Thursday, September 06, 2007

Something cool that's not so cool

The new book on my shelf is The Paris Review Interviews, vol. 1. (Volume 2 comes out in October.) It is, of course, fabulous. Starting off with Dorothy Parker, the book also includes Capote, Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, Saul Bellow, and Jorge Luis Borges. I might normally complain about the newsprint paper stock, but it just feels right. Even better, I got my copy free by renewing my Paris Review subscription for three years. (There's a just about zero chance that I'd let the subscription lapse, so I'll take my free book, thank you very much.)

There is, interestingly enough, a downside to this fabulous book. Before Philip Gourevitch took over as editor, The Paris Review received a grant from the NEA to make PDFs of all of the Paris Review interviews available for free download. Now that the interviews have been collected (at least partially) in book form again (the old Penguin Writers at Work collections are out-of-print), the interviews included in the book are no longer available online.

Don't get me wrong. I love my book, but a free, universally accessible archive all of the interviews would have been an incredible resource. It's a shame that project seems to have been abandoned.

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