Our new Spring issue features an interview with Walter Mosley, best known for his Easy Rawlins crime series, who talks about detective fiction, black male heroes, and the literary fixation on legacy:
At one point, there were very few writers—now there are so many of them. Those earlier writers were thinking about the future, and some of them even survived into the future, like Faulkner. But so what? It’s not like you’re a better writer than someone who is forgotten. Melville was completely forgotten, and then rediscovered in the twenties. What difference did that make to Melville? That idea, of trying to set yourself up for importance and legacy, to say, I’m the voice that speaks for this generation—who cares?
And Elias Khoury, the foremost novelist writing in Arabic today, discusses the art of fiction:
Repetition is, I might say, a way of insisting that every story contains many stories inside it. The same story can be told in any number of different ways, of course. My novels try to suggest this richness, even though I can tell only a limited number of versions. In other words, I’m a student of Scheherazade—I don’t tell the story, I tell how the story has been told … To write multiple versions of the same story is to suggest that every story is a form of potential, an opening onto other stories.
We also have our first-ever photo-novella, by Jean-René Étienne and Lola Raban-Oliva; an excerpt from the last novel by our late, lamented Paris editor Harry Mathews; and a cautionary poem by Janet Malcolm about encountering a poet in the flesh:
I’ll never forget the day I met
The author of Prufrock and his wife.
It wasn’t a big occasion,
But I’ll think of it all my life …
Get your issue now. Or subscribe today and begin reading it online right away, along with every back issue in our digital archive. New subscribers will also receive a free copy of The Correspondence, a collection of award-winning Paris Review dispatches by J. D. Daniels. (“Packed with so much promise,” says Dwight Garner of the New York Times, “2017 looks better already.”)