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Posts Tagged ‘George Plimpton’

Required Reading for Bastille Day

July 15, 2013 | by

Claude Monet, Rue Montorgueil, Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878

Claude Monet, Rue Montorgueil, Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878.

So hangs it, dubious, fateful, in the sultry days of July. It is the passionate printed advice of M. Marat, to abstain, of all things, from violence. Nevertheless the hungry poor are already burning Town Barriers, where Tribute on eatables is levied; getting clamorous for food.
—Thomas Carlyle, History of the French Revolution

The old saw that “an army marches on its belly” was blunted on July 14, 1789, as a half-starved, bibulous mob overran the walls of the Bastille, the Bourbon kings’ infamous political prison-turned-armory. Leaders of the rabble were more excited about hoarding gunpowder and fusils than about liberating the prison’s seven remaining, apparently apolitical inmates. Over the next two centuries, La Fête Nationale (or simply “le quatorze Juillet”) has metastasized from a Gallic celebration of freedom to a worldwide excuse for holding a multiday anarchic party, ideally with decent wine and minimal casualties. Read More »


Mark Your Calendars!

July 10, 2013 | by


Tomorrow, our own Hailey Gates will be reading at not one but two events in Manhattan. At 6:30 P.M., catch her reading her own work at the Fleur du Mal popup at Clic Gallery (255 Centre Street).

Come 7:30 P.M., we’ll be heading over to Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street), where she’ll be representing the Review at Gelf Magazine’s Varsity Letters sportswriting series. The theme is amateur night, and what discussion of participatory amateur sports journalism would be complete without George Plimpton? Hailey will read from his essays on boxing.

See you there!



Happy Fourth!

July 4, 2013 | by

George Plimpton’s passion for fireworks is legendary: he devoted a book to the subject, and held the title of Fireworks Commissioner of New York for some thirty years. In 2011, his son, Taylor, wrote movingly about sending his father’s ashes into space with his favorite firework, the kamuro.

In 1994, Plimpton hosted the terrific documentary Fireworks, based on his book.



Stranger than Fiction

June 7, 2013 | by


Our friend Toby Barlow has written a novel, set in Paris in the 1950s, in which an expat literary magazine gets embroiled in a CIA plot. Naturally the whole thing is fiction … or is it? Here Barlow describes the genesis of Babayaga and his valiant attempts to erect a statue to our founding editor, George Plimpton.



TPR vs. Departures: Season Openers and Citi Bikes

May 31, 2013 | by

Team         |1|2|3|4|5|6|7   Total
Departures   |0|0|2|0|2|1|0       5
TPR          |0|5|4|2|4|3|       18

Photo by Emily Farache

Photo by Emily Farache

Well, folks: we’re off to a good start. Team Paris Review kicked off its season—and its residency at our new home field—with a comfortable win over the Platinum Card crew from Departures. Unlike the clientele of our vanquished foes, there was very little exclusivity in yesterday’s merry band of Parisian home-run hitters, which included the likes of Robyn “Big Daddy” Creswell, Adam “Watch It Fly” Wilson, Ben “Wisdom” Wizner, and Charlie “Buckets” Stein.

George Plimpton, founding editor of (and longtime pitcher for) The Paris Review

George Plimpton, founding editor of (and longtime pitcher for) The Paris Review

Those distracted from the game by the blissful heat of the late-spring afternoon may have noticed the elderly fellow who, having wrested free a Citi Bike from a nearby docking station—and evidently intent on imitating our circling of the bases—began looping around the park, occasionally glancing down at his feet to study the bike’s mechanics. Judging it sound, he exited the park just as we wrapped things up, and headed north on Tenth Avenue. I couldn’t help but be reminded of another gray-haired cyclist, one who’d no doubt approve of both a city full of public bikes and of another season of Paris Review softball.

Next up: Vanity Fair (June 11, 7:00 P.M., Central Park).





Plimpton! and Bobby

May 29, 2013 | by

Writes filmmaker Tom Bean,

George and Robert Kennedy were close friends for many years, and their relationship weaves into George’s story in interesting ways. Bobby had encouraged George to marry his first wife, Freddy, while they were all traveling on the ’68 presidential campaign together (George was making appearances and speeches on behalf of the campaign). Later, when Kennedy was assassinated at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, George dove on the attacker and helped disarm him. We spoke with Robert Kennedy Jr. about his memories of George’s relationship with his parents, and I think he perfectly articulated George’s love of adventure and his whole-hearted embrace of life.

Plimpton! is playing at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center.