Our Spring Revel was Tuesday. Did you miss it? Don’t worry: we had the foresight to bring a photographer. Read More
This Tuesday, at our annual Spring Revel, The Paris Review will honor Richard Howard with our lifetime-achievement award, the Hadada, for a strong and unique contribution to literature. Long esteemed among poets for his verve and intellect, Howard received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize in poetry and was a finalist for the National Book Award seven times. His translations from the French helped introduce contemporary masters, such as Roland Barthes and Michel Leiris, to American readers and breathed new life into classics like The Charterhouse of Parma; his translation of Charles Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal won the 1983 National Book Award. He’s the author of sixteen collections and three books of essays; his translations number in the dozens.
But Howard has also had a distinguished career as a nurturer of young poets. From 1989 to 2011, he was the poetry editor of the Western Humanities Review, during which time he also held the same station at The Paris Review, from 1992 to 2005. As a teacher, he’s influenced several generations of poets. We invited friends of the Review to share their stories of Howard—of working with him, learning from him, and, in several cases, surveying his elaborately decorated bathroom, adorned with the photos of dozens of poets. A portrait began to emerge: of a curious, polymathic reader; a generous mentor; and a zealous, sure-footed practitioner of his form. Read More
The Paris Review’s Spring Revel is coming up—tickets are available here—and our board has chosen the winners of two annual prizes for outstanding contributions to the magazine. It’s with great pleasure that we announce our 2017 honorees, Alexia Arthurs and Vanessa Davis. Read More
There’s a kind of poetic mind that sees connections between things. I think that ability to make connections is part of the open secret of what a writer does. Everything on that side table there has a certain connection: Family pictures … An eighteenth-century Japanese bowl. But there’s a kind of theme that holds all those things together. The thing is to discover what that theme is. Everything on that table has a certain benevolence. That’s not the table I mostly write about, because there are other chords, that are not benevolent, that I tend to strike.
—Paula Fox, The Art of Fiction No. 181, 2004
Paula Fox died this week in Brooklyn at ninety-three, a loss felt deeply here at The Paris Review. Over the years, we have published her fiction, interviewed her for our Writers at Work series, and, in 2013, honored her with our Hadada Award for lifetime achievement. Read More
Our Spring Revel was this Tuesday, and we have the pictures to prove it.
Hundreds convened at Cipriani 42nd Street to honor Lydia Davis with the Hadada Award. She received it from her high school classmate Errol Morris—“We played in the high school orchestra together,” she explained, “and he played the cello, and I played the violin. And I don’t know how well he played the cello, but I know I didn’t play the violin very well. So we were promising young musicians together.” Morris expressed a particular fondness for her essay on translating Madame Bovary, calling it “one of my favorite things ever.”
Davis’s speech was entirely improvised—or nearly entirely. She’d found herself “scrawling little notes in very small handwriting on a jiggling train” to New York, she said. Her husband, Alan Cote, attempted some encouragement, she told the crowd: “ ‘You know, Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on the train.’ And I told him, Yes, that was probably easier.”
John Guare took the stage to award Chris Bachelder the Terry Southern Prize for Humor. Bachelder regaled the crowd with a story of the Review’s fact-checking prowess—suffice to say he’ll never again forget which pole the penguins come from. (Hint: not the North Pole.) He told us,
One of the paradoxes of the writing life is that, as you gain experience, you actually have fewer paths forward, and fewer habitable stances, and one stance that I find currently habitable is a kind of grave playfulness. And that’s a stance, among others, that The Paris Review supports and has always supported. And I think you can take that from a guy wearing a suit holding a model airplane.
David Szalay received the Plimpton Prize for Fiction from Rachel Kushner. “He may be new to me, and to the pages of The Paris Review,” she said, “but he’s a fully developed writer, whose wisdom, skill, and precision, whose sardonic wit, all come through wonderfully, leaving no awkward seams of labor or vanity.”
Take a look at the photos below—and we hope to see you next year!
Photos by Clint Spaulding / © Patrick McMullan / PatrickMcMullan.com Read More