New York Magazine

How Much Does It Matter, Anyway?

FOR 60-PLUS YEARS, the Paris Review has asked writers just what they do every day. Judging from the excerpts below, a whole lot of them spend their time thinking—and arguing—about plot.

John Gardner: “I think no novel can please for very long without plot as the center of its argument. We get too many books full of meaning by innuendo.”

John Cheever: “Plot implies narrative and

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from New York Magazine

New York Magazine5 min readPolitics
The Babysitter Fallacy
ONE OF THE MOST BLANDLY UNSETTLING PASSAGES in Bob Woodward’s Fear recounts the near resignation of Gary Cohn, one of the book’s likely sources and (therefore) heroes. In August 2017, Cohn, nauseated at President Trump’s equivocation over neo-Nazis d
New York Magazine3 min read
Best Bets
FIRST LOOK On September 21, ultragirlie Parisian womenswear brand BA&SH will open in Nolita (257 Elizabeth St.). Dinners: Monthly private meals hosted by luminaries like “It” girl Babba Canales and cooked by French chefs like Daniel Boulud. Clothe
New York Magazine3 min read
A Lot’s Happening on Liberty Street
On Newburgh’s longest block, new boutiques and eateries are sidling up to longtime barbershops and other veteran storefronts.