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 highlighting work from some of the more than thirty Nobel laureates in our archive, in honor of the Nobel Prize in Literature announcement last Thursday. Read on for Kenzaburo Oe’s Art of Fiction interview, Alice Munro’s short story “Spaceships Have Landed,” an excerpt from Naguib Mahfouz’s novel The Journey of Ibn Fattouma, and Wislawa Szymborska’s poem “Negative.”
Kenzaburo Oe, The Art of Fiction no. 195
Issue no. 183 (Winter 2007)
The Nobel Prize is almost meaningless to one’s literary work, but it raises one’s profile, one’s status as a social figure. One earns a kind of currency that one can use in a much wider realm. But for the author, nothing changes. My opinion of myself didn’t change. There are only a few writers who have gone on to produce good work after winning the Nobel Prize. Thomas Mann is one. Faulkner also.