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
New Yorkers: tonight at seven, join The Paris Review’s Lorin Stein at McNally Jackson, where he’ll be in conversation with Deborah Eisenberg, Michael Greenberg, and Craig Lucas; they’re discussing the brilliant Henry Green (1905–1973), whose novels Back, Loving, and Caught will be reissued this fall by New York Review Books. Green talked to The Paris Review about Loving back in 1958:
I got the idea of Loving from a manservant in the Fire Service during the war. He was serving with me in the ranks, and he told me he had once asked the elderly butler who was over him what the old boy most liked in the world. The reply was: “Lying in bed on a summer morning, with the window open, listening to the church bells, eating buttered toast with cunty fingers.” I saw the book in a flash.
Green was a divisive writer in his lifetime. W. H. Auden called him “the best English novelist alive” (NB: he was still alive at the time); The Partisan Review called him “a terrorist of language.” Who was right? The answer to this question and many others, tonight.
Recently, thanks to heavy wait times at the twenty-four-hour Genius Bar on Fifth Avenue, I found myself killing an evening at the Plaza with nothing to read but the galleys of a book of art criticism, How to See, by the painter David Salle. It turned out to be perfect company—witty, chatty, intimate, sharp. And slightly exotic (at least for this reader): you rarely see novelists write so knowingly, on a serious first-name basis, about each other’s work. Soon I was dog-earing and drawing lines in the margins next to favorite passages, as for example:
On recent paintings by Alex Katz:
Some of the color has the elegance and unexpectedness of Italian fashion design: teal blue with brown, black with blue and cream. You want to look at, wear, and eat them all at the same time.
We’re not big on themes here at the Review, but our new Summer issue was designed with the poolside in mind—we did everything short of printing it on sunscreen-proof paper. At its center you’ll find a portfolio curated by Charlotte Strick, an essay by Leanne Shapton, and a short story by Rafil Kroll-Zaidi all on the subject of swimmers, lifeguards, and lane etiquette. Read More
Readers of the Review know that the Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier is one of our favorite young directors. (See Issue 203 for a discussion of his first two features, Reprise and Oslo, August 31st.) His new English-language debut, Louder than Bombs, stars Isabelle Huppert, Gabriel Byrne, and Jesse Eisenberg. Last week we caught up with Trier and Eisenberg for a conversation that ranged from Knut Hamsun to The Karate Kid to David Foster Wallace. We also talked about the making of Louder than Bombs. Read More