Friday, December 30, 2005

Paris Review's DNA of Literature Reveals All

I'm a fan of the Paris Review. Who wouldn't be? All those great interviews. Pretty heady stuff. Recently I noticed a newish feature, this DNA of Literature. Remarkably the Paris Review has offered up many of its early interviews with writers such as Truman Capote and William Carlos Williams online! Amazing. However, the DNA also reveals what shouldn't be too much of a surprise: there are few women writers out there. Very few. Two worthy of being interviewed in the 50s, perhaps 3 in the 60s. Even into the 1990s when the magazine included--at least on the website--a whopping 86 interviews, only 16 of those were with women. 16. So far for the first decade of the 21st century we have 10 women out of 40.

Oh, it gets very dull indeed, but someone has to point out the obvious. Again, and again, and again. I won't even begin to describe the racial elements of the selection. No doubt I've already been strung up on the peg reserved for women such as myself. Shrill and otherwise.

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