Saturday, July 2, 2016
A story representative of Raymond Carver's best work
Raymond carver deserves a place of honor in the anthology 100 years of the best american short stories as he was by far the most influential author of short fiction in the last third of the century w his austere, incisive prose, his clear narrative line, his interest in and understanding of workin-class american couples and families, and his complete lack of condescension toward his characters and readers - fiction without a touch of irony or sarcasm. He was often compared w Hemingway and rightly so in regard to their prose style and economic use of dialogue and description, but carver was a more domestic writer - he wrote more about couples and families - and the anthologiized story would you please be quiet, please? Is an excellent example: a seemingly happily married, a high-school English teacher, drinking a little too much,starts questions his wife about the details of a long-festering quarrel, which lead her to reluctantly tell of an infidelity. He leaves the house and goes on an odyssey an journey to hell - through drink, gambling, a mugging - but returns home shamed and bewildered and reconciled to trying to restore thei marriage. It's a powerful and incisive story in just the right form and length - carver never wrote a novel nor was there need for him to do so, and his stories, pace Robert Altman, don't translate well to other media.