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Maybe the best ever opening line in an introduction to a Paris Review feature comes via issue #136, the “Humor Issue” from 1985:

It seemed obvious in planning a number devoted to humor that The Paris Review should approach Harold Bloom.



Obviously.

Maybe the best ever opening line in an introduction to a Paris Review feature comes via issue #136, the “Humor Issue” from 1985:

It seemed obvious in planning a number devoted to humor that The Paris Review should approach Harold Bloom.

Obviously.

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 ”I try and see what Wharton saw; what she loved and what she despised. I try to see the way things were when she was young; the way things were changing as she grew, the way she wanted things to look, and I try to reconcile that with what remains. When I do that, I have an easier time understanding Edith Wharton, her writing, and that little slice of New York I once tried so hard to avoid.” - Our own Jason Diamond on Edith Wharton’s interest in design at The Paris Review. 

 ”I try and see what Wharton saw; what she loved and what she despised. I try to see the way things were when she was young; the way things were changing as she grew, the way she wanted things to look, and I try to reconcile that with what remains. When I do that, I have an easier time understanding Edith Wharton, her writing, and that little slice of New York I once tried so hard to avoid.” - Our own Jason Diamond on Edith Wharton’s interest in design at The Paris Review

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INTERVIEWER

You’re often linked with Barth, Pynchon, Vonnegut, and others of that ilk. Does this seem to you inhuman bondage or is there reason in it?

BARTHELME

They’re all people I admire. I wouldn’t say we were alike as parking tickets. Some years ago the Times was fond of dividing writers into teams; there was an implication that the Times wanted to see gladiatorial combat, or at least a soccer game. I was always pleased with the team I was assigned to.

Donald Barthelme, who was born on this day in 1931, talked with The Paris Review in issue #66 about his work and comparisons of him to other writers we really love.