Redux: Another Joke-Legend



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.

Arthur Miller.

This week, we’re perusing our summer-vacation reads. Read on for Arthur Miller’s Art of Theater interview, J. Jezewska Stevens’s short story “Honeymoon,” and Jacqueline Osherow’s poem “Eight Months Pregnant in July, High Noon, Segesta.”

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Arthur Miller, The Art of Theater No. 2
Issue no. 38 (Summer 1966)

The first play I wrote was in Michigan in 1935. It was written on a spring vacation in six days. I was so young that I dared do such things, begin it and finish it in a week. I’d seen about two plays in my life, so I didn’t know how long an act was supposed to be, but across the hall there was a fellow who did the costumes for the University theater and he said, “Well, it’s roughly forty minutes.” I had written an enormous amount of material and I got an alarm clock. It was all a lark to me, and not to be taken too seriously … that’s what I told myself.



By J. Jezewska Stevens
Issue no. 228 (Spring 2019)

For our honeymoon we went to Tuscany. This got a big sigh from me. I love my job, this city, my life. At home, in our apartment, the kitchen tiles are a deep maroon, a chessboard for girls. I was sitting on them, like a squat little knight, unwrapping a casserole dish, when my husband wheeled a suitcase into the room. One of the most difficult things about being married, I find, is that those thoughts you choose not to say out loud don’t register at all. No one reads your mind. He gently snapped two fingers near my face.

Babe, he said. You look a little dazed.



Eight Months Pregnant in July, High Noon, Segesta
By Jacqueline Osherow
Issue no. 129 (Winter 1993)

It was foolish planning to arrive at noon
But, in retrospect, it doesn’t really matter.
There was a bar, after all, where we bought water
And my husband bought a sun hat for the daughter
We dared not bring, exposed, into that sun
And I thought I’d make it another joke-legend:
Eight months pregnant in July, high noon, Segesta,
The people at the bar agreeing, “She’s American,”
Which from them was less judgmental than amused.


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