From William Faulkner's famous reply, 'The writer's only responsibility is to his art,' to James Salter's confession 'What is the ultimate impulse to write? Because all this is going to vanish', the Paris Review has elicited many of the most arresting, illuminating, and revealing discussions of life and craft from the greatest writers of our age. Under its original editor, George Plimpton, the Paris Review is credited with inventing the modern literary interview, and more than half a century later the magazine remains the master of the form. By turns intimate, instructive, gossipy, curmudgeonly, elegant, hilarious, cunning, and consoling, the Paris Review interviews have come to be celebrated as classic literary works in their own right.
Now, from the treasure trove of the archives, Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch has selected twenty of the most essential interviews for the first of a four volume set. The authors are: Dorothy Parker, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, Saul Bellow, Jorge Luis Borges, Kurt Vonnegut, James M. Cain, Rebecca West, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Stone, Robert Gottlieb, Richard Price, Billy Wilder, Jack Gilbert and Joan Didion.