The

Mick

Sinclair

Archive

Raymond Carver

January

1986

Jamming!

feature

 
 
RAYMOND CARVER is an American short story writer. A writer of American short stories. His reputation is greater in the USA than here – America feeds on images of itself. Raymond Carver is a product of America. He learnt to write and perfect tightly structured stories concerning people, American people. Usually rural American people who have problems. Not grand problems but just ordinary problems and they drink, watch TV and worry.

Read any of his stories and you'll appreciate the constraint of style, the terse dialogue and the way you're left with a feeling of gloomy enigma. His stories finish but they never end. Deliberately, their resonance lingers on.

Read a whole book and you'll realise that this effect is painstakingly reconstructed in all his stories. In some ways, all his stories are the same story (save for 'What's in Alaska' which is the funniest dope story ever written).

Pan recently gathered together his three books; 'Will You Please Be Quiet, Please', 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love' and 'Cathedral' into one volume – 'The Stories Of Raymond Carver'.

They flew him into London to do interviews and he stayed at the oddly shaped Belgravia Sheraton. I met him here. He was fifteen minutes late. He apologised. This is what we talked about when we talked about Raymond Carver.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 

 

 

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