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.
“A crush goes nowhere,” Kathryn Davis writes on the Daily this week, in a piece adapted from her forthcoming memoir, Aurelia, Aurélia. “It’s called a crush because it’s like something landed on top of you, making movement impossible.” Still, who doesn’t love to nurture a crush every now and again? Flirtations, racing hearts, and fixations of all kinds certainly abound in our archive. Read on for Italo Calvino’s awkward habit of “falling in love with foreign words” as recalled by his translator William Weaver in an introduction to The Art of Fiction no. 130; dashed fantasies in “Rainbow Rainbow,” Lydia Conklin’s story of a teenage girl meeting her internet crush; Laurel Blossom’s sly poem “Plea to a Potential Lover”; and the photographer Prabuddha Dasgupta’s scenes of longing with accompanying text by Geoff Dyer.
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Italo Calvino, The Art of Fiction No. 130
Issue no. 124 (Fall 1992)
Writers do not necessarily cherish their translators, and I occasionally had the feeling that Calvino would have preferred to translate his books himself. In later years he liked to see the galleys of the translation; he would make changes—in his English. The changes were not necessarily corrections of the translation; more often they were revisions, alterations of his own text. Calvino’s English was more theoretical than idiomatic. He also had a way of falling in love with foreign words. With the Mr. Palomar translation he developed a crush on the word feedback. He kept inserting it in the text and I kept tactfully removing it. I couldn’t make it clear to him that, like charisma and input and bottom line, feedback, however beautiful it may sound to the Italian ear, was not appropriate in an English-language literary work.
By Lydia Conklin
Issue no. 237 (Summer 2021)
As soon as Heidi arrived at Kim’s condo, she suggested they go meet LisaParsonsTwo, Kim’s online crush. Usually Kim was the rule-breaker, the wild girl whose mom let her do whatever she wanted, but Heidi hadn’t been able to stop thinking about LisaParsonsTwo since Kim had told her about their messages last week. When Heidi found out Kim’s mom would be out for the evening, she’d invited herself to sleep over.
Plea to a Potential Lover
By Laurel Blossom
Issue no. 65 (Spring 1976)
Don’t take me home, at least not yet;
Let’s have another drink, and sit
and talk—I want to be your woman,
but there isn’t any rush.
Let’s take our time,
and think it out.
By Prabuddha Dasgupta & Geoff Dyer
Issue no. 200 (Spring 2012)
In Prabuddha Dasgupta’s photographic series Longing there is a powerful suggestion of travel, of journeys that have merged into a single journey. There is evidence of arrival and departure, but the main sense is of transit, of looking back on what has been left, or forward to what is to come. The photographs are rarely in the moment. The present tense flickers and is gone.
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