November 14th, 2009 / 3:27 am
Author Spotlight

“He came in one day kinda late. He didn’t step out or anything like that but, yet, uh—I was so mad, I picked up that colander. That pushes the tomatoes down in the basket. And I hit him with that. Ha. It bled. Of course like scared the boys to death. And, uh. He got all right.”

Disclaimer: I don’t care about minimalism or reputation or Gordon Lish—talk about talked to death. I just like this documentary about Raymond Carver because it reminds me of where I grew up and the people there, and the sort of particular collars-up, wake up with half your tongue in the Pacfic, rattle all the way from Arkansas and sit down and eat an orange or an avocado and kick a bucket of fog over and say welp, I guess that’s pretty much it sort of thing that Raymond Carver wrote about and that is, really, his great accomplishment. Lish or not, Carver wrote about a tiredness that comes at the Western edge of an experiment. And the people of that tiredness. Good on Lish for tarting the gab, but the people were Carver’s. And he’s been imitated until we all want to take a nap, okay. But Carver wrote about a certain carefulness of breathing that, still, revisiting the stories, gets me where the air gets made. Maybe all Carver will shake down as is a really great regional author. Okay. Fine. But region is mood. Mood is light. And Carver’s got his mirror at an angle that brings into awful focus a few basic marine and meteorological facts. First, the Pacific is the big one. Second, it’s where the sun ends.


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