Redux: What Kind of Flowers Am I Making



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.

Iris Murdoch.

A couple of weeks ago, the Redux brought you April showers; now we’re delivering the obligatory May flowers. Read on for Iris Murdoch’s Art of Fiction interview, Jorge Luis Borges’s short story “Funes the Memorious,” and Eileen Myles’s poem “Circus.”

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 as long as we’re flattening the curve, The Paris Review will be sending out a new weekly newsletter, The Art of Distance, featuring unlocked archival selections, dispatches from the Daily, and efforts from our peer organizations. Read the latest edition here, and then sign up for more.


Iris Murdoch, The Art of Fiction No. 117
Issue no. 115 (Summer 1990)


Which tends to come first—characters or plot?


I think they all start in much the same way, with two or three people in a relationship with a problem. Then there is a story, ordeals, conflicts, a movement from illusion to reality, all that. I don’t think I have any autobiographical tendencies and can’t think of any novel I’ve written that is a copy of my own life.



Funes the Memorious
By Jorge Luis Borges
Issue no. 28 (Summer–Fall 1962)

I remember him (I have no right to utter this sacred verb, only one man on earth had that right and he is dead) with a dark passion flower in his hand, seeing it as no one has ever seen it, though he might look at it from the twilight of dawn till that of evening, a whole lifetime.



By Eileen Myles
Issue no. 214 (Fall 2015)

Jill tells me about the
show she is making
& I thought it’s like
Flowers. What kind
of flowers am I making.
I think that I met
you at work. I’m home
Now & think what
Kind of flower am
I making. How do we find
the flower, use the
Flower spread it around
I thought summer’s a good
Growing season or is
It. Is summer just hot? …


And to read more from the Paris Review archives, make sure to subscribe! In addition to four print issues per year, you’ll also receive complete digital access to our sixty-seven years’ worth of archives.