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Posts Tagged ‘London Review of Books’

#ReadEverywhere, Even When You’re Down and Out

July 20, 2016 | by

papadiaTHUMB

An entry to this year’s #ReadEverywhere competition.

For the third consecutive summer, we’re offering a joint subscription to The Paris Review and the London Review of Books for just $70 U.S. Already a Paris Review subscriber? Not a problem: we’ll extend your subscription to The Paris Review for another year, and your LRB subscription will begin immediately.

We’re also in the thick of the third edition of our popular #ReadEverywhere contest. The rules: post a photo or video of yourself reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest and use the #ReadEverywhere hashtag and one of our magazines’ handles. Venture to far and distant lands, or rest at home, reflecting on these bleak and troubling times. The winner of the contest will receive a wide selection of Aēsop products.

For inspiration, take a look at last year’s winners, or see what this year’s competition has already cooked up.

Finally: Get yourself a joint subscription, put on some tea, and hashtag your way to victory. These magazines may just help you make sense of the madness.

#ReadEverywhere, Even in the Ring

July 11, 2016 | by

Rocky’s LRB subscription led him down the path to pacifism.

For the third consecutive summer, The Paris Review is delighted to offer a joint subscription deal with the London Review of Books: you’ll get a year of both magazines for the low price of $70 U.S. That’s the best in imaginative writing and the best in essays and commentary: two Reviews in one fell swoop. Already a Paris Review subscriber? Not a problem: we’ll extend your subscription to The Paris Review for another year, and your LRB subscription will still begin immediately.

We’re also in the thick of the third edition of our popular #ReadEverywhere contest. From now through August 31, post a photo or video of yourself reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest and use the #ReadEverywhere hashtag and one of our magazines’ handles. (Even fictional celebrities, as you can see above, have found this deal so irresistible as to revise scenes that were believed to be unalterable. It’s that good. Plus, the winner stands to gain a lot: the grand prize is a wide selection of Aesop products.)

If you’re feeling uninspired, take a look at last year’s winners, or you can look at what this year’s competition has already cooked up.

Get yourself a joint subscription and hashtag your way to victory. Don’t let Rocky Balboa win. Our lawyers would never sort it out anyway.

#ReadEverywhere Redux

July 5, 2016 | by

The Paris Review’s softball team takes to the dugout to read after a hard-fought victory.

Let it never be said that we’re unreliable. For the third consecutive summer, The Paris Review is delighted to offer a joint subscription deal with the London Review of Books: you’ll get a year of both magazines for the low price of $70 U.S. That’s the best in imaginative writing and the best in essays and commentary: two Reviews in one fell swoop.

We’re also launching the third edition of our popular #ReadEverywhere contest—consider 2016 the Die Hard: With a Vengeance or Blade: Trinity of the venerable #ReadEverywhere franchise. From now through August 31, post a photo or video of yourself reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest and use the #ReadEverywhere hashtag and one of our magazines’ handles. Apply Snapchat lenses with reckless abandon. Venture to far and distant lands for the sole purpose of reading our magazines in public. After all, you stand to gain a lot: the grand prize is a wide selection of Aesop products. Read More »

The Winners of Our 2015 #ReadEverywhere Competition

September 24, 2015 | by

Remember this summer’s #ReadEverywhere contest, the one we went on and on about? It was a great success. We asked readers to submit pictures of themselves reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books around the world, and you did, by the hundreds, from far and wide. Now the time has come to announce the winners, selected in an elaborate ritual not unlike the papal conclave.

(Have the rolling timpani in your head commence … now.) Read More »

Staff Picks: No Conscience, No Hope, No October

March 6, 2015 | by

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Ilf and Petrov.

In the latest London Review of Books, Adam Phillips conducts a restless interrogation of conscience, that most eminent and most frustrating of moral constructs. We take it as a given, Phillips points out, that self-criticism has some purgative or ameliorative influence, that it moves us to better ourselves. But it’s more often an exercise in a kind of self-slavery: “We seem to relish the way it makes us suffer.” Why do we put such stock in our superego, who is, after all, mainly a reproachful asshole? “Were we to meet this figure socially, this accusatory character, this internal critic, this unrelenting fault-finder, we would think there was something wrong with him. He would just be boring and cruel. We might think that something terrible had happened to him, that he was living in the aftermath, in the fallout, of some catastrophe. And we would be right.” There follows a fascinating Freudian reading of Hamlet, a meditation on cowardice, and a careful deconstruction of the superego, from whose ridiculousness Phillips draws an inspired conclusion. “Just as the overprotected child believes that the world must be very dangerous,” he writes, “so we have been terrorized by all this censorship and judgment into believing that we are radically dangerous to ourselves and others.” —Dan Piepenbring

When I saw the first installment of Knausgaard’s travelogue for the New York Times Magazine, I thought of Ilf and Petrov’s American Roadtrip, their account of driving around the U.S. for ten weeks in 1935. But in truth, the two chronicles have little in common. Where Knausgaard is expansive and self-seeking, Ilf and Petrov are witty and concisely observant. “And on a chilly November morning we left New York for America,” they write, later finding the archetype of the American landscape at “an intersection of two roads and a gasoline station against a ground of wires and advertising signs.” Both Ilf and Petrov had experience in journalism—they met while working for the proletariat magazine Gudok—but I hadn’t read this early work until this week, when I saw Steven Volynets’s translation in Asymptote of a 1923 feuilleton by Ilf called “A Country That Didn’t Have October.” It’s an atmospheric recitation of the waves of occupation and retreat in Odessa during the civil war and World War I. Volynets calls it an “atomization” of the city’s fervor, and I was frequently reminded of Mayakovsky’s brash, agitated poems. Of 1917, Mayakovsky writes, “The drum of war thunders and thunders. / It calls: thrust iron into the living,” to which Ilf adds a description of the “worker provinces … where the factory smokestacks and horns ominously billowed and tooted. The [revolutionaries’] gaze fell upon the black depot, on the flurried seaport, on the rumbling, ringing, groaning railroad shops.” —Nicole Rudick

If you liked Leslie Jamison’s Empathy Exams or Charles D’Ambrosio’s Loitering, try Steven Church’s latest collection, Ultrasonica group of essays brought together by the theme of sound. Church at times seems to say, I make noise, therefore I am. He dissects the nature of sound waves in a racquetball court, counts the seconds between lightning and thunder, and listens for signs of life from trapped Chilean miners—and his digressions invariably come back around to sucker punch you. Church uses sound to explore notions of masculinity and fatherhood, love and death. He elaborates on his methods and inspirations in an interview with Jacket Copy: “I did a Google search for ‘blue noise’ … I read a sentence that said, ‘Blue noise makes a good dither,’ and, though I had no idea what it meant, I loved how it sounded. The sentence became a puzzle that I wanted to solve and, before I knew it, something like a book project began to take shape as individual essays, each focused on sound in some way.” —Jeffery Gleaves
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Anne Hollander, 1930–2014

July 9, 2014 | by

seeing through clothes

Anne Hollander, whose acute writing on fashion, costume, and style infused those subjects with a new intellectual energy, died on Sunday at eighty-three. As the Times reports, “She argued that clothing revealed far more than it concealed—about art, about perceptions of the body and ourselves—and her interests spanned centuries and mediums.”

Hollander conducted—or co-conducted; she shares the credit with John Marquand—The Paris Review’s first Art of Theater interview, with Lillian Hellman, published in 1965. Back then, her contributor’s note read modestly, “Anne Hollander designs costumes, paints, and translates occasionally.”

A little more than a decade later, in 1978, she published her first book, the brilliant (and brilliantly named) Seeing Through Clothes, a history of clothing and a study of representations of the body in Western art. The book was full of offhand wisdom about what you could call our philosophy of dress: “People seem always actually to know,” Hollander wrote, “with a degree of pain that has required the comfort of fairy tales, that when you are dressed in any particular way at all, you are revealed rather than hidden.” The book took a while to find its audience, but, as one critic noted, it “pushes erudition to the point of originality. The thoroughness with which she examines Western art and clothes has precipitated a new subject: how painting, sculpture and photography mediate between bodily ideals and what we wear.”

Over the next decades, her reputation grew and she published a succession of well-received books, including Moving Pictures and Sex in Suits; she wrote essays for a number of magazines, including The London Review of Books. Not much of Hollander’s writing is available online, but she was, for a time in the late nineties, the fashion columnist for Slate, which has curiously yet to publish a remembrance. Her pieces there have aged well; a column from February 1997—“A Loss for Words: Why there’s no good writing in fashion”—is just as true nearly twenty years later:

Fashion journalists and sensational fictioneers like Danielle Steele have co-opted the field, and other writers are scared off. Fashion now seems like a club with a private jargon that leaves no room for the play of sensitive literary exposition. And good critical writing about clothing hardly exists at all. There is no tradition of clothes criticism that includes serious analysis, or even of costume criticism among theater, ballet, and opera critics, who do have an august writerly heritage. This fact may be what makes the fashion journalist hate her job—the painful sense that real work cannot be done in this genre, that it would be better, more honorable, to be writing about something else.

But Hollander didn’t write about something else, thankfully. She expanded the rhetoric and insight of criticism about style, engaging where most writers thought there was nothing to engage with.

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