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.
Iris Murdoch, The Art of Fiction No. 117
Issue no. 115 (Summer 1990)
You have the extraordinary experience when you begin a novel that you are now in a state of unlimited freedom, and this is alarming. Every choice you make will exclude another choice, so that it’s rather important what happens then, what state of mind you’re in and what you think matters.
The Orange Flower
By Dorothea Lasky
Issue no. 208 (Spring 2014)
What is between us
Is an orange flower
And it is blooming and blooming
And I can’t I won’t stop it
Still the sour flower of my vagina
Ruins everything …
By Ira Sadoff
Issue no. 68 (Winter 1976)
I could not help myself, I fell in love with the florist. Each day he handed me arrangements of flowers: lilies-of-the-valley, chrysanthemums and roses, exotic willows and violets. As a lover he was strange and melancholy: he had an intense hatred for the out-of-doors and almost never left the house; the mention of sports made him dizzy and a car moving too fast would bring him close to tears …
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