The Paris Review

One of the best things about time here in Paris has been finally having all the time I want to read and write. One of the places to find new and inspiring work would be The Paris Review, one of the best literary publications of all time. In addition to getting published there (a boy can dream, can’t he?), on my to-do list is to track down some of the old “offices” of the TPR during it’s stint in Paris at the magazine’s inceptionin the magazine’s early years. In addition to an office inside a publishing house, the magazine’s headquarters was at one point on a boat and another time at a cafe, Cafe Tournon.

How can you not be a fan of a magazine where one of the founding editors, Peter Matthiessen, worked for the CIA and started the literary journal as a cover? (Click here for interview where he discusses it at the 15:25 mark.)

One of the highlights is always the interviews done with famous writers, about themselves and their process. (According to Wikipedia, “Graham Greene’s interview almost ended before it began when one of the interviewers turned up hungover and threw up in his hat on Greene’s doorstep, and Nabokov’s was cut short when Jeopardy! came on.”)  The Q&A’s are examples of the types of interviews that I find fascinating. They aren’t a vehicle for a writer to push their most recent product, but to try and find out about the writer’s process.

Here is the original introduction and explanation to the interviews.

Almost always 20 – 30 pages in length, the in-depth interviews are far from a cursory glance that only offer a topical glance into their process or psyche. They put some of the full length interviews online, which I downloaded, so I can read and refer to.

Joan Didion

Joyce Carol Oates

John Cheever

Bernard Malamud

John Steinbeck

Jack Kerouac

William Burroughs

Henry Miller

Ernest Hemingway

Truman Capote

William Faulkner

James Baldwin

They also occasionally put scans of the writer’s own edits and revisions to their work.

Raymond Carver

Haruki Murakami

Hunter Thompson

William T. Vollmann