The Paris Review

SAM I AM

Sam Clemens enjoys a reputation unrivaled in American literary history and he was in large part the architect of that reputation. From the start of his career, he tried to control his public image.
FADE TO GRAY

A few years ago during a visit to Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence, I experienced a flash of insight about the artist that I saw as intrinsic to his becoming the father of modern painting.
LA-Z-SAPIEN

The world is divided into people who sit on the floor and those who sit on chairs. In a classic study of human posture around the world, the anthropologist Gordon W. Hewes identified no fewer than a hundred common sitting positions.
THE MIC IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD

Not only will she shit on you on her album, but the song will become a single, then a hit, and then you will hear yourself shat upon by an army of young women at Staples Center. And then she’ll deny that she was ever doing anything other than righteously manifesting her art. It’s diabolical, and for a lifelong passive-aggressive like me, it’s made her my hero.
EVERYBODY'S LEARNIN' HOW

For my eleventh birthday, my father took me to the Dave Sweet Surfboards shop on Olympic Boulevard, in Santa Monica. From the rack of used boards, I chose a solid, sunbrowned 9'0" with blue-green paneled rails and a fin built with at least eight different types of wood. It cost seventy dollars. I was five feet tall, weighed eighty pounds, and could not reach my arm around it.
REALLY WEIRD DEMON SHIT NSFW

Genitals spit fire and snakes; hideous, multilimbed creatures sprout heads and pendulous breasts like tumors. In one panel, a string of crimson beads connects a mutated donkey’s knife-cum necklace to the raw end of his penis. In another, a litter of flying baby serpents come tumbling from the vagina of a flame-eared, bug-eyed, speckled, bulbous cat-woman. Those are among the two easiest to describe.
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