Issue 59, Fall 1974
On July 15th, Peter Ardery died in his hotel room in Bombay, India. He was 31 years old. For five years (1965-1970) he had been an editor of this magazine and when he left his name was kept on the masthead as a tribute to his efforts on its behalf. He came to the magazine from Harvard where he had graduated in 1964. It was typical of his interest in the less traditional enterprises and his disinclination to take the sort of establishment position he had been trained for that he joined the magazine and worked for the smallest of salaries. For two years he ran the Paris Review booth at the New York World’s Fair-a toad-stool-like kiosk (“the smallest pavilion at the Fair”) which stood outside the French Exhibition Hall. The first year, literary magazines and books were on sale at the booth and on bad days there were no receipts at all. When it rained, the roof was lowered to keep the displays from getting wet and the salesgirls (invariably very pretty girls discovered by Ardery) peeked out, just their eyes shining. The following year the merchandise was more varied-a desperate catch-all of travel posters and kites and copies of L’Express and Paris-Match. Ardery ran the lunatic enterprise (which was supposed to provide a source of income to the magazine) with grace and humor and a dogged persistence . . .as if these qualities could match the high-pitched business acumen on display at the towering edifices nearby. Ardery was always interested in the underdog. In the councils of this magazine (and in the administration of the American Literary Anthology of which he was a co-editor) his concern was always with poets and writers who seemed to have no representation. He was a valued friend to them.