Great American Literary Magazines ‘The Paris Review’ Has Outlasted


It’s probably safe to say that if Charlie Rose invites you to come on his show to talk about your literary magazine, you’re doing things right. Established in 1953 by Harold L. Humes, Peter Matthiessen, and George Plimpton, The Paris Review — which has been around for 60 years, and whose editor Lorin Stein (along with contributors James Salter, Mona Simpson, and John Jeremiah Sullivan) appeared to discuss the magazine with Rose earlier this week — is the preeminent literary journal in the English language, and stands shoulder to shoulder with institutions like The New Yorker and Harper’s.

Six continuous decades of publishing work by and interviewing just about every important author since the 1950s is really no easy feat. To put its legacy in perspective, we present to you this list of influential literary magazines The Paris Review has outlasted.

Scribner’s Magazine

For 52 years, from January 1887 to May 1939, this periodical from Charles Scribner’s Sons published everybody from Theodore Roosevelt to Edith Wharton, as well as the issue of 1929 that was banned in Boston due to its serialization of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, which was judged to be salacious.

Others: A Magazine of the New Verse

For four years between 1915 and 1919, this magazine published poetry as well as art from the likes of William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Conrad Aiken, Carl Sandburg, T. S. Eliot, Amy Lowell, H.D., Djuna Barnes, Man Ray, Lola Ridge, and Marcel Duchamp. Short lived, but definitely a Modernist landmark

Partisan Review

From 1934 to 2003, this magazine blended Leftist politics with writings and criticism by Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Mary McCarthy, Lionel Trilling, Irving Howe, Dwight Macdonald, Hannah Arendt, Sylvia Plath, Clement Greenberg, and Susan Sontag. One of the most important publications of the 20th century, Partisan Review lives on as a clear influence on magazines from New York Review of Books to n+1.

Evergreen Review

The passing of Barney Rosset last year earned the publishing visionary more than his share of well-deserved tributes. While he might be best known as the former owner of the publishing house Grove Press, or for his successful legal battle to publish the uncensored version of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and later publication of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, the Evergreen Review, the magazine he founded in 1957, debuted writings by Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Marguerite Duras, Günter Grass, Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, Vladimir Nabokov, Frank O’Hara,, Harold Pinter, Susan Sontag, Malcolm X, and many others. Although it ceased print publication in 1973, the Evergreen Review was revived as an online journal in 1998.

Transatlantic Review

Inspired by Ford Maddox Ford’s 1920s journal of the same name, and originally intended to publish short stories and poetry that founding editor Joseph F. McCrindle had not been able to place as a literary agent, Transatlantic Review featured such writers as Iris Murdoch and J.G. Ballard between 1959-1977.

New World Writing

This magazine, which boasted “A new adventure in modern reading,” changed hands a few times in its short lifetime from 1951 to 1964, but it received a nod in Frank O’Hara’s poem “The Day Lady Died,” and published early works of Thomas Pynchon, as well as stories by Flannery O’Connor, the first chapter of Catch-22, and parts of what would become On the Road, with Kerouac publishing under his real name “Jean Louis.”