Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Will you please be quiet, please?" - more Carver

It is perfectly clear why this first of Carver's collection of short stories attracted attention. It is as mind-gripping as I described two posts back, when writing about "Cathedral", maybe even a bit more.

The titular story, which is the last in the collection, is really a masterpiece. It is a story about an ordinary couple. Everything was going maybe too smooth for them, and there is a problem with one outing of the wife few yeaars ago, which was an infidelity. It is obviously a thorn in the body of otherwise happy marriage, and it is revealed in a seemingly unnecessary manner, during a relaxed family day at home. Is it a call to sobriety, reminder that nothing in the world is as it seems? Or just a sign of rotting human flesh, which eats human happiness? I would not opt for this, as I think that such happiness is not real at all, that it is more often just a blindness, voluntary or involuntary. And I would not think what happened immoral or anything, rather a natural thing. But definitely not something what should happen, or be revealed, in a happy marriage.

Small scenes from life of ordinary people, which held me more tense than any chainsaw-massacre movie (I would leave such a performance, anyway) makes that I will probably not go deeper into Carver's writing soon. But I hail him as, indeed, a novel voice in American writing of the 2nd part of the XX ct. Almost every paragraph holds a screenplay for some Lynch' movie.

Through the writing I see, however, the writer being not only a spectator, but a participant of the show he is writing about: in his meek writing I find he is often humiliated, frightened, not at ease with the surrounding world. Also with the inside world of his heroes-no, characters, they are not possible to be described as heroes.

Carver taught me another dimension of writing. It still has to settle in me, but it is to stay, definitely. Thanks!

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