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This week at The Paris ReviewWe’re thinking about writing for the screen and the stage versus the side. Read on for Suzan-Lori Parks’ Art of Theater interview, James Salter’s short story “The Cinema” and Claribel Alegria’s poem “Documentary”.
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Suzan-Lori Parks, The Art of Theater No. 18
Issue No. 235 (Winter 2020)
I love the process of writing. Whether it’s a TV script or a play, a novel, a song or a script, writing is the same process. Only the rhythms are different. And where you have to start and end is different. And how much you can see of a scene is different. What details do you need to create a scene? There are more words in these details in the novel. You can’t just say, “She’s big and good-looking.” You need to let us know how so! give me particularities. You have to let us know how good she looks is.
By James Salter
Issue 49 (Summer 1970)
Now it was Iles’s turn to reveal his ideas. He rushed into it. He was like some kind of mad schoolmaster when he described the work, part Freud, part amorous columnist, tracing inner lines and motifs deep like rivers. Crew members had sneaked in to stand near the door. Guivi wrote something in his script.
“Yes, take notes, take notes,” Iles said to him, “I say some brilliant things.”
A performance was built up in layers, like a painting, that was his method to start with, add this, then this and so on. It expanded, got rich, developed lows and undercurrents. In the end, they would then cut it back and reduce it to half its size. That’s what he meant by good acting.
By Claribel Alegría, translated by Darwin T Flakoll
Issue 108 (Fall 1988)
Come on be my camera.
Let’s take a picture of the anthill
the queen ant
Extruding coffee sacks,
It’s the harvest.
Focus on the sleeping family
overload the ditch …
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