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Posts Tagged ‘Paris Review’

Peter Matthiessen, 1927–2014

April 5, 2014 | by

Linda Gavin/Courtesy of Riverhead Books

Linda Gavin/Courtesy of Riverhead Books

We have received word that Peter Matthiessen, a founding editor of The Paris Review, died today after a long battle with leukemia. A Zen priest, novelist, environmentalist, and two-time winner of the National Book Award, Peter was a heroic figure to generations of readers, including our own. He lived a life of adventure but was, even in public, the first to admit his vulnerabilities and flaws. As a writer, he held himself to the highest standards—his own—even in the face of incomprehension or disregard. As the most senior member of our board, and one of the last living founders of the Review, he was unfailing in his encouragement and love of this magazine; we have lost a progenitor, a guiding spirit, and a cherished friend.

INTERVIEWER

You are one of the few writers ever nominated for the National Book Award in both fiction and nonfiction. Define yourself.

PETER MATTHIESSEN

I am a writer. A fiction writer who also writes nonfiction on behalf of social and environmental causes or journals about expeditions to wild places. I have written more books of nonfiction because my fiction is an exploratory process—not laborious, merely long and slow and getting slower. In reverse order, Far Tortuga took eight years, At Play in the Fields of the Lord perhaps four, and the early novels no doubt longer than they deserved. Anyway, I have been a fiction writer from the start. For many years I wrote nothing but fiction. My first published story appeared in The Atlantic the year I graduated from college and won the Atlantic firsts prize that year; and on the wings of a second story sale to the same magazine, I acquired a noted literary agent, Bernice Baumgarten, wife of James Gould Cozzens, the author of a best-selling blockbuster called By Love Possessed, whose considerable repute went to the grave with him.

INTERVIEWER

And when did you start your first novel?

MATTHIESSEN

Almost at once. It was situated on an island off the New England coast. I had scarcely begun when I realized that what I had here at the very least was the Great American Novel. I sent off the first 150 pages to Bernice and hung around the post office for the next two weeks. At last an answer came. It read as follows: “Dear Peter, James Fenimore Cooper wrote this 150 years ago, only he wrote it better, Yours, Bernice.” On a later occasion, when as a courtesy I sent her the commission on a short story sold in England, she responded unforgettably: “Dear Peter, I’m awfully glad you were able to get rid of this story in Europe, as I don’t think we’d have had much luck with it here. Yours, Bernice.” Both these communications, quoted in their entirety, are burned into my brain forever—doubtless a salutary experience for a brash young writer. I never heard an encouraging word until the day Bernice retired, when she called me in and barked like a Zen master, “I’ve been tough on you because you’re very, very good.” I wanted to sink down and embrace her knees. Read Matthiessen’s Art of Fiction interview and his story “A Replacement,” and listen to him on the art of travel writing.  

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Time Is Running Out

January 30, 2014 | by

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Photo: Chris Willis, via Wikimedia Commons

Today is many things: Vanessa Redgrave’s birthday; the 365th anniversary of Charles I’s beheading; a Thursday. But more than any of these, it’s the penultimate day of our subscription deal with McSweeney’s. You must, in the parlance of infomercials and World War II propaganda, ACT NOW, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

To refresh your memory: this January only, you can get a year of The Paris Review and McSweeney’s for just $75*—a twenty percent savings over individual subscriptions. It’s what known among businessmen as synergy, and among laypeople as a totally white-hot deal.

Yes, our two magazines have always appealed to different readers. Our sensibilities, like our headquarters, are a continent apart. But for 2014 we say, vive la différence. You’ll have the most cosmopolitan bookshelf, nightstand, or bathroom on the block, and a full supply of the interviews, fiction, essays, poetry, and humor that keep us reading each other and make us want to spread the love!

Subscribe now or risk infinite regret!

*US only.

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Our New Year’s Resolution: Spend More Time with the Kids

January 6, 2014 | by

Back-to-School

Film still from Back to School, 1986.

As truisms go, “They grow up so fast” is a doozy. Take it from us. A mere fifteen years ago, when The Paris Review was a sprightly forty-five, we looked on in wonder as McSweeney’s took its first steps in this world, a mock eighteenth-century gazette from the outskirts of Silicon Valley. At moments we glimpsed a younger, friendlier version of ourselves, if we’d been born in a small nonsmoking city where people did graphic design. We laughed at their jokes. We admired the typesetting. We even paid a couple of visits to their pirate store.

What can we say? Time did its thing. We remained on the East Coast, McSweeney’s on the West. As the years passed, we begged off various ballet recitals, countless soccer games, and at least one fiction reading that had an acoustic guitar component. We were an absentee elder sister. No more! With a new year upon us and McSweeney’s entering its headstrong teenage phase, we want a second chance: at the ripe old age of sixty, we’re spending more time with the kid.

All month long, we’re offering a subscription deal in conjunction with McSweeney’s: you can get both magazines for just $75, a 20 percent savings. Because it’s 2014, and you don’t have to make the same mistakes we did. You can have it all: the interviews, fiction, poetry, art, essays, humor, and translations that make us proud to be in the same business.

 

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Start 2014 with a Dual Subscription to McSweeney’s and The Paris Review

January 1, 2014 | by

Venn-600

This new year, bury the hatchet, broaden your horizons, and shock your friends with a dual subscription to McSweeney’s and The Paris Review.

Yes, our two magazines have always appealed to different readers. Our sensibilities, like our headquarters, are a continent apart. But for 2014 we say, Vive la différence. This January only, you can get a year of The Paris Review and McSweeney’s for just $75*—that’s 20 percent less than you’d pay for individual subscriptions. You’ll have the most cosmopolitan bookshelf, nightstand, and bathroom on the block, and a full supply of the interviews, fiction, essays, poetry, and humor that keep us reading each other and make us want to spread the love!

Subscribe now!

*US only.

 

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Have Questions About The Paris Review? Ask Our Editors on Reddit!

September 9, 2013 | by

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Pictured [l-r]: associate editor Stephen Andrew Hiltner, deputy editor Sadie Stein, digital director Justin Alvarez, assistant editor Clare Fentress, and editor Lorin Stein.

Have a question about The Paris Review? How do the interviews work? What’s our pitch process? Are we a CIA front?

Paris Review editors will be hosting a Reddit AMA (short for “Ask Me Anything”) tomorrow, September 10, at 3 P.M. EDT.

You can read the full thread here.

See you then!

 

1 COMMENT

Watch The Paris Review on Charlie Rose, Here!

August 20, 2013 | by

Now we’re making it really easy for you! For those readers who were unable to catch James Salter, Mona Simpson, Lorin Stein, and John Jeremiah Sullivan discussing The Paris Review’s sixtieth anniversary on Charlie Rose, are you ever in luck! You can now watch the full segment below (sans introductory interview with Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppelman). Yes, we’ve given this a lot of ink, but what can we say—we’re proud!

If you have issues with the video, click here to watch.

 

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