In 1939, The Partisan Review sent out a questionnaire to a number of prominent writers, asking them about literature, politics and their identities. While the questionnaire hasn’t been completely forgotten, we felt that these specifically political questions were rarely being asked of our writers. Considering that 2011 was a year of global unrest, we felt that it would be particularly relevant to update The Partisan Review’s questions. (For the curious, here are the original questions.)
These questions are provocative because, at heart, they are deeply earnest. A number of questions were met with resistance and dismissal—but resistance and dismissal are both fascinating and indicative responses in and of themselves, and they too help define the purpose and purview of contemporary letters.
We are extremely proud to be able to present to you answers from dozens of writers we respect, from prominent authors such as William Kennedy and George Saunders to up-and-comers like Kio Stark and Roxane Gay. Over the next month we will be posting at least one response a day on the site, with the participants being announced the day beforehand through our Twitter account. Please follow us at @fullstopmag.
The authors whose responses we have posted so far: