Words Unwired?

Five years ago Ben Lerner, ­Atticus Lish and Ottessa Moshfegh had yet to publish any fiction. John Jeremiah Sullivan had yet to publish a book of essays or Rowan Ricardo Phillips a collection of poems. These and dozens of other young writers have found shelter in the Paris Review. What’s more, they’ve found an audience. In the past five years our circulation has nearly doubled. The review has more print readers now than ever in its 62-year history.

The reason seems plain to me. By writing offline, literally and metaphorically, this new generation of writers gives us the intimacy, the assurance of their solitude. They let us read the word “I” and feel that it’s not attached to a product. They let us read an essay, or a stanza, and feel the silence around it — the actual, physical stillness of a body when it’s deep in thought. It can’t be faked, in life or on the page. We see the opposite all around us every day, but to me, that kind of writing matters now more than ever before, — precisely because it’s become so hard to do.

Lorin Stein. So why does the Paris Review have a website, then?