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Sartre’s Bad Trip
In the thirties, both Jean-Paul Sartre and Walter Benjamin experimented with the hallucinogenic drug mescaline.
prismo  ParisReview 
6 weeks ago by thx1138
On Summer Crushing
I am cultivating my comfort with unanswered desires, and it is going well. I have room for so much more. I say a prayer. I fall in love.

this, from june, is still so good
parisreview  relationships 
9 weeks ago by lundun
Trash Talk: On Translating Garbage
"Nothing drives home the vacuousness of an art text like having to dissect its every hollow carapace of a sentence. I once translated nearly thirty pages of an artist’s manifesto and still for the life of me was unable to picture not only what his work looked like but of what it consisted. Was it a video? An installation? Fluxus performance? (It ended up being found-object sculpture.) The text was so far up its own abstract ass it had entirely lost sight of the actual work (which I have come to understand is the entire point of an art text)."

Lina Mounzer is a writer and translator living in Beirut. Her work has appeared in Literary Hub, Bidoun, Warscapes, and The Berlin Quarterly. She has contributed long-form features on Middle Eastern literature, TV, and music to AramcoWorld Magazine, Brownbook ME, and Middle East Eye, and she has translated, with pleasure, work by the Lebanese authors Chaza Charafeddine, Hassan Daoud, and Hazem Saghieh.
translation  art  ParisReview 
11 weeks ago by jdmartinsen
How Stanley Kubrick Staged the Moon Landing
To understand America, you can start with Apollo 11 and all that is counterfactual that’s grown around it; that’s when the culture of conspiracy, which is the culture of Donald Trump and fake news, was born.
12 weeks ago by thx1138
The Paris Review :: Meet Your New Favorite Poet
I like to tell poetry students about pleasures that are “on reserve” for them—meaning pleasures they’re too little to have now, but which they will have, someday, if they just stick with it. Good example of this: owning other poets.

How can you own a poet? Simple. You have to find a poet whom no one has read in a long time, a poet with no living fans. Then you have to sincerely love that poet’s work. That’s the hard part. But if you love the poet’s poems, and no one else has even read them, there’s your opportunity to plant your flag. That poet is now your private property. Your interpretation of that poet’s work is by definition correct. Your right to be there is indisputable.

And why can’t beginners have this pleasure? That’s easy. ’Cuz they cannot bring themselves to read material that’s “not gonna be on the test.” And even if they do somehow read such material, they do not love it. They are beginners; they love each other. Everything else is homework.

James Thomson (1700–1748) is my private property. I keep him in my pocket and take him out and look at him sometimes. He always looks good. There are many James Thomson poems that I have never read. Consequently, those pieces do not exist. The ones I have read I have read many times. I’m talking about The Seasons, a 5,500-line poem that used to be approximately as famous as the Aeneid or whatever. It was translated into a bunch of different languages, Goethe revered it, it was imitated all over the place. People used to sit there, stunned or rocking back and forth, muttering “Oh man, oh man, oh man!” about The Seasons. These days, however—2019—the sun has quite gone down on this great poet.

It’s not hard to see why. His stuff doesn’t sound like it’s going to be good, at all. Number one, it was written in the eighteenth century. Nobody likes that century’s poetry. Number two, it’s in twisted-up Miltonic blank verse. In other words, it’s hard. Number three, it’s 5,500 lines of nature imagery. There’s no plot, no characters—it’s nature imagery, floor to ceiling.

Exhibit A: This is just to give you an idea what kind of diction-syntax we’re talking about. This is really early 0n in the poem, and Thomson has been talking about how the coming of spring affects the air and the wind; now he draws your attention to the soil and leaves:

Nor only through the lenient air this change
Delicious breathes: the penetrative Sun,
His force deep-darting to the dark retreat
Of vegetation, sets the steaming power
At large, to wander o’er the vernant earth
In various hues …
poetry  parisReview 
february 2019 by fogfish
On Uwe Johnson: The Hardest Book I’ve Ever Translated
This week marks the publication in English of Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl. This is the second of three essays by the translator, Damion Searls, a Paris Review contributor and former translation correspondent for the Daily.
translation  DamionSearls  ParisReview 
february 2019 by jdmartinsen
An Intellectual Love Affair: Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner / by Dustin Illingworth (Paris Review, November 14, 2018)
“Given the brittleness of the text message and the anxious sterility of email, there is a luxury to the epistolary rhythm: write—and wait. The fecundity of such a record has obvious appeal for scholars, who set out like lepidopterists, netting scandals, idées fixes, house guests, marital strife, disease, inspiration, signs of madness.”
HughKenner  GuyDavenport  DustinIllingsworth  ParisReview 
november 2018 by cbearden

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