What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond CarverIll announce the cliche of my loving this book before you beat me to it.
Im an overeducated, mock-contemplative early-twenty-something with a penchant for strong male voices (despite my feminist leanings) and a distaste for anything too sentimental. I was raised in the tradition of Show, Dont Tell and hold this closer than even my favorite teddy (whose name is Atticus.) My middle name is Minimalism. My other middle name is Ooh, that sounds pretty.
With that out of the way, yes, of course I loved this volume, and probably for the reasons youd expect.
Raymond Carvers name should be in lights. Everyone who likes this book is going to tell you that one of Carvers strengths is his knack for understatement. Im guessing what theyre getting at is Carvers ability to keep all the mechanics of his stories imperceptible beneath the surface, with maybe a few out-of-character exceptions (the alcohol device in the title story being one). Theres also the fact that Carver seems to accomplish things in the span of one page that so many authors would kill many more trees (and possibly small children, and maybe even a puppy or two) to achieve; see the opening page of Tell The Women Were Going to see what I mean. How many authors can convincingly sum up the entire personal history of two characters in only one paragraph?
Beneath the tightness of each story there seems to be a distinctive pulse. Not the rhythm of the language. Rather, the kind of pure life energy that all artistic works strive for (or at least they should.) When stories took turns (for the worst is implicit), what startled me more than each outcome was often the fact that I was so moved by them each. Its because of this pulse that characters who existed for only 3 or 4 pages still seemed to walk off the page and become real. And thats probably what will make these stories linger in my memory.
People often seem to speak of Raymond Carvers America when theyre trying to grasp these stories. I dont know what that means, or if Raymond Carvers America is anything like mine. Whatever it is, its tortured and beautiful. And I like it.
Sacks (what We Talk About When We Talk About love- audio)
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Explore Plus. Fiction Books. General Fiction Books. Enter pincode. Usually delivered in days? Carver Raymond.
In fact — as far as we here at Nothing in the Rulebook are aware — this is the only known recording of Carver reading his signature story, taped in a Palo Alto hotel room in The program not only presents What we talk about when we talk about love , read aloud by Carver; it also provides a detailed introduction, setting the scene of that morning in a random motel. After a short conversation, philosophical and sometimes funny, Carver reads his celebrated story. Crucially, this is the edited version of his story, which was originally entitled Beginners. You can read more on this here at the New York Times. Fancy seeing more cool stories like this? Sign up to our free, regular newsletter of everything interesting.
The reading itself starts at the mark. In , Stephen King called Raymond Carver "surely the most influential writer of American short stories in the second half of the 20th century. Follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Google Plus and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. We're hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture's continued operation, please consider making a donation. We thank you!