Redux: A Summer Month Together


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. The summer solstice is this week, so as things heat up and before the days get shorter, […]

One Word: Castration


Anonymous, Non biedt kat vis aan in ruil voor penis (detail), 1555 We defend ourselves not against castration anxiety but against death, a far more absolute castration. —Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death The university library at my medical school was shared with students of veterinary medicine. Sometimes I’d find myself at a desk opposite […]

Elyse Watches The Bachelorette – Episode 4: Straight to Rose


In the general theme of “everything that happened in the last week was garbage, ” we need to talk about some things before I recap tonight’s Bachelorette. Contestant Lincoln Adim (you’ll remember him as the guy who was making out with a photo of Becca) was convicted of indecent assault and battery prior to the show. I put […]

World Cup 2018: Peru’s Permission to Dream


Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images Danish players congratulating each other and Peru’s star forward Paolo Guerrero covering his face with his shirt as Peru lost 0-1 to Denmark in Saransk, Russia, June 16, 2018 This is the fifth in a series of essays about the 2018 World Cup guest-edited by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro. On May 30, 2018, the Peruvian soccer squad […]

On Frankenstein: A Monster of a Book


Behind the scenes of James Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein In 1818, it would probably have been more shocking to have novel about a Victoria Frankenstein doing perfectly normal, boring science than one about Victor making a hodgepodge of body parts come to life. In more than one way, Victor Frankenstein embodies the double contradiction at the core […]

America’s First Female Mapmaker


From Emma Willard’s Republic of America. Designed for Schools and Private Libraries, 1829. A recent item for sale in the rare-book trade caught my eye. Boston Rare Maps had a series of twelve maps created by America’s first female mapmaker, Emma Willard. They were to accompany a textbook she had written, first issued in 1828. The […]

In the Nineties, No One Cared About Getting a Job


Still from Pulp Fiction. “So what then, day jobs?”“Not in this life.”“What then?” —Pulp Fiction When I was a child and Americans asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them, “Famous.” This was enough to elicit laughter from the interrogating adult before they moved on to the next would-be […]

‘Ruling Through Ritual’: An Interview with Guo Yuhua


Guo Yuhua A villager from Ji, northern Shanxi, China, speaking with Guo Yuhua, 2005 Guo Yuhua is one of China’s best-known sociologists and most incisive government critics. A professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, she has devoted her career to researching human suffering in Chinese society, especially that of peasants, the promised beneficiaries of Communist […]

The Bugs Are Winning


Superbugs: An Arms Race Against Bacteria by William Hall, Anthony McDonnell, and Jim O’Neill Harvard University Press, 246 pp., $29.95 BSIP/UIG/Getty Images Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as Penicillium notatum), the mold that produces the antibiotic penicillin I never knew my aunt, Pessimindle. As a teenager in the early 1900s, she developed appendicitis and rapidly succumbed […]

The Last of the Tzaddiks


Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century by James Loeffler Yale University Press, 362 pp., $32.50 The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights by Michael Sfard, translated from the Hebrew by Maya Johnston Metropolitan, 509 pp., $35.00 Ralph Alswang/Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism Rabbi […]