Posts Tagged ‘interviews’
May 10, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
All contributors to our John Irving hypothetical-jacket-copy contest: Bravo! We asked you to incorporate the recurring themes of Irving’s oeuvre into a few sentences, and you ran with it. We laughed, we cried, we cringed. This was not an easy decision. But there was one entry that stood out. And that entry was the work of one Fer O’Neil. The winning entry:
Phillip is a forty-two-year-old virgin who believes that he would become a sex-addicted pedophile once he experienced his first sexual sensation. Hating himself for that slippery slope, he devotes his life to helping restore nineteenth-century houses as an antique bullion maker. Working on the Hilton Road house south of Augusta, Maine, Philip befriends the abused daughter of his employer. Forced to flee by duty of circumstance, for the next twenty years they live together an unlikely life. Can the dysfunctions that debilitate be the very things that save us? Or are the centrifugal forces that bind us together ultimately what will tear us apart?
May 8, 2012 | by Sadie Stein
As fans of John Irving know, interviews with the legendary writer are rare indeed. So the chance to see Irving interviewed live don’t come around every day. But this Friday, he’ll sit down for an hour-long radio chat with Ron Bennington, and you could be in the audience. (Provided you can get to Manhattan!)
Here’s how it works: write the jacket copy—no more than five sentences—describing Irving’s imaginary next novel. Topics may include, but need not be restricted to, bears, wrestling, New England, sex workers, writers, and Vienna. (Probably at least two would be a good idea.)
Please submit all entries to email@example.com by noon EST, Thursday, May 10.
April 2, 2012 | by Jenny Hendrix
Djuna Barnes, best known as a cult feminist-ish lesbian experimental novelist, once described herself—with unaccustomed hauteur—as “the unknown legend of American literature.” In her early career, she claimed to have worked for every English language publication in New York City, excepting only the Times, and by the time she left for Paris in 1921, had published some one hundred articles. As it turns out, Barnes is one of the great carnival barkers of the nonfiction world—a kind of Tom Wolfe of her day.
A new exhibition of Barnes’s work at the Brooklyn Museum, running under the header “Newspaper Fictions,” concerns Barnes’s New York years, beginning with the day when, fresh from the slopes of Storm King Mountain—where she’d shared a log cabin with her mother, grandmother, polygamist father, his mistress, and her odd-monikered brothers Saxon, Zendon, Shangar, and Thurn—she allegedly marched into the offices of the Brooklyn Eagle, dressed in a milkmaid’s calico, and declared, “I can draw and write and you’d be foolish not to hire me.”
James Joyce, perhaps the greatest influence on Barnes’s fiction, liked to advise, “Never write about an unusual subject, make the common unusual.” Barnes, for one, paid this dictum no mind: like Nathanael West and Flannery O’Connor, she adored a misfit. Her writing—full of immigrants, circus animals, freaks, socialists, hipsters, servants, and suffragettes—revels in the atmosphere of the “yellow nineties,” a period characterized by Wildean decadence and art for art's sake. One of her articles begins, “There is something in the smell of Summer that makes one think of the smell of the sea, and the smell of salt and of heavy wet winds and of fish and the tangled mats of wet seaweed that come to shore, beaching themselves like wigs, somehow forgotten by tragedians strolling tragically by the sands.” Her journalism is dense with ornament of this kind, luring the reader into a baffling linguistic dream. Sometimes—out of either fancy or carelessness—it grows utterly surreal, as when she comments of Wilson Mizner that he “has a laugh like a French pastry shop.” Read More »
September 23, 2011 | by Sadie Stein
I’ve recently become enamored with a delightful young lady. She’s a beautiful writer and very well read. Her sense of humor is precise and deeply compatible with my own. She smells great and she wears great shoes and—you get the idea.
I want to give her my old tattered copy of my favorite autobiography, Beneath the Underdog by Charles Mingus. It is equal parts raunchy and precious. Mingus spares no detail when it comes to fellatio, convincing a woman to be a prostitute, siphoning gas out of a car, or playing some serious double bass. I know we live in New York and this is the twenty-first century, but would I be committing sexual suicide? I’m feeling like this could cut to the chase and expedite the inevitable. But maybe such ham-fisted logic is why I’m still single. Sincerely, Colin
The old “do I give my crush a sexually explicit book” conundrum. Old-timey etiquette dictated that a book and flowers were the only gifts an unmarried lady could receive with propriety from a gentleman. Were it that simple.
I’d say it’s all in the presentation: if you can manage to frame it with something self-deprecating, like “I’m giving this to you in spite of the potential creepiness of the fellatio/prostitution angle because I love it” that could, potentially, disarm. If I were the recipient of such a gift, it would depend on how well I knew the giver, and whether I thought you were (a) sharing it innocently or (b) being somewhat insinuating. Since in this case it appears to be the latter, I’d probably hold off.
All that said: that book rules.
I’m starting in on The Paris Review’s interview archive, and I’m a little overwhelmed! What is your all-time favorite Paris Review interview? —Lara
It’s a cop-out to say it’s hard to choose a favorite, but it’s true: I’ve never read one in which I didn’t underline or dog-ear at least one quote, and there are several that I turn to when I need inspiration or solace. But brass tacks: the one I have forwarded and passed along more than any other is, without a doubt, P. G. Wodehouse.
We Mets fans gotta stick together.
December 15, 2010 | by Natalie Jacoby
Just in time to launch our December issue—out now!—Santa showed up in the person of longtime Review fan Paul Opperman, plus his friends Aaron Mirman (music), of the Duotone Audio Group, and Todd Stewart (editing), of Consulate Films. They gave us our first video ever! Paul assures us that no drawings or authors were actually harmed in the making of this tribute.
Music is by Paul and Aaron. Monster truck vocals—including Monster Truck Franzen and Monster Truck Erdrich—are by Todd. (“I only do monster truck.”) Footage of Lorin talking was repurposed from the cutting-room floor of Plimpton!, a work in progress by Tom Bean and Luke Poling.
As they say in the advertising business, this is your “call to action”—order now!
October 21, 2010 | by Carolyn Kellogg
This is the second installment of Kellogg’s culture diary. Click here to read the first.
7:00 A.M. I wake up to finish Bound by Antonya Nelson, and then spend the rest of the day running errands, sorting through books that have arrived, and trying to wrap my head around what to say in my review. It’s due Monday and runs next Sunday.
1:00 P.M. It’s back to Book Soup, this time for my friend Cecil Castellucci’s midday reading from her young-adult novel Rose Sees Red. I give Cecil a ride to the airport—she’s off to Wordstock in Portland—and head right back to Book Soup. There are plenty of other places to go for readings and signings in Los Angeles, I swear, but it’s become Book Soup week. This time, Lorin Stein talks to a full house about The Paris Review with David L. Ulin. Nobody gets punched in the nose.
5:00 P.M. Leave the paper to drive the hour-plus to UCLA for the Look at This F*ing Panel: A Sociological Discussion on the Hipster, a follow-up to one held last year in New York. The audience, mostly students, is not overly hipsterized, except for the proliferation of crocheted hats, which can only be an unfortunate fashion statement on an eighty-degree day.
6:00 A.M. Writing up the hipster panel for Jacket Copy, Tao Lin and his fans in the audience look good, and my admiration for Gavin McInnes, shirtless and full of counterintuitive interruptions is too subtle. Alas, McInnes, a cofounder of Vice Magazine, later tweets that my review is “wimpy,” which I tell myself is marginally better than “boring,” his other critique.
11:30 A.M. At my desk at the paper, trying to sort out ongoing login problems and prepping for the Man Booker Prize announcement. There are people in London gathered at a gala event; me, I’m frustrated that the BBC, which is broadcasting it, isn’t making the stream available in the U.S. Luckily, someone tweets a version of the feed I can see. It’s jittery, a hack I think, but it does the trick. Read More »