Redux: Eerie Fictions of the Afternoon



Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Redux newsletter.

Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne, and their daughter, Quintana Roo.

The Oscars were on Sunday, and we’ve got movies on the brain. This week, we’re reading John Gregory Dunne on the Art of Screenwriting, Susan Minot’s short story “The Man Who Would Not Go Away,” and Chase Twichell’s poem “Bad Movie, Bad Audience.”

If you enjoy these free interviews, stories, and poems, why not subscribe to read the entire archive? You’ll also get four new issues of the quarterly delivered straight to your door.


John Gregory Dunne, The Art of Screenwriting No. 2
Issue no. 138 (Spring 1996)

What the screenwriter is ceding to the director is pace, mood, style, point of view, which in a book are the function of the writer. The director controls the writing room, and it’s in the editing room where a picture is made.



The Man Who Would Not Go Away
By Susan Minot
Issue no. 109 (Winter 1988)

Going to the movies, people say, is like returning to the womb. But that’s not quite right. Your eyes are one pair in a galaxy of eyes, all gazing with a kind of rapture at bright things flickering across a screen. You watch the same movement, have the same current running through your hearts. You’re not alone at all.



Bad Movie, Bad Audience
By Chase Twichell
Issue no. 124 (Fall 1992)

Matinées are the best time
for bad movies—squad cars
spewing orange flame, the telephone
dead in the babysitter’s hand.
Glinting with knives and missiles,
men stalk through the double
wilderness of sex and war
all through the eerie
fictions of the afternoon …


If you like what you read, get a year of The Paris Review—four new issues, plus instant access to everything we’ve ever published.