April 8th, 2009 / 2:27 pm
The New Paris Review
- This is not Philip Gourevitch.
I bought the new Paris Revivew today. In it is a piece of fiction from the Paris Review’s editor, Philip Gourevitch. He is known primarily as a non-fiction writer, and a brilliant one at that. His book about the Rwandan genocide, We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families
, is truly great and I read it alongside Hannah Arendt, a great biography of Pol Pot called Brother Number One
as well as some other hardcore stuff on genocide and it completely held up to the company. But fiction? This is new to me. Also, it isn’t unheard of, but I do think it is rare, for The Paris Review to publish thier editors’ fiction, so I think this is a real treat. Here’s the first graph of the story called “Enough”:
This was what he did when he felt like a failure: he withdrew. Erika said he withdrew into himself. He said, No–his self was no refuge. He understood what she meant, of course, the figure of speech. But when he felt like a failure he could not accept that anyone might understand him. That would contradict his despair. He didn’t want to see anyone and he didn’t want to be seen and so he made himself unsightly: he drank a great deal and slept very little and gave up grooming and laundry. He did not want to talk to anyone. He spoke only when he felt he had to, and the speech came in brief bitter outbursts that surprised him and gave him no relief.
Tags: philip gourevitch, the paris review