Friday, December 12, 2008

The fullest possible reckoning

"Along the way, during the editing process, or at least before the interview finally goes to press, the writer who has been interviewed is given the text to review and revise. This collaborative approach to the final product is unapologetically at odds with journalistic practice, where it is presumed that the reporter's accuracy depends on strict independence from the subject's influence. The Paris Review's purpose is not to catch writers off guard, but to elicit from them the fullest possible reckoning of what interests them most-- their lives and work as writers, who they are and what they do all day. A few Paris Review interviews were accomplished in a single sitting, but it is far more common for them to be conducted over several seasons, even several years, with multiple sessions in person and many rounds of written correspondence as well." --Philip Gourevitch, "Introduction", The Paris Review Interviews, I