The Whole World Is a Work of Art: On Jonathan Bate’s “Mad About Shakespeare”

SEPTEMBER 28, 2022 A FEW YEARS AGO, I ran a reading group at a local charity in Bristol that supported men and women who had experienced addiction or other mental health challenges, or who had spent time in prison. We read short pieces that we could share aloud in the group, including an extract from … Read more

The Paris Review – Why Tights and No Knickers?

Danielle Orchard, Lint2022. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin Gallery. The women in Danielle Orchard’s paintings are usually undressed, or only partially clothed. They might be smoking a cigarette in the bath, or staring at themselves in a mirror, or eating from a bowl of popcorn in bed. Orchard’s settings are often mundane—a bedroom, a … Read more

The Center Did Not Hold: On Seung Chul Kim’s “The Center Is Everywhere”

SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 GIVEN THE DEMANDS of specialization in today’s universities, Christian theologians focusing on one area of ​​study often dedicate little or no attention to other issues: some scholars focus on dialogue with contemporary scientists, while others attend to interreligious theology, including dialogue with Buddhists. Thus, Christian theologians who work on science and religion … Read more

The Paris Review – Michelle de Kretser and David Orr Recommend; Our Editors Remember Hilary Mantel

Gabriel Mälesskircher, Saint Guy Healing a Possessed Manpublic domain, via Wikimedia Commons. This week, we remember Hilary Mantel (1952–2022), and bring you recommendations from two of our issue no. 241 contributors. On holiday in France, I went to Colmar to see the Isenheim Altarpiece in the Musée Unterlinden. Afterward, wandering through the museum’s collection of … Read more

Imperfect Wisdom: On Rachel Aviv’s “Strangers To Ourselves”

SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 TOWARD THE END of the 20th century, the conventional wisdom around mental illness changed, with biomedical explanations blotting out Freud’s psychoanalytic theories about its root causes. In her new book Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make UsRachel Aviv, a journalist and staff writer at The New Yorker, steps … Read more

Masculinity Is the New Prey: On Ander Monson’s “Predator”

SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 ANDER MONSON HAS WATCHED Predator 146 times. He was 12 years old when the movie came out in 1987, which partially accounts for his obsession. Predator is one of those loud, dumb movies that became a kind of lingua franca for American boys and man-children of a certain age. They loved recreating … Read more

The Paris Review – For the Record, the Review Has Not Abolished Fiction

Subject: Inquiry about a small change beginning with issue 238 Dear Emily, Volume 238 dropped the fiction and nonfiction labels previously attached to prose pieces. I found no rationale for the decision in your editor’s note to that edition, although your reference to “fiction or nonfiction or something in between” may be an allusion to … Read more

The Paris Review – Free Dirt

Free dirt. Photograph via Craigslist. For the past three years, I’ve filled a folder on my desktop with pictures of dirt that I found on Craigslist. The dirt in each picture was offered free of charge to whoever was willing to pick it up (“You haul”) or, if you were lucky, a free-dirter might have … Read more

The Paris Review – Other People’s Partings

Fall River, Massachusetts. Photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress. So many accounts of Chekhov’s death, many of them exaggerated, some outright bogus. The only indisputable thing is that he died at forty-four. That’s etched in stone in Moscow. I like to read them anyway. I’m not alone. Chekhov death fanatics abound. His last sip … Read more

Seemingly Ordinary Diction: On Leonid Schwab’s “Everburning Pilot”

SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 I USED TO THINK of the weirdly calm lyrics of Rae Armantrout as a uniquely American phenomenon, plausible only in a poetic lineage that runs through William Carlos Williams. But when I read the work of the Russian Leonid Schwab poet in Everburning Pilot — a bilingual volume edited by Alexander Spektor, … Read more