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windows on the world

Thank you, Paris Review, for continuing Windows on the World, a wonderful “series on what writers from around the world see from their windows,” as drawn by Matteo Pericoli, first commissioned by The New York Times.

My introduction to this series was the entry by Mrs. Borges, Maria Kodama, first published in The New York Times on 1/2/11.

“A certain house in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Recoleta has a window that is doubly privileged. It overlooks a courtyard garden of the kind known here as a pulmón de manzana – literally, the lung of a block – which affords it a view of the sky and an expanse of plants, trees and vines that meander along the walls of neighboring houses, marking the passage of the seasons with their colors…” Mária Kodama

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But this isn’t a series about view envy. Not all the writers’ accounts of their views are as rhapsodic as Ms. Kodama’s. I love how Marina Endicott begins the description of her view:

By some spiral of fate and capitulation, instead of a street in the East Village or a shabby lane in London, I stare out at a suburban patio, a generous and quiet garden in Edmonton, Alberta.”

More recent windows:

John Jeremiah Sullivan, Wilmington, NC

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Emma Larkin, Bangkok

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Dennis Cooper, Paris

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Matteo Pericoli is a famous drawer of cities. He is known for his witty, loving, obsessively detailed renditions of the Manhattan coastline (Manhattan Unfurled), the perimeter of Central Park (Manhattan Within), and the banks of the River Thames (London Unfurled).

Several years ago, Matteo began to draw New York from a new vantage point—from its windows. He asked artists, writers, politicians, editors, and others involved with the cultural life of the city to let him draw whatever they saw when they looked outside. These were collected in the book The City Out My Window (and the view from 62 White Street appeared on the cover of The Paris Review).

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