Every week the editors of The Paris Review Use the selection for interviews, stories, poems and more from the magazine’s archive. You can have these activated parts delivered directly to your inbox every Sunday by registering for the Redux newsletter.
This week at The Paris Reviewwe use our olfactory senses. Read on for Ha Jin’s Art of Fiction interview, Fleur Jaeggy’s story “Agnes”, and May Swenson’s poem “Daffodildo”.
If you enjoy these free interviews, stories, and poems, subscribe to them The Paris Review? You will also receive four new issues of the quarter delivered straight to your door.
Ha Jin, The Art of Fiction No. 202
Issue No. 191 (Winter 2009)
What do you remember most when you arrived in the US?
There was a chemical smell here. It was very strange, very overwhelming. Many people also wore perfume. I know a woman who came here from China and said she couldn’t stop vomiting.
By Fleur Jaeggy, translated by Gini Alhadeff
Issue No. 220 (spring 2017)
When I left the office, I often went to some stores. I looked at everything meticulously. The little perfume bottles, the jewelry. The cameras. I wanted to steal. For her.
See you May Swenson
Issue No. 127 (Summer 1993)
A daffodil from Emily’s lot
I was lying next to her tombstone
on the first day of May.
another with me, threaded
brood through my buttonhole
of ancestors she planted
I stepped on their lawn.
A yellow small carafe
of her perfume, hermit-wild
and without stopper,
I put it next to her stone
to return their property –
It is good that it cannot be spilled.
Loll on my jacket
Emily’s other daffodil …
If you liked the above, don’t forget to subscribe! In addition to four print copies per year, you get full digital access to our archives worth sixty-eight years.