BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE PARIS REVIEW / with Caitlin Roper, Jeff Antebi, Matthew Zapruder, and Chaz Reetz-Laiolo

Monday, June 14, 2010 - 7:30pm







An Evening with Managing Editor CAITLIN ROPER

and Summer Issue Contributors JEFF ANTEBI, CHAZ REETZ-LAIOLO,

and MATTHEW ZAPRUDER, with an introduction by LARRY BENSKY,

the review's Paris editor, 1964-66.


Whether you’re a published writer, a would-be writer, or simply an avid reader, you have a rare opportunity to see the inner workings of a literary magazine. The Paris Review’s managing editor, Caitlin Roper, who edited the summer issue, talks about submissions, editing, curation, how art is chosen, how production works, the review’s redesigned website (debuting in September), its new blog (debuting this month) author interviews (so wonderfully collected in the four volume Paris Review Interviews series), and the effect of The Paris Review’s use of Twitter. Roper’s look at what one critic called “one of the single most persistent acts of cultural conservation in the history of the world” gives us unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to this cultural institution.


Joining Caitlin Roper this evening are photographer Jeff Antebi, whose portfolio of photos taken in Haiti is featured in the Summer 2010 issue of The Paris Review, who will show slides and talk about his experience of shooting in that country, and poet Matthew Zapruder, who has a long poem featured in the Summer 2010 issue, will offer a short reading.


Founded in Paris by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton in 1953, The Paris Review began with a simple editorial mission: “Dear reader,” William Styron wrote in a letter in the inaugural issue, “The Paris Review hopes to emphasize creative work—fiction and poetry—not to the exclusion of criticism, but with the aim in mind of merely removing criticism from the dominating place it holds in most literary magazines and putting it pretty much where it belongs, i.e., somewhere near the back of the book. I think The Paris Review should welcome these people into its pages: the good writers and good poets, the non-drumbeaters and non-axe-grinders. So long as they're good”


Decade after decade, the Review has introduced the important writers of the day. Adrienne Rich was first published in its pages, as were Philip Roth, V. S. Naipaul, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Mona Simpson, Edward P. Jones, and Rick Moody. Selections from Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy appeared in the fifth issue, one of his first publications in English. The magazine was also among the first to recognize the work of Jack Kerouac, with the publication of his short story, “The Mexican Girl,” in 1955. Other milestones of contemporary literature, now widely anthologized, also first made their appearance in The Paris Review: Italo Calvino's Last Comes the Raven, Philip Roth's Goodbye Columbus, Donald Barthelme's Alice, Jim Carroll's Basketball Diaries, Peter Matthiessen's Far Tortuga, Jeffrey Eugenides’s Virgin Suicides, and Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.


In addition to the focus on original creative work, the founding editors found another alternative to criticism—letting the authors talk about their work themselves. The Review’s Writers at Work interview series offers authors a rare opportunity to discuss their life and art at length; they have responded with some of the most revealing self-portraits in literature. Among the interviewees are William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov, Joan Didion, Seamus Heaney, Ian McEwan, and Lorrie Moore.


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The Paris Review Interviews, III: The Indispensable Collection of Literary Wisdom By The Paris Review Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312363154
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - October 28th, 2008

The Paris Review Interviews, II: Wisdom from the World's Literary Masters By The Paris Review Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312363147
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - October 30th, 2007

The Paris Review Interviews, I: 16 Celebrated Interviews By The Paris Review, Philip Gourevitch (Introduction by) Cover Image
By The Paris Review, Philip Gourevitch (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780312361754
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - October 17th, 2006