Sunday, August 02, 2009

The real Raymond Carver

James Campbell examines the way in which the editor's razor created the work of Raymond Carver:

" The pleasure of reading Carver, who died in 1988 at the age of fifty, derives partly from his bizarre scenarios and from absurdist dialogue which yet retains the quality of overheard conversation; equally, it comes from pace and phrasing, even paragraphing and punctuation, which the author controls with what are practically musical skills. In the early stories, there is often an ambiguity in a line of speech, or a cloud over the action, which ultimately contributes to the reader’s thrill of engagement."

Read more in the Times Literary Supplement.