Redux: Enemies Are Redheaded



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 at The Paris Review, we’re writing about reading, and reading about writing. Read on for Enrique Vila-Matas’s Art of Fiction interview, Kate Zambreno’s short story “Plagiarism,” a piece of fiction by Chekhov called “What You Usually Find in Novels,” Gevorg Emin’s poem “The Block,” and a portfolio of Richard Prince art from 1978.

Enrique Vila-Matas, The Art of Fiction No. 247
Issue no. 234 (Fall 2020)

The kind of writer I like best is the one who has, at some stage, been a critic, and who at a certain point realizes that if he really wanted to honor literature he must immediately himself become a writer—step inside the bullring and prolong, by other means, what was always at stake in literature.

Detail from a Richard Prince piece, 1978.

By Kate Zambreno
Issue no. 228 (Spring 2019)

I’m not saying it was the exact same text—her small, lyric monograph and my novella-length essay. For one, her book was more conceptually focused, while my essay drifted too much and was too much about me. Still, the similarities were uncanny. Had I unintentionally plagiarized her, or had she unintentionally plagiarized me?

Detail from a Richard Prince piece, 1978.

What You Usually Find in Novels
By Anton Chekhov, translated by Peter Sekirin
Issue no. 152 (Fall 1999)

All the characters are unremarkable, yet sympathetic and attractive people. The hero saves the heroine from a crazed horse; he is strong-willed and he shows his strong fists at every opportunity.

The sky is wide, the distances are vast and the vistas are broad, so broad that they are impossible to understand . . . this, in short, is Nature.

Friends are blond. Enemies are redheaded.

Detail from a Richard Prince piece, 1978.

The Block
By Gevorg Emin, translated by Diana Der Hovanessian
Issue no. 57 (Spring 1974)

For two months
I have not written
a word.

My voice, a low
grumble, disturbs
our quarter

like the rumble
of the millstone
which having nothing to grind
grinds itself.

Detail from a Richard Prince piece, 1978.

From None
By Richard Prince
Issue no. 73 (Spring-Summer 1978)


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