Pencils are a writer’s best friend—we’ve got sixty-four years of testimonials to prove it. We also have a few extra pencils … which is why we’re offering a special back-to-school offer.
Subscribe to The Paris Review and we’ll send you ten Paris Review pencils (no. 2, of course). For one day only—subscribe now!
“I’m not picky, but my preference is for yellow legal pads and a nice number two pencil.” —Toni Morrison, The Art of Fiction, No. 134
“The writer doesn’t need economic freedom. All he needs is a pencil and some paper.” —William Faulkner, The Art of Fiction No. 12
“I like the feel that a pen or pencil gives you, being in close touch with the paper and with nothing mechanical between you and it.” —Shelby Foote, The Art of Fiction No. 158
“Wearing down seven number-two pencils is a good day’s work.” —Ernest Hemingway, The Art of Fiction No. 21
“From the time I was nine or ten, it was a toss-up whether I was going to be a writer or a painter, and I discovered by the time I was sixteen or seventeen that paints cost too much money, so I became a writer because you could be a writer with a pencil and a penny notebook.” —Frank O’Connor, The Art of Fiction No. 19
“There are all kinds of ways to forget how frightened and disoriented you are. But I think one of the best is to take pencil and paper—which is all you need, thank heavens, to be a poet and which makes it possible to practice poetry in a foxhole—and organize, not the whole of it, because of course you cannot put the world in order, but make some little pattern—make an experience.” —Richard Wilbur, The Art of Poetry No. 22
“I realized how lucky I was because my tools were simple—I could borrow a pencil or paper; I could write on napkins or paper bags. I’d walk around with a pen or pencil and I’d discover poems everywhere.” —August Wilson, The Art of Theater No. 14
“I write with a felt-tip pen, or sometimes a pencil, on yellow or white legal pads, that fetish of American writers. I like the slowness of writing by hand.” —Susan Sontag, The Art of Fiction No. 143
“When I was at Sarah Lawrence, my music teacher told me that if I wanted to keep at the same level of skill at playing the piano I’d have to practice four or five hours a day just to stay where I was. And that did not appeal. And also I thought it would be easier to go through life with a pencil rather than a Steinway.” —Carolyn Kizer, The Art of Poetry No. 81
“I solve all the problems with the pencil.” —William Weaver, The Art of Translation No. 3
“My schedule is flexible, but I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.” —Vladimir Nabokov, The Art of Fiction No. 40
“My memory is certainly in my hands. I can remember things only if I have a pencil and I can write with it and I can play with it.” —Rebecca West, The Art of Fiction No. 65
“Pad and pencil. I want to see it, I want to see them all out in front of me, each one of the pencil adaptations, the pencil notations, and the pencil notations crossed out, and the pen on top of the pencil, and the pages … ” —David Mamet, The Art of Theater No. 11
What further recommendations do you need? Buy a subscription today and we will send you a package of ten limited-edition no. 2 Paris Review pencils.
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