After Plimpton

The fiftieth anniversary issue of The Paris Review is out today, and includes interviews with Jim Crace and Paul Auster, along with writing by Grace Paley, Jeannette Winterson, Richard Ford, Ian McEwan, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, Don DeLillo, Jeffrey Eugenides, Francine Prose, Jonathan Franzen, and more.

Crace reveals in his interview that he doesn’t believe in extensive research for novels:

My wife and my editor think I do lots of research. And I encourage them in their delusion as it makes me seem hardworking. But actually I don’t research. I oppose research. What I do is a bit of background reading in order to work out how to tell my lies. I don’t look for information, I look for vocabulary and for the odd little emotional idea that will give some oxygen to my imagination. Vocabulary is the Trojan horse that smuggles the lie. Facts don’t help. If you’re not a persuasive talker at a party, no one’s going to believe you, even if everything you say is true. But if you’re a persuasive liar then everyone is fooled.

Also featured on the site, from the archives, are brief excerpts of letters between Vladimir Nabokov and Edmund Wilson.


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