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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Redford’

James Salter’s Acceptance Speech

April 13, 2011 | by

Photograph by Neil Rasmus.

A transcript of last night’s speech.

Well of course I knew this was going to happen. Terry McDonell called me and he said, “We would like to give you the Hadada this year,” and I said, “Terry, it might be a better idea to give it to somebody a little younger.” He said, “No, no, no, no, you are missing the point entirely.” It turns out that in the African language from which the word comes, hadada means “Hail, great father.” Ha-da-da.

The Paris Review was always the pinnacle, it was the place to be published, you were thrilled if you were published in The Paris Review, and George Plimpton himself was practically mythical. He was a legendary figure.

I had written a novel. It was A Sport and a Pastime. And it had been turned down by publishers, four or five of them, and I thought I was probably wrong about it, it was not really any good. And then, through a friend, Bill Becker, it came to The Paris Review. One day the phone rang, and I said “Hello.” And a voice said, “Yes, hello, this is George Plimpton.” He said, “You know, I have your novel, and I really like it, I like it very much. We’d like to publish it.” At that time, The Paris Review had a small book publishing operation, they had published a handful of books. He said, “We’d like to publish it.” I said, “That’s wonderful.” He said, “Yes. But there is just one thing.” “Yes.” He said, “I don’t think that any really good novels are written in the first person.” Of course, my mind went blank. I couldn’t think of anything. I didn’t know what to say to him except, suddenly it occurred to me, a book really far removed from the book we were talking about, that was the only thing I could think of, I said, “Well, what about All Quiet on the Western Front,” and he said, “Yes, I suppose you’re right.” That was the end of the editing.

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Robert Redford Presents the Hadada Award

April 13, 2011 | by

A transcript of last night’s speech.

Photograph by Neil Rasmus.

When I walked in, a woman came up with a little recorder and she said, “I am really sorry, but can I have a word with you?” And I assumed she was part of the program and so I said—I wanted to be helpful—so I said, “Sure.” And she said, “Just a few words, I just want to talk about [he mumbles into his hand].” And I said, “I’m sorry?” I thought she was saying something important, and I said, “What?” And she said, [he mumbles into his hand], and I said, “I’m really sorry,” and she said, “What do you think about Trump and Huckabee?” And I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know.” I was so surprised. And she says, “Now, what do you think about Trump running for president?” And I said, “I have absolutely no thought.”

I am happy to say that the reason I am here and that you are all here is such a good one, because I am here to dedicate an award to a man who is so deserving of it, and for me to see him come to this place in his life—his life has been so rich and full and varied in so many interesting ways—is truly an honor. And I guess some writers can write and be really flashy and just score big on their first work, and then maybe they fade away after that, maybe that was too much too soon, and other writers just build an aggregate over the years, and they just grind and they develop and they work and they grow, and they grow with time—they were always good, they stayed true to form, true to themselves, true to the form that they developed for themselves. And then they rise up to that point of shining light and that is where Jim is, so I am really happy to be here to support him and his family.

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James Salter: “This Is My Stockholm”

April 13, 2011 | by

James Salter accepts the Hadada Prize.

Last night, close to five hundred people gathered at Cipriani’s 42nd Street to honor James Salter at our Spring Revel. Robert Redford was there to present the Hadada Prize to Salter. The two have known each other since the sixties, when Salter wrote the screenplay for Downhill Racer. Said Redford at the podium, “I am lucky to be here tonight to honor a man who is my friend and whom I respect deeply.” As Salter took the stage, guests at every table stood up, applauding the author. Salter thanked George Plimpton for publishing his novel A Sport and a Pastime, and as he picked up the statuette he told the crowd, “This is my Stockholm.”

Below are some photographs from the night (and go to the Billy Farrell Agency to see more). We’ll be posting Salter’s full speech on The Daily later today.

Robert Redford and James Salter.

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April Ayers Lawson Wins Plimpton Prize; Elif Batuman Wins Inaugural Terry Southern Prize for Humor

March 23, 2011 | by

Left, April Lawson; Right, Elif Batuman.

On Tuesday, April 12, The Paris Review will single out two young writers at its Spring Revel.

April Ayers Lawson will receive the Review’s Plimpton Prize for “Virgin,” which appeared in our fall issue and marked Lawson's national debut.

Elif Batuman will receive the first-ever Terry Southern Prize for Humor for “My Twelve-Hour Blind Date, with Dostoevsky,” her five-part account of a marathon theatrical performance on Governor’s Island. The series appeared last July on The Paris Review Daily.

The Plimpton Prize for Fiction is a $10,000 award given to a new voice published in The Paris Review. The prize is named for the Review’s longtime editor George Plimpton and reflects his commitment to discovering new writers of exceptional merit. The winner is chosen by the Board of the Review. This year's prize will be presented by Ann Beattie.

The Terry Southern Prize for Humor is a $5,000 award recognizing wit, panache, and sprezzatura in work published by The Paris Review or online by the Daily. Perhaps best known as the screenwriter behind Dr. Strangelove and Easy Rider, Terry Southern was also a satirical novelist, a pioneering New Journalist, and a driving force behind the early Paris Review.

This year’s winner of the Terry Southern Prize was chosen by a panel of three judges: critic Sam Anderson of The New York Times, editor Chris Jackson of Spiegel & Grau, and writer Fran Lebowitz. Lebowitz will present the prize.

And, of course, the honoree of this year’s Revel is James Salter. Robert Redford will present Salter with the 2011 Hadada, the Review’s lifetime achievement award recognizing a “strong and unique contribution to literature.” Previous recipients of the Hadada include John Ashbery, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton (posthumously), Barney Rosset, Philip Roth, and William Styron.

Come help us celebrate—and support your favorite literary magazine (and arts gazette!). Buy your ticket now!


Letter from Sundance

February 3, 2011 | by

According to festival lore, in 1981, the film director Sydney Pollack suggested to Robert Redford that he move Sundance from Salt Lake City in September to Park City in January, arguing that the lure of fresh powder would attract more Hollywood types to Utah. Redford did exactly that, and now, after touching down in Salt Lake, Sundance-goers must drive almost an hour into the plush Park City, which stands at seven thousand feet above sea level and is home to one of Utah’s four Whole Foods and the United States Ski Team.

It’s easy to feel like you’re sitting in a model train as your bus snakes around the bottom of the mountain to get to a theater. The infrastructure from the 2002 Olympics lingers. The houses are built for renting, as if they were meant to be on reality television: beds and bathrooms galore and, of course, a hot tub. Like many resort towns where the tourists outnumber the locals, there’s a weird hybrid of heartland authenticity and city-slicker trendiness. On Main Street, women walk around in fox coats and Sorrel boots, though at night, you might catch one in bare legs and stilettos, trying to avoid the black ice, feeling just as out of place as Pale Male, the Central Park–dwelling Red-Tail Hawk, would if he were ever to venture to the Rockies. In the mornings, you can observe people in ski gear, their feet locked into plastic boots, waiting for buses next to publicists, reporters, and the occasional obnoxious-man-on-his-cell-phone who is, one is made to presume, making a big deal.

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Save the Date: Spring Revel

December 13, 2010 | by

We are very pleased to announce our lineup for the Spring Revel, which will be held on April 12 at Cipriani 42nd Street:
The Paris Review Spring Revel
Honoring James Salter


The Hadada Prize
presented by Robert Redford

The Plimpton Prize for Fiction
presented by Ann Beattie

The Terry Southern Prize for Humor
presented by Fran Lebowitz

Yves-Andre Istel and Kathleen Begala
Benefit Chairs

Stay tuned in 2011 for ticket and table information, as well as some excellent James Salter coverage on the Daily.