Redux: Even Forests Engage in a Form of Family Planning



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.

Deborah Eisenberg.

This week at The Paris Review, we’re trying to separate the forest from the trees. Read on for Deborah Eisenberg’s Art of Fiction interview, Gisela Elsner’s short story “A Pastoral,” and Mónica de la Torre’s poem “Boxed In.”

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Deborah Eisenberg, The Art of Fiction No. 218
Issue no. 204 (Spring 2013)

I find it endlessly interesting, endlessly funny, the fact that we’re rather arbitrarily divided up into these discrete humans and that your physical self, your physical attributes, your moment of history and the place where you were born determine who you are as much as all that indefinable stuff that’s inside of you. It seems so ridiculous. Why can’t I just buckle on my sword and leap on my horse and go charging through the forests?



A Pastoral
By Gisela Elsner
Issue no. 34 (Spring–Summer 1965)

My mother shook herself and scratched herself. We walked along a narrow path, through meadows with yellow flowers alternating with fields, perhaps wheat fields.

“There,” said my father, pointing his stick horizontally away from himself at a second forest that looked like the first, which I had taken for a fir or a pine forest or an evergreen forest of some other kind, “there we can rest.”



Boxed In
By Mónica de la Torre
Issue no. 224 (Spring 2018)

Heads up, false friends use familiarity as camouflage.
In the source language deciduous might be confused with apathy,
but nothing could be further away from desidia than the timed impermanence of leaves.
Yes, even forests engage in a form of family planning …


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