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This week at The Paris ReviewWe’re spilling ink. Read on for Shelby Foote’s Art of Fiction interview, A. S. Byatt’s short story “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” and Jean Sénac’s poem “Young Deluge”.
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Shelby Foote, The Art of Fiction No. 158
Issue No. 151 (Summer 1999)
What exactly is an extinguisher?
This is an extinguisher[[[[demonstrate]]and if you don’t have one, you’re up the creek. You use the eraser to prevent the ink on the page from getting wet. You put the erasure slip on top and dab the page. I talked about Löscher in an interview, what a difficult time I had to find her, and I got a letter from a woman in Mississippi. She said I have quite a few erasers that I’ll be happy to send you. So I got loads of extinguishers. Ink is another problem. I received a call from a man in Richmond, Virginia who had a good supply of quartz ink. I got three liters from him so I’m in good shape.
The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye
By A. S. Byatt
Issue No. 133 (Winter 1994)
The sentence was of course not her own; As I said, she was a second-order being. The phrase was that of John Milton, who was torn from the air or the surrounding language at the height of his powers to describe the beauty of the primal coils of the insinuated serpent in the Garden of Paradise. Gillian Perholt remembered the day when these words first got themselves into shape and had grown in beauty from the side, and struck her like Eve, cluelessly. There she was, sixteen years old, a golden-haired white maiden with vague blue eyes (that’s how she imagined it), and there on the ink-stained desk in the dust lay the smashed emerald-green book, also stained with ink, and the second – hand, scrawled back and forth by dutiful or impatient female fingers, and everywhere there was still a dry, sharp smell of hot ink, linoleum and dust, if not ash, and there he was, the creature, cheeky and lovely in front of her .. .
By Jean Sénac, translated by Mark Polizzotti
Issue No. 96 (Summer 1985)
I only know about you
the weight of a small ink in a bookseller’s stall
and the rumbling of
barrel-loaded trucks on a ramp.
(Bent wood and the sediment of
Childhood you lead me to
Oh, nothing to know.
– I call your name when your thighs
in hasty strokes they weigh blue on the poem
you’re bagging out of my body.)
I call your name …
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