Legendary literature magazine The Paris Review is still publishing, you know, despite the death of founding editor George Plimpton and the requisite identity crisis that followed changes introduced by new editor Philip Gourevitch (color photos! shorter poems!). One thus far unmentioned change: while the magazine used to be put together entirely by a small crew of Plimpton friends, protégés, and well-groomed young acolytes (Yale-graduate interns and "editorial assistants" who'd use the magazine's famous parties to establish themselves in the literary scene, such as it was), now their staff is branching out a bit from that rarefied Ivy League lit-mag milieu. At least in the case of the notorious American Apparel Model Paris Review intern.
Most Paris Review interns are still Ivy League grads (or grad students) looking to break into whatever semblance of a literary career they may still be afforded in this debased age. Their resumes are carefully hand-crafted from the finest of intellectual extracarricular endeavors. Perrin Drumm, though, had just finished the College of Santa Fe's New York Arts program, and applied through the Paris Review website because she wasn't interested in a job at "a low-grade women's fashion and health magazine." She explains, in an interview with CSF's alum mag: (Scroll down—it's a pdf link toward the bottom.)
I applied with what the Review staff calls "The weirdest cover letter in Paris Review history." I looked at the other cover letters and they were like, "This job will really prepare me for the tasks at hand..." and mine said, "I can MacGuyver a terrarium out of a Frisbee and some gum" or whatever.
Oh, but here's the thing! Perrin's experience didn't include much contemporary literature, but it did include modeling for pervy hipster clothing chain American Apparel! A fact that reportedly "fascinated" a senior editor who interviewed her. The fascination goes unmentioned in the interview, but Drumm does point out that she was hand-selected to model The Paris Review's brand-new t-shirt line! The products are, of course, printed on American Apparel t-shirts.
All Drumm says is, "I modeled tee shirts and bags for their website. That got the other girl interns really mad."
So—what does a Paris Review intern do? Besides drink scotch and play pool and harass writers at parties? They go through the slush pile, mostly, they fact-check (unaltered quote: "Facts are really hard to find out.") and also empty Philip Gourevitch's trash.
A couple more selections from the interview, which will presumably upset you, unless you happen to be the guy whose Nerve.com personal ad netted you the famed Harper's internship: