Redux: I Struggle to Stay inside Sleep



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.

James Laughlin. Photo courtesy of New Directions.

This week at The Paris Review, we’re reading long, multipart selections—all the better with which to stay indoors. Read on for James Laughlin’s Art of Publishing interview (part one and part two), Roberto Bolaño’s complete The Third Reich (in parts one, two, three, and four) and Frank Bidart’s poem “The Fifth Hour of the Night.”

If you enjoy these free interviews, stories, and poems, why not subscribe to The Paris Review and read the entire archive? You’ll also get four new issues of the quarterly delivered straight to your door. And for even more reading material, check out the Art of DistanceThe Paris Review’s new weekly dispatch from indoors.


James Laughlin, The Art of Publishing No. 1, Part 1
Issue no. 89 (Fall 1983)

There were so many different things I had to do. I had to keep in touch with the authors and read the manuscripts, and I had to copyedit manuscripts, and I had to find printers and binders. Then I had to get up ads and do the catalogs. I had to try to sell the books. Publishing, when it’s a one-man operation, is an extremely varied occupation. It isn’t like a big firm where each person does a different job. I don’t know that I looked at it very objectively; I just did it.

Part 2



The Third Reich: Part 1
By Roberto Bolaño
Issue no. 196 (Spring 2011)

Through the window comes the murmur of the sea mingled with the laughter of the night’s last revelers, a sound that might be the waiters clearing the tables on the terrace, an occasional car driving slowly along the Paseo Marítimo, and a low and unidentifiable hum from the other rooms in the hotel. Ingeborg is asleep, her face placid as an angel’s. On the night table stands an untouched glass of milk that by now must be warm, and next to her pillow, half hidden under the sheet, a Florian Linden detective novel of which she read only a few pages before falling asleep. The heat and exhaustion have had the opposite effect on me: I’m wide awake.

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4



The Fifth Hour of the Night
By Frank Bidart
Issue no. 229 (Summer 2019)

The sun allows you to see only what the sun
upon: the surface. What we wanted was what was elsewhere: cause.


Or some books say that’s what we once wanted. Prophets of
never, of course, agreed about cause, the uncaused cause: or they


terribly did. Asleep, I struggle to stay inside sleep, unravaged by
piercing dreams—craving, wish, desire to remain inside, if briefly,


obliteration. I cleave to the voice of Poppea’s nurse:


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