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The Paris Review
“It’s always difficult to depart; the interpretation that here on earth we find ourselves in a waiting room.” —Böll
“They’re all people I admire. I wouldn’t say we were alike as parking tickets.” —Donald Barthelme
“These questions ... Sasha knew were lies. From the beginning.” —Nadine Gordimer #fiction
“Every writer I know was going to be something else, and then found himself writing by a kind of passionate default.”
J. G. Ballard on “Empire of the Sun”: “It took me a long time to forget, and then a long time to remember.”
“Nothing is deadlier than writing about the workings of humor.” @SadieStein on the best medicine:
“No one works better out of anguish at all; that’s an incredible literary conceit.” —James Baldwin
“I am more interested in the movement among ideas than in the ideas themselves.” —John Ashbery
“Would you say this, that, or the other if Jesus Christ himself was at your shoulder?” —Zadie Smith #fiction
“I almost feel as if I am not a complete human being unless I have that pen in my hand.” —Jessamyn West
“Keats’s writings—especially when they seem fanciful or escapist—are grounded in real-world concerns.”
“The craft or art of writing is the clumsy attempt to find symbols for the wordlessness.” —John Steinbeck
This week’s staff picks: George Saunders talks to an alien, J.D. Daniels on Room 237, and Iris Murdoch on good people
“Music, perhaps, comes nearest to reality ... the mathematical relationships within the universe made audible.”
“I’ve begun to crumble a bit, and write more shamelessly of what is near to me.” —Richard Wilbur
“He was a man who had a deep need to create meaning where there was none.” How Keats coped with fevers:
Can a reader and a character be simultaneously amused?
“You can endure almost anything as long as you can sing about it.” —James Wright
“Even the losers keep a little bit of pride.” A look back at the 2014 Paris Review softball season:
“I used to distrust my imagination for fear that I was simply fantasizing.” —Marguerite Young
“I watch porn / Cause I’ll never be in love / Except with you dear reader” —Dorothea Lasky
“By and large history tends to be rather poor fiction.” —Gore Vidal
Laurie Simmons, from “Tourism.” #Art in issue 93.
“There is only one genuinely ghastly thing hack jobs do to writers, and that is to waste their precious time.”