Redux: Lost Causes Confound



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.

Lydia Davis in Paris, 1973.

This week at The Paris Review, we’re reading archive pieces written by contributors to the Summer 2019 issue. Read Lydia Davis’s Art of Fiction interview, as well as Richard Ford’s short story “Shooting the Rest Area” and Ishion Hutchinson’s poem “A Horace to Horace.”

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.


Lydia Davis, Art of Fiction No. 227
Issue no. 212 (Spring 2015)

Back in the early eighties, I realized that you could write a story that was really just a narration of something that had happened to you, and change it slightly, without having really to fictionalize it. In a way, that’s found material.



Shooting the Rest Area
By Richard Ford
Issue no. 62 (Summer 1975)

In the dark Edgar Haney walked from his truck and turned up the sidewalk to the cafe. It was an hour before light, and he shuddered inside his coat as the cold touched his flesh. And this is the thing that came to him. That in 1937, they had a black Mercury and his father had a heart attack and couldn’t call on his jobbers. So his mother drove.



A Horace to Horace
By Ishion Hutchinson
Issue no. 224 (Spring 2018)

Lost causes confound. Where are you, cousin,
since you swung upside down the iron gate
outside school? The earth is your sky—correct
me, was. I blame the missionaries …


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