The Great American Novel
And set people walking across the pages of a book
Doing things like sweating on page 4, praying on page 45,
Born in 1943, Saroyan has enjoyed success as a poet, novelist, memoirist, biographer, playwright. Saroyan received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, including one for the one-word poem lighght, which sparked a twenty-year controversy. While the minimalist poem appears at first to be a typo, once the reader realizes that the middle letters are silent and the pronunciation of the word is unaffected by the addition of the extra letters, it can be seen as a metaphor for the expansiveness of light itself.
This particular image is featured on the Paris Review print, and caused quite a stir when it was first revealed. Though the editorial and art staff welcomed it as a riveting piece of minimalist art, the grant donors were less than pleased to receive nothing but a copy of the one-word poem as a receipt of funds.
in the mirror
I seldom remember what
someone was wearing
what color their eyes are
I (the stone) go (don’t
blind you! even
as my own noise’s, no
large pillow, cold,
The woman was involved with how she looked.
The man was busy writing.
French poets are the greatest of all.
They arrive with different smiles.
They are used to the sun and to coffee.
In the middle of night
Tom Clark is
a man stands
The doorbell so
in the wall, the telephone
Matthau would be ninety-four today. The poet Aram Saroyan, his stepson, spoke to him in 1974 about the vagaries of fame.This interview took place at the kitchen table in the Matthau household in Pacific Palisades between two and three thirty in the m…
In early 1989, I telephoned Daniel Fuchs (1909–93), then in his eightieth year, in Los Angeles to ask about the possibility of interviewing him for The Paris Review. The novelist and screenwriter—heralded for his Williamsburg Trilogy of the 1930s (Su…