Fifty-five years ago in paris, a group of young Americans started The Paris Review. This is how they remembered that time in interviews for a new oral biograpy of George Plimpton, who edited the magazine for its first half century.



I went to Paris because Paris is where you go when you want to think. I wanted to hide out and think, and maybe learn. Paris is the university of the West, and anybody who doesn’t understand that doesn’t need to go. I went to Paris because I was ignorant; I went as a matriculator, not a pilgrim.



We were all in the right place at the right time: postwar Paris. We felt just as important as Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway and all the expatriates did after World War I. Some people were very productive, some people were not; some people were relatively rich—they had the GI Bill, plus a little money from home, maybe more than a little—some were flat-out poor. Myself, I could do things. I could access Paris. If I wante…