dick.


The classics illustrated. I did a sequence from Nausea by Sartre a couple of years ago. I did a couple of other things like that. I have lots of ideas about stuff like that but there’s always so much work in it, it’s so time consuming. I’m getting old, you know.


Tonight: Celebrate Our Summer Issue

July 19, 2010 | by

Issue contributors Colum McCann and Victor LaValle will read tonight at The Half King for our last event to celebrate the current issue. There will be a Q&A, drinks, and fun. We look forward to seeing you!

The Half King
505 West 23rd Street, at 10th Avenue
7:00 P.M.


Staff Picks: Walt Whitman, Air Guitar, Laurie Anderson

July 16, 2010 | by

What we've been reading this week.

Lorin Stein

  • The June issue of the Columbia Journalism Review continues to float around the office. Maureen Tkacik's cover story, on the career facing a young journalist today, is the best thing I've read on the subject.
  • To my shame I had never read Dave Hickey’s Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy until this Monday. The essay “Shining Hours/Forgiving Rhyme” moved me to tears in the barber chair. There are four different friends to whom I want to send my copy of this masterpiece—right now—but I've marked up so many favorite passages, I'll need to copy them out first. Plus I can't decide who needs or deserves it most.
  • I have left a copy of the new Open City in the bathroom that others might discover Samantha Gillison’s wry, wistful story “The Conference Rat.”
  • Also this week I read Stephen Burt's Close Calls with Nonsense, a collection of his reviews. Over the last dozen years, Steve has taught me more than any critic about contemporary poetry. The book is kind, wise (at times, exasperatingly wise) and full of insight. The last pages, a series of aphorisms, made me love it.
  • Caitlin Roper

  • Smithsonian magazine is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. I’m enjoying their rich, deep “Forty Things You Need to Know About the Next Forty Years.” The magazine’s founding editor, Edward K. Thompson, said it “would stir curiosity in already receptive minds.” Mission accomplished. Favorite articles include: “6. Oysters Will Save Wolves From Climate Change,” “21. Science Could Enable A Person To Regrow A Limb,” “26. Novelists Will Need A New Plot Device” (poet Rita Dove on the future of literature), and “36. Goodbye, Stereo; Hello, Hyper-Real Acoustics” (Laurie Anderson on the sounds of the future).
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    A Book Like No Other

    June 24, 2010 | by

    Katherine Dunn's story, "Rhonda Discovers Art," opens our new summer issue. (It's generated excitement among her fans and even made New York Magazine's Approval Matrix this week.) The seeds for this story's appearance in The Paris Review were planted more than a decade ago, when I read Dunn's incredible book, Geek Love. Random House has just put the first chapter of Geek Love up on their website. If you haven't read the book, here's your chance to give it a try. I dare you.


    “Most Brilliant, Most Highbrow”: New York Magazine

    June 22, 2010 | by

    Boy, were we thrilled to discover that the Katherine Dunn story from our summer issue has appeared in the top right corner of New York Magazine's Approval Matrix!

    You can buy the issue at your local independent bookstore or on our site. And you can also read a Q&A on the Daily with Dunn and Caitlin Roper, the issue's editor.