'The Paris Review' Publishes 1963 Symbolism Surveys From Famous Writers

Famous authors respond on subject of symbolism

via The Paris Review

In 1963, Bruce McAllister, a sixteen-year-old high school student from San Diego, sent a four-question survey to 150 well-known authors on the subject of symbolism. 

Some of them even responded, and The Paris Review has published a handful of those responses.

Whatever you're doing right now is probably not as cool as clicking over and reading through responses from the likes of Jack Kerouac, Ayn Rand, Ralph Ellison, Ray Bradbury, John Updike, Saul Bellow, and Norman Mailer. 

I love Ray Bradbury's entire response. I love that he signs off with "Guy Fawkes Day." I love Ayn Rand's snark. I love Kerouac's lack of ceremony. I love all of this, up to and including that some of these responses are in the actual handwriting of the authors. I'm a nerd for that kind of thing. 

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Comments

Vinny Mannering's picture
Vinny Mannering from Boston, MA. USA is reading On Fiction Writing December 7, 2011 - 10:55am

Man, authors have lousy handwriting.

Vinny Mannering's picture
Vinny Mannering from Boston, MA. USA is reading On Fiction Writing December 7, 2011 - 11:06am

(Double post like a noob.)

Utah's picture
Moderator
Utah from Fort Worth, TX is reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry December 7, 2011 - 11:31am

I guess the moral of this story is that Ayn Rand was really a bit of a bitch.

NotMarilyn's picture
NotMarilyn from Twin Cities, MN is reading Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn December 7, 2011 - 12:55pm

If you've read her work, you already knew that. Personally, I kind of love her for it.

NotMarilyn's picture
NotMarilyn from Twin Cities, MN is reading Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn December 7, 2011 - 1:06pm

My favorite quote is from Bradbury: "After all, each story is a Rorschach test, isn't it? And if people find beasties and bedbugs in my ink splotches, I cannot prevent it, can I?"

 

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Stories of YOUR Life December 7, 2011 - 2:09pm

This is coolness. Some kid should try this today, the same old fashioned letter writing way. And by kid, I mean LitReactor writer.