Dan Piepenbring

Dan Piepenbring

Paris Review web editor

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON February 10, 2016

Discussion

Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
Hi, I'm Dan Piepenbring, a writer and the web editor of The Paris Review, a literary quarterly based in New York. I've been there since 2014. I've also worked at Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Bon Appetit; Scott Rudin Productions; and the Institute for the Future of the Book. I'm the drummer in Vulture Shit, a punk band. I've never broken a bone. I'm happy to discuss books, magazines, writing online, music, my future, your future, the future of the nation, and soup.
Emily Hodgins
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What is your favourite flavour soup? 😜🍵 (Personally I'm a big fan of cream of tomato 🍅or pea & ham)
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@ems_hodge I love a good Italian Wedding soup, actually. The meatballs. The meatballs!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
How do you see the future of publishing evolving?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@eriktorenberg Edible books.
Mark Krotov
Mark Krotov@markkrotov · senior editor, Melville House
What new or recent novels are you looking forward to reading? Which ones have you really loved?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@markkrotov Looking forward to Mark Leyner's GONE WITH THE MIND and Rivka Galchen's LITTLE LABORS. Really enjoyed Alexandra Kleeman's YOU TOO CAN HAVE A BODY LIKE MINE and Mark Beyer's AGONY, which the NYRB's new comics imprint just reissued.
Mark Krotov
Mark Krotov@markkrotov · senior editor, Melville House
@danpiepenbring I just heard about AGONY yesterday! I need to read it.
QueenLear
QueenLear@queenleariv · ConnectionAgent-Co-Founder @ButtonPoetry
Hey Dan thanks for taking time to chat with the community! I am curious about your experience of writing online. Do you have some favorite tools and platforms that you like to use? Is there a need that doesn't exist, such as collaborative writing tools, catered message apps, ebook assistance... etc?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@queenleariv I remain an admirer, mostly from afar, of the fax machine.
QueenLear
QueenLear@queenleariv · ConnectionAgent-Co-Founder @ButtonPoetry
@danpiepenbring PC Load Letter... wtf does that mean? ...printer+fax combos are fancy.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Hey Dan! Huge Paris Review Fan. What do you think is the recipe for a great interview? What are your favorite interview questions?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@eriktorenberg The Review's interviews tend to minimize the presence of the interviewer, which I think works well. They're also deeply collaborative: the subject and the interviewer spend a lot of hours together, and they both have a hand in revising the transcript. I think it keeps all the benefits of the conversational form—the sense of someone being drawn out or guided by an interlocutor—but it does away with the chattiness that inhibits a lot of Q&As. I'm amazed by what some mags leave in; it's almost as if they'd transcribe the literal throat-clearing if they could.
M A C S E R I E S
M A C S E R I E S@macseries · M A C S E R I E S
when's the next vulture shit show
M A C S E R I E S
M A C S E R I E S@macseries · M A C S E R I E S
INVITATION TO PLUG
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@macseries I wish I had one to plug. It'll be sometime in April but we're still sorting out the details.
Mark Krotov
Mark Krotov@markkrotov · senior editor, Melville House
How do you think the Paris Review Daily has evolved since it started? Do you think it's playing a different role online than it initially did?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@markkrotov The Daily launched in 2010, and there were many fewer websites devoted to literary culture then. It was kind of a novelty to have a quarterly literary magazine with a daily culture blog as a sideline. I think that—plus the work of the three great editors who preceded me, Thessaly, Deirdre, and Sadie—got the Daily a large audience early on. You could go there to find good writers working in a shorter form and clearly enjoying themselves. But that was back when people would sometimes still speak of "content" in scare quotes. The internet didn't feel—to me, anyway—like a hub for nonfiction and personal essays. There was a sense that people were opposed to reading longer work on their phones or computers. Today, there are a lot more writers working online, and the writing is only getting better, I think, but there's so much of it. The struggle is to publish stuff that doesn't feel interchangeable, as if it could be on any website. We had our best year ever in 2015, and we're publishing more pieces than ever, but it's hard to know what role we're taking in the broader conversation ... I don't know, this answer feels deeply preliminary to me, but I'm pushing submit so I can go back to making soup jokes.
Mark Krotov
Mark Krotov@markkrotov · senior editor, Melville House
@danpiepenbring Thank you for this great answer, and for soup jokes past and future.
Emily Hodgins
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Dan, what is some of the best advice you've ever been given? Flip side, what's the worst?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@ems_hodge My first week in New York, I went to see a Japanese punk band in Greenpoint. They were touring with next to nothing and hardly seemed to know any songs, but there they were. My best friend and I told the frontman we wanted to start a band. "Just book the show," he said. "Book the show first. Then you're forced to do everything else." This has proven true.
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
What do you want your tombstone to say? 💀
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@jacqvon "I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing"
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What advice would you give to your 20 year old self?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@bentossell It's actually okay to wear black and dark blue together.
Emily Hodgins
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What do you value most about working for a specific company? You've worked at some interesting places - can you share some of the different merits of different company cultures / priorities, and how that helps you succeed personally?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@ems_hodge Every office I've ever worked in except for one has served free coffee, and that one was the worst.
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
What's something you used to fervently believe that you now see as fundamentally misguided?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@eriktorenberg I used to think Season 8 was the best season of Seinfeld. Now I think it's Season 6.
T Bingham
T Bingham@tr_bingham
@danpiepenbring @eriktorenberg Favorite episode in either season? The Race in 6 and The Van Buren Boys in 8 were standouts.
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@tr_bingham @eriktorenberg probably "The Scofflaw" and "The Bizarro Jerry," though your picks are great and making me reconsider.
T Bingham
T Bingham@tr_bingham
@danpiepenbring @eriktorenberg Nice. Scofflaw may be the best literary allusion and Newman narrative episode in one. The White Whale of parking violators was brilliant.
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hello Dan would love to know your daily reads.
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
a) What are your favorite books (both fiction and non-fiction)? b) Are you a genre fan or do you see value in reading books/articles from many different unrelated fields?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@tomstocklein Since it's an election year, and since I know @markkrotov is reading, I'm back to hawking Richard Ben Cramer's WHAT IT TAKES, which is the best book about presidential politics ever, and maybe the best book about the media, too.
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What do you think about Medium.com? What do you like most about it? What could be improved?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@tomstocklein Medium.com is a very handsome .com.
Jacob Siefring
Jacob Siefring@jsief · Nope
Does the Paris Review Daily pay its contributors? What is the best way to submit an article or query?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@jsief We do. You can email me or DM me on Twitter. Or fax me—I love faxes.
Thomas Stöcklein
Thomas Stöcklein@tomstocklein · FoundersFundersFuture.com
What books/authors should people focus on to become better writers? Which authors have inspired you in terms of style, form, choice of words, etc.?
Dan Piepenbring
Dan Piepenbring@danpiepenbring · Web editor, The Paris Review
@tomstocklein I don't think great books have more pedagogical value than any other form of writing. I don't like to ennoble literature, because people who do tend to forget that it's composed of words. Anyone who wants to write should read the back of the shampoo bottle, the skywriting above the beach, the fine print on the rental-car contract.