Philip Gourevitch’s Paris Review

Doree Shafrir in The New York Observer:


One of the [Paris Review’s] current board members, Antonio Weiss, who is a managing director in Paris at the investment bank Lazard, is Plimpton’s former assistant and a former editor at the magazine, and is married to the magazine’s Paris editor, Susannah Hunnewell. He recalled that he was an editor of the literary magazine as an undergraduate at Yale, “which was sort of a link into The Paris Review,” he told The Observer by phone. “I got to know George just by being around.”

Does that New York really still exist? In some ways, that’s the question that faces Mr. Gourevitch’s Paris Review. He probably wouldn’t put it that way, but he does think that a magazine has to be relevant, has to be of its time.

“Even the ones that are really great, they belong to a moment, a certain kind of getting together of energy and taste,” he said. “And often the editors themselves are new writers, and everyone either fails miserably or succeeds spectacularly, and the energy is not in that place anymore and another group starts up another magazine.”

Mr. Gourevitch’s Paris Review is another magazine. Though he never, exactly, criticizes his predecessor, and certainly not by name, Mr. Gourevitch seems to regard Plimpton’s tenure as one of some rather unrealized potential.