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Posts Tagged ‘William Styron’

Listen to Garrison Keillor, Iris Murdoch, and William Styron!

December 10, 2013 | by

Iris-Murdoch

Photography credit Nancy Crampton.

This is exciting, and something we’ve had in the works for a long time.

Since 1985, 92Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center and The Paris Review have copresented an occasional series of live conversations with writers—many of which became the foundation of a Writers-at-Work interview. As of today, 92Y and The Paris Review are making these recordings available at 92Y’s Poetry Center Online and here at The Paris Review. The release of these recordings is made possible by 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.

The online series kicks off with audio of Garrison Keillor on the secrets of humor writing; Iris Murdoch on what makes a great book; and William Styron on the future of the written word. The series also happily features George Plimpton, the late, great founder of The Paris Review, conducting many of the interviews.

Stand by in the coming months for audio of John le Carré, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Octavio Paz, Günter Grass, Paul Auster, Tony Kushner, Czeslaw Milosz, Maya Angelou, Jamaica Kincaid, and Allen Ginsberg, among others.

 

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Spoiler Alert: Why We Abandon Books

July 12, 2013 | by

This infographic on “the psychology of abandonment”—that is, why we don’t finish certain books—makes for fun reading. But even more interesting is the Goodreads list of those titles most frequently abandoned. We don’t want to spoil Stieg Larsson for anyone, but let’s just say that those who don’t persevere are missing out on some sexual sadism and computer espionage.

abandonmentinfographic

 

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Good Little Girls, and Other News

April 4, 2013 | by

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  • “Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every trifling offense. This retaliation should only be resorted to under peculiarly aggravated circumstances.” Mark Twain’s advice to little girls, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky.
  • Speaking of: the always fun Wodehouse Prize shortlist is posted.
  • “British writing will be far less incisive and fun when he stops.” Tim Martin pays tribute to Iain Banks, who just revealed his terminal illness.
  • “Banks manages to be both popular and profound,” says Stuart Kelly in The Scotsman.
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    Persepolis Ascendant, and Other News

    March 20, 2013 | by

    Persepolis-Sales-Up-Paris-Review-2

    • The banning of Persepolis in Chicagoland schools has, in the grand tradition, boosted the graphic novel’s (already robust) sales.
    • “I have only one humble criticism. I wonder if you realize how good you are.” Mutual admiration letters betwixt authors (and yes, the unsolicited humble criticism is Mailer to Styron). 
    • “Philip Roth celebrated his eightieth birthday in the Billy Johnson Auditorium of the Newark Museum last night with the most astonishing literary performance I’ve ever witnessed.” David Remnick was there
    • “There is no modernist stream-of-consciousness novel harder to get through than a publisher-author agreement.” And other things every writer should know
    • Edinburgh’s Looking Glass Books: we want to go to there. 

     

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    William Styron in Letters, Part 5

    December 7, 2012 | by

    To George Plimpton

    December 1, 1953 Ravello, Italy

    Dear George:

    Herewith the interview, revised and expanded. I think that in the future it might be a good idea for you to get a tape-recorder for these darn things, because it’s a bitch of a job for the interviewee to edit his own words. Now you will note that I did not completely eliminate all the first part; as a matter of fact I retained the bulk of it, but made quite a few changes and emendations. I think it’s better now, certainly printable. Besides all the additions, you will notice I made a few eliminations. I cut out a few of the cuss-words, which were all too abundant. I cut out the cracks against little Truman and Anthony West, who God knows deserves them, but they seemed a little in poor taste. I also tempered my criticism of Faulkner. I have tried to keep the tone impersonal and conversational throughout, and I think that I’ve succeeded.

    You will notice, too, that I’ve taken your suggestion and have added quite a bit toward the end. I hope you will find the questions—some of which are yours—and answers suitable; at least the piece is considerably lengthened, and I’ve gotten off my chest a few things I’ve wanted to say. One important thing is that I think you must somehow invent a little atmosphere to surround the piece. It’s mighty bare without any stage directions, and I think if you place the thing right where the original interview started, in the Café Select, or some equivalent, it will provide a suitably bibulous background.

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    William Styron in Letters, Part 3

    December 5, 2012 | by

    William and Rose Styron.

    To Norman Mailer

    June 1, 1953 Rome, Italy

    Dear Norman:

    I note that you began your last letter: “I’ve been kind of depressed lately,” and by way of preface to this letter I should say that I’ve been both depressed and elated since you last heard from me—elated at having just married a most admirable girl (perhaps you’ve gotten an announcement) and depressed because for roughly your own sort of reasons—an inability to get going again at this writing game. To complicate the situation, a few days ago, barreling down the Autostrada in an effort to catch up with Irwin Shaw’s Ford convertible (we had been on a two-car picnic at Angio) I smacked into a motorscooter going full tilt and glued an Italian all over the front end of my car. The guy was made of brick and will survive with nothing more than lacerations, and fortunately for the legal end of the thing it was his own fault (he was a moron, for one thing, and for another had been driving with a glass eye) but such incidents always leave me spookily aware of just how vulnerable we all are. Perhaps they’re valuable as such from an ah-tistic point of view, but I doubt it.

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