Redux: The One Who Outlives All the Cowards

Every week, the editors of The Paris Review lift the paywall on a selection of interviews, stories, poems, and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these unlocked pieces delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by signing up for the Redux newsletter.

Notes from Elena Ferrante’s final revisions to The Story of the Lost Child.

In this week’s Redux, we’re reading the work of some of the authors featured in our new book, Writers at Work around the World. A celebration of global writers and literature in translation, the latest volume from Paris Review Editions features interviews with Chinua Achebe, Nadine Gordimer, Ha Jin, and more. Read Elena Ferrante’s Art of Fiction interview, as well as Haruki Murakami’s short story “Heigh-Ho” and Jorge Luis Borges’s poem “The Thing I Am,” and then order your copy of Writers at Work around the World today!

If you enjoy these free interviews, stories, and poems, why not subscribe to read the entire archive? You’ll also get four new issues of the quarterly delivered straight to your door.

 

Elena Ferrante, The Art of Fiction No. 228
Issue no. 212 (Spring 2015)

I publish to be read. It’s the only thing that interests me about publication. So I employ all the strategies I know to capture the reader’s attention, stimulate curiosity, make the page as dense as possible and as easy as possible to turn. But once I have the reader’s attention I feel it is my right to pull it in whichever direction I choose. I don’t think the reader should be indulged as a consumer, because he isn’t one. Literature that indulges the tastes of the reader is a degraded literature. My goal is to disappoint the usual expectations and inspire new ones.

 

 

Heigh-Ho
By Haruki Murakami
Issue no. 172 (Winter 2004)

Nakata visited the vacant lot for several days. One morning it rained heavily, so he spent the day doing simple woodwork in his room, but apart from that he bided his time seated in the weeds waiting for the missing tortoiseshell cat to show up, or the man in the strange hat. But no luck.

 

 

The Thing I Am
By Jorge Luis Borges
Issue no. 125 (Winter 1992)

I have forgotten my name. I am not Borges
(Borges died at La Verde, under fire)
Nor am I Acevedo, dreaming of battle,
Nor my father, bending over his book
Or taking death as it came to him one morning,
Nor Haslam, puzzling out chapter and verse
Of Holy Scripture, far from Northumberland,
Nor Suarez, having to face the charge of lancers.
I am barely the shade cast by those shades …

 

If you like what you read, get a year of The Paris Review—four new issues, plus instant access to everything we’ve ever published.

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