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Posts Tagged ‘Maya Angelou’

This Week on the Daily

November 23, 2014 | by

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Georgios Jakobides, Girl Reading, ca. 1882, oil on canvas.

Never-before-heard recordings of Maya Angelou, Denise Levertov, and Gary Snyder from our ongoing collaboration with 92Y.

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Why has Italian cinema lost its appeal abroad? Antonio Monda sees a pattern: “The films that speak to a world audience deliver a poetic or extreme image of Italy, or of an ‘Italy,’ that gibes with the image foreigners already have of it.”

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Lilly Lampe reviews “Teen Paranormal Romance,” a group exhibition inspired by the burgeoning genre of YA lit.

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Damion Searls hears haiku in the rhythms of American speech.

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A brief history of insect control: James McWilliams tells the surprisingly fascinating story of how pesticides came to dominate American agriculture.

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Plus, Sadie Stein on migraines, “the most glamorous of headaches”; some thoughts on vape, the OED’s 2014 Word of the Year; and Duane Hanson’s Security Guard patrols an art gallery in terrifying solitude.

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The Poets Speak

November 20, 2014 | by

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Maya Angelou backstage at the 92Y.

At 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center, The Paris Review has copresented an occasional series of live conversations with writers—many of which have formed the foundations of interviews in the quarterly. Now, 92Y and The Paris Review are making recordings of these interviews available at 92Y’s Poetry Center Online and here at The Paris Review. You can consider them the deleted scenes to the printed interviews, or the director’s cuts, or the radio adaptations, or—let’s not dwell on it …

The latest editions to the collection are three poets: Maya Angelou, Denise Levertov, and Gary Snyder.

In this recording from 1988, Maya Angelou, who died this past May, speaks to our founding editor, George Plimpton:

I would be a liar, a hypocrite, or a fool—and I’m not any of those—to say that I don’t write for the reader. I do. But for the reader who hears, who really will work at it, going behind what I seem to say. So I write for myself and that reader who will pay the dues.

Denise Levertov died in 1997—Kenneth Rexroth called her “the most subtly skillful poet of her generation, the most profound, the most modest, the most moving.” Here she speaks to Deborah Digges in 1991:

Where I live in Seattle, I see a good deal more—more sky, more trees. I can see the lake. And from one upstairs window I can see a bit of Mount Rainier—when it’s out ... Who would want a mountain that was out all the time? You’d stop seeing it. It’s wonderful when it comes and goes.

And Gary Snyder, “the poet laureate of deep ecology,” talks to Eliot Weinberger circa 1992:

There’s no question that spending time with your own consciousness is instructive. You learn a lot. You can just watch what goes on in your own mind, and some of the beneficial effects are you get bored with some of your own tapes and quit playing them back to yourself.

We owe these recordings to a generous gift in memory of Christopher Lightfoot Walker, who worked in the art department at The Paris Review and volunteered as an archivist at 92Y’s Poetry Center.

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Maya Angelou, 1928–2014

May 28, 2014 | by

Maya Angelou

Angelou in 2013. Photo: York College of Pennsylvania

There is, I hope, a thesis in my work: we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. That sounds goody-two-shoes, I know, but I believe that a diamond is the result of extreme pressure and time. Less time is crystal. Less than that is coal. Less than that is fossilized leaves. Less than that it’s just plain dirt. In all my work, in the movies I write, the lyrics, the poetry, the prose, the essays, I am saying that we may encounter many defeats—maybe it’s imperative that we encounter the defeats—but we are much stronger than we appear to be and maybe much better than we allow ourselves to be. Human beings are more alike than unalike. There’s no real mystique. Every human being, every Jew, Christian, backslider, Muslim, Shintoist, Zen Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, every human being wants a nice place to live, a good place for the children to go to school, healthy children, somebody to love, the courage, the unmitigated gall to accept love in return, someplace to party on Saturday or Sunday night, and someplace to perpetuate that God. There’s no mystique. None. And if I’m right in my work, that’s what my work says.

—Maya Angelou, the Art of Fiction No. 119

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Frolicking, and Other News

October 30, 2013 | by

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Tolstoy Goes Digital, and Other News

September 6, 2013 | by

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  • All of Tolstoy’s works are going online. “We wanted to come up with an official website that will contain academically justified information,” explains his great-great-granddaughter. The work on the site will have been triple-proofed by more than three thousand volunteers from some forty-nine countries.
  • This week, FSG has collected a lovely series of Seamus Heaney reminiscences and tributes—by Jonathan Galassi, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Maureen N. McLane, Robert Pinsky, and more—on their blog.
  • Maya Angelou will be the recipient of the Literarian Award, an honorary National Book Award for contributions to the literary community.
  • UK charity shops are overwhelmed with a glut of Fifty Shades books—unrecyclable due to the glue used in their bindings. (Recommendation: find the nearest motel.)
  • A new app allows self-published authors to add their own sound tracks and effects to audiobooks. For good or ill.
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    Faulkner’s Outlines, and Other News

    May 15, 2013 | by

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  • Flavorwire rounds up handwritten outlines. (That’s William Faulkner’s outline for A Fable written on the wall.)
  • “The Good Union bookstore, which usually sells school textbooks, said it had sold roughly eighty sets of the trilogy in the past month. By comparison, Taobao’s current number one best seller, Travel Keeps You Young, sold four hundred copies last month.” Contraband 50 Shades hits China
  • Judy Blume, on the big screen for the first time.
  • “I saw women on the street cars with their little changer belts … And they had caps with bills on them and they had form-fitting jackets. I loved the uniforms! So I said, ‘That’s the job I want.’” Maya Angelou’s teenage ambition.
  • Meet the Man Booker International Prize finalists
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