Great news, via Dwight Garner at the New York Times: the new editor of the Paris Review, Lorin Stein, has “made the entire run of The Paris Review’s storied interview series, previously almost impossible to find in electronic form, available there, free for the browsing.” Just go here and splash around to your heart’s content. I confess I never had much interest in the Paris Review otherwise, but the interviews are classic, and I doff my hat and bow deeply in Stein’s direction for this generous act.


  1. rootlesscosmo says

    I recommend the interview with S.J. Perelman.

  2. aqilluqqaaq says

    I’d go a long way to read Tolstoy’s Gerbil as a follow-up to Flaubert’s Parrot. But I might be biased: I was taught Frege by his brother.

  3. The interview with Orhan Pamuk is well worth reading. (And thanks for the heads-up — I had linked that interview, which has been online for a couple of years, from my Orhan Pamuk bibliography but they apparently reorganized their site when they were doing this, my old link does not work anymore.)

  4. In the 1960s, occasional commenter Tom Clark was the Poetry Editor of the Paris Review.

  5. Wow. That’s great. Thanks for the tip, Hat, although they are a bit distracting… like a big bowl of sunflower seeds.

  6. From the John Banville interview:

    Is rhythm as important as word choice to you?
    It all starts with rhythm for me. I love Nabokov’s work, and I love his style. But I always thought there was something odd about it that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Then I read an interview in which he admitted he was tone deaf. And I thought, that’s it—there’s no music in Nabokov, it’s all pictorial, it’s all image-based. It’s not any worse for that, but the prose doesn’t sing.

    As if tone deafness had anything to do with… I’m sorry, I think the man can speak for himself:

    Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.

  7. Wow, what a stupid thing to say. But writers are not at their most objective when discussing the competition.

  8. And Nabokov said amazingly stupid things about Aksakov, Dostoevsky, Faulkner, and uncountable others, so he deserved a little return fire.

  9. What’s even stupider about Banville’s comment is that you can be completely tone deaf yet highly attuned to rhythm.
    Nabokov’s prose shows that he would have made a fine disco dancer if he had been brought up in the right time and place.

  10. marie-lucie says

    you can be completely tone deaf yet highly attuned to rhythm.
    You can be completely deaf, period, yet highly attuned to rhythm (and even melody, like the deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie).

  11. Exactly. You can also be a rhythmic virtuoso in one area and totally hopeless in another. You can’t cut wood without rhythm — not all carpenters are poets. And not all poets can dance.

  12. Yeats was said to be tone deaf. Contemporaries ridiculed his experiments intoning poetry to music.
    Nabokov’s brother was a composer.
    The concept of tone-deafness is not a straightforward one. It usually means no more than lack of a certain kind of training.

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