George Plimpton

George Plimpton

George Plimpton

George Plimpton was the editor of The Paris Review from its founding in 1953 until his death in 2003. A graduate of Harvard University and King’s College, Cambridge, Plimpton was recruited to Paris by Peter Matthiessen in 1952 and signed on to the project shortly thereafter. Plimpton was also known for his forays into the world of professional athletics as the forerunner of a style that would come to be known as participatory journalism. Plimpton authored more than fifteen books, including Out of My League (1961), Paper Lion (1966), and The Bogey Man (1968). He also appeared in more than thirty films, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Rio Robo, and Good Will Hunting (1997). Plimpton was made an officier of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and a chevalier of the Legion d’honneur, and was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


The Art of Fiction No. 21 (Interviewer)

From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason that you know of. But what about all the reasons that no one knows?

Editor's Note

The Paris Review Sketchbook

The Paris Review Eagle, or “the bird” as it was referred to, was designed by William Pène du Bois, the magazine’s art editor, in the spring of 1952. The symbolism is not difficult: an American eagle is carrying a pen: the French association is denoted by the helmet the bird is wearing—actually a Phrygian hat originally given a slave on his freedom in ancient times and which subsequently became the liberty cap or bonnet rouge worn by the French Revolutionists of the 19th Century.