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.
This week, The Paris Review is celebrating the release of the Winter 2020 issue by highlighting three contributors who have appeared in previous issues. Read on for Claudia Rankine’s Art of Poetry interview, György Dragomán’s short story “End of the World,” and Arthur Sze’s poem “Streamers.”
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Claudia Rankine, The Art of Poetry No. 102
Issue no. 219, Winter 2016
The question is, How do you get to an authentic emotional place? I’m often listening not for what is being told to me but for what resides behind the narrative. What is the feeling for the thing that’s being told to me? One of the reasons I work in book-length projects, instead of individual poems, is because I don’t trust the authenticity of any given moment by itself.
End of the World
By György Dragomán, translated by Paul Olchváry
Issue no. 183, Winter 2007
Coach Gica tended to us goalies specially, he made us show up at every practice an hour early and mainly had us do speed drills, plus we had to jump a lot and dive, jump and dive, jump and dive, and he had this goalie-terrorizing machine, he came up with it himself and the workers at the Ironworks made it for him, a soccer ball was put up on the end of this long iron pipe, the ball was filled with sand, and that’s what he shot at us, the whole contraption was built onto an axle it revolved around, throwing that sand-packed ball with no mercy, and Janika and I knew that if we didn’t catch it, it would hit us in the head and break our bones, other kids had already died in Coach Gica’s hands, so they said, which is why he became a coach for the junior team, the adult players couldn’t stand his heavy-handedness, one time they caught him and knocked half his brains out, and since then he wasn’t allowed to coach the Ironworks’ adult team but could work only with us eleven and twelve year olds.
By Arthur Sze
Issue no. 116, Fall 1990
As an archaeologist unearths a mask with opercular teeth
and abalone eyes, someone throws a broken fan and extension cords
into a dumpster. A point of coincidence exists in the mind
resembling the tension between a denotation and its stretch
of definition: aurora: a luminous phenomenon consisting
of streamers or arches of light appearing in the upper atmosphere
of a planet’s polar regions, caused by the emission of light
from atoms excited by electrons accelerated along the planet’s
magnetic field lines. The mind’s magnetic field lines.
When the red shimmering in the huge dome of sky stops,
a violet flare is already arcing up and across, while a man
foraging a dumpster in Cleveland finds some celery and charred fat.
Hunger, angst: the blue shimmer of emotion, water speeding
through a canyon; to see only to know: to wake finding
a lug nut, ticket stub, string, personal card, ink smear, $2.76 …
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