ZINIO logo
Culture & Literature
The Paris Review

The Paris Review Summer 2018

The Paris Review publishes the best fiction, poetry, art, and essays from new and established voices, and the Writers at Work interviews offer some of the most revealing self-portraits in literature.

Read More
United States
The Paris Review Foundation, Inc.
4 Issues

in this issue

23 min.
jan morris

Day 17 I have always rather envied the poet Ovid, who was banished from Rome by the emperor Augustus, you may remember, to a remote place called Tomis on the shores of the Black Sea. There he died, ten years later, and his exile has gone into legend and into art—Turner’s commemoration of his banishment is as poignantly dramatic as The Fighting Temeraire. Ovid wrote prodigiously during his banishment, and although his work was mostly sad and often complaining, as a remote member of the same fraternity I find it hard to commiserate with him. There are worse predicaments, it seems to me, than enforced residence in a house on the Black Sea, writing lyric poetry for the rest of your life. Tomis is now the hefty Romanian port of Constanţa, not…

1 min.
hilda hilst

If you find me nocturnal and flawedLook again. Because tonightI looked at me as though you were looking.And it was like waterWanting To slip from its home in the riverWithout even touching the bank. I looked at you. I’ve known for so longThat I’m land. For so longI’ve prayedYour body of water most fraternalWould stretch out over mine. Shepherd and sailor Look again. Less loftiness.More care. My meter? Love.And your mouthIn mine unearned. My shame? The burningVerse. My faceThe dreamer’s face reversed. My calling?Sagittarius, at my sideEntwined with Taurus. My wealth? DoggedPursuit, your presenceIn everything: July, AugustThe zodiac at hand Illustrated magazinePage, newspaperTattered web. In every corner of the HouseThe trembling evidence ofYour face. We’ll pass on. The two of us. And friendsAnd all my vigor, this afflictionOf not seeing you, your disaffectionToo must pass. I’m just a poet And you,…

37 min.
wayétu moore

Lai was hidden in the middle of forests when the Vai people found it. There was evidence of earlier townsmen there, as ends of stoneware and crushed diamonds were found scattered on hilltops in the unexpected company of domestic cats. But when the Vai people arrived from war-ravaged Arabia through the Mandingo inland, they found no inhabitants and decided to occupy the province with their spirits. On a plot of land one mile long and one half mile wide, they used smelted iron to build their village—a vast circle of houses constructed of palm wood from nearby trees, zinc roofs, and mud bricks to keep them cool during the dry season. During the day, the Ol’ Pas sat together and drew lines and symbols in the dirt that represented how many moons…

2 min.
five poems by ‘antarah ibn shaddād

My steeds live for War.My swords are not for show.My colt’s trained not to stopshort on the battlefield.My shield givesno cause for complaint. A slash of my saberclean as saltand off came ‘Amr’s nose! Between Qaww and Qārahthe troops flocked like grouseto a spring. I feared I’d diebefore ‘Amr’s womencould keen his death. We chargedthe foe from on highand my soul sick with bloodlustwas nearly healed—we skewered their loinswith Rudaynah spearsthat screamed as ifsqueezed in a vise. Our squadrons standarrayed for battlebanners flappinglike vultures’ shadows. I didn’t start thiswar that engulfs you.For generationsSawdah’s sonsfanned its flames.Friend and foe—all feel the heat.War is atfever pitch.I won’t desert you. A cavalry chargeof war-bitten ridersbloodied in slaughterarmor glinting,free warriorswith brows as brightas rhim gazelles,unlike Shaybān and La’mthose sorry tribeswith leprous buttsand brows black as pots. We harried their fateand…

29 min.
ben marcus

My wife, Gin, once knocked gently on my head, as if it were a door. “Hello,” she kept saying. “Hello. Who’s in there?” She and our therapist, Dr. Sherby, laughed a little about this, so I did, too. What fun. Keep knocking on my head like that, like it’s a door, or an egg. I wasn’t going to be the only one not laughing. That’s Human Survival 101. Not that survival is such a prize. But still, you might as well control your exit. Put your own little spin on how you step away from the show once and for all. I laughed as Gin kept knocking on my head, and I said, as if I might really be answering the door, “Just a minute, I’m coming. Hold your horses.…

36 min.
lászló krasznahorkai

László Krasznahorkai was born in 1954 in Gyula, a provincial town in Hungary, in the Soviet era. He published his first novel, Satantango, in 1985, then The Melancholy of Resistance (1989), War and War (1999), and Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming (2016). These novels, with their giant accretions of language, global erudition (he’s as familiar with the classics of Buddhist philosophy as he is with the European intellectual tradition), obsessive characters, and rain-sodden landscapes, might give an impression of hardened late-modernist hauteur, but they are also pointillist, elegant, and delicately funny. His gravity has panache—a collision of tones visible in other works he has produced alongside the novels, which include short fictions such as Animalinside (2010) and geographically vaster texts like Destruction and Sorrow Beneath the Heavens (2004) and Seiobo There Below…