English (Cathedral) / Italiano This collection of twelve stories by Raymond Carver is the perfect example of how to compromise the reader's frame of mind by talking about daily events. Among the twelve short novels, in my opinion A Small, Good Thing deserves a special mention: an absolute masterpiece of unnatural perfection!
Poetry: Als wife writes poems, one such poem about how during her last session with the blind man, she let him touch her face and neck with his fingers. Recreation: Als wife has been trading tapes with the blind man over the years. We read: My own name in the mouth of this stranger, this blind man I didnt even know! Pathetic: The blind man lived with his wife and after she fell ill, had to sit by his wifes side holding her hand in the hospital and then bury her when she died. The narrator goes on to tell us how the blind man is left with a small insurance policy and half a Mexican coin. Creepy: As Al waits for his wife to return with the blind man from the station, what does he do? Family Prayer: After a few snide, sarcastic questions and remarks hurled at Robert courtesy of our narrator as they smoke and drink in the living room, all three sit down at the table for dinner. Rat Wheel: After-dinner conversation and Al finds out that Robert has done a little of everything (a regular blind jack-of-all-trades). When the narrators wife returns Robert tells her there is always a first time for everything. As the narrator observes: the blind man was inhaling as if he has been smoking weed since he was nine. The Creative Act: Als wife falls asleep on the coach and he and Robert watch a TV program about medieval cathedrals.
Like the rest of us at Frank Martin's, J. La maestría de Raymond Carver proviene de la narración rigurosa e impasible de lo cotidiano; y en lo cotidiano se incluyen a partes iguales lo tedioso y lo terrible, lo lógico y lo absurdo. Sin aspavientos, sin artificios, con cierto cansancio en la exposición de los hechos, Carver confiere tanto valor a lo que cuenta como a lo que no menciona: las referencias espacio-temporales no son sino ornamentos en historias aparentemente banales que se transforman en breves e inquietantes trazos vitales, de un desasosiego sutil, turbio, que todos reconocemos como profundamente nuestro.
It includes some of his most famous short stories: Feathers, Chefs House," A Small, Good Thing, Vitamins, Where Im Calling From and the mysterious title tale. Boy do these stories ever resonate during a recession Id forgotten how many unemployed people there are in the book. Consider some of these opening sentences: Sandys husband had been on the sofa ever since hed been terminated three months ago (Preservation) I had a job and Patti didnt. Not all the characters are working class Carvers known as the poet of the working class, and many critics say his diction no fancy words or constructions evokes the language of ordinary working folks. Consider the books opening lines: This friend of mine from work, Bud, he asked Fran and me to supper. 3. These tales are beautifully constructed Perhaps not surprising, considering that the books title is Cathedral. Carver is a master architect in setting up plot and character. If youve ever wanted to know how to conceal stories within stories, look at Where Im Calling From, set in a "drying-out facility." In a sense storytelling is a part of the plot; the rehab characters listen to others tell stories to distract them from their own troubles. 4. There are a lot of alcoholics in this book Like Fitzgerald, Hemingway (to whom he's often compared) and his good friend John Cheever, Carver struggled with booze. I once heard a fascinating theory that many of his stories feel like those confessionals you deliver in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs. 7. Some epiphanies feel forced Carvers narrators often stumble upon a revelation, usually on the penultimate page of a story. Then, I dont know, I remembered how he was when he was nineteen, the way he looked running across this field to where his dad sat on a tractor, hand over his eyes, watching Wes run toward him. (Where Im Calling From) Mrs. Webster looked at Carlyle and waved. Carver spells things out a little too clearly, with a faux naive Aw shucks, I dont know why but this is what I did attitude.
I had no Idea who Raymond Carver was before I picked this collection of short stories. Most of the stories in Cathedral uses middle-class couples and their marriages as stage setting, and from there Carver unleashes a torrent of words to create effective stories. There were twelve short stories, and while I enjoyed all of them, these are my top three picks: A Small, Good Thing: This one hit me hard. The story is filled with metaphors and bewildering domestic moments, but it was the uncomfortable feelings of the characters, that kind of osmosis to the reader, made me enjoy this story immensely.
After two collections of beautifully written, lean but grim and mercilessly sad working class stories, Carver lets the reins loose a bit in this 1983 collection, allowing some of the stories to expand just a bit, in various ways. In Carvers revision of The Bath in A Small, Good Thing he lengthens it considerably, letting us get to know the parents better. I thought that The Bath was technically amazing, but in the closing pages of the revised story I was reduced to tears. Until this point that had never happened to me in a Carver story. There are other such stories in this collection where you find that similar grace happens, but possibly one of Carvers greatest stories, maybe one of the best stories ever, is the story that concludes the collection, Cathedral. Narrated by a man whose wife is old friends with a blind man, the story reveals the narrator doesnt initially like (or understand) the blind man. The narrators life is going nowhere, he just likes to get stoned and watch tv, but the blind man is rich and insightful in a way the husband is not. The blind man asks our narrator to get some paper and a pen and to begin drawing a cathedral, with his hand over the narrators hand. Close your eyes now,' the blind man said to me. I closed them just like he said. In Carvers previous stories, the man might just have remained lost, stoned, as his wife meets her old friend; in this story, though, there emerges the possibility of redemption, of life change.
Non c'è vergogna nel fallire, non c'è vergogna nel sentirsi insoddisfatti e incapaci di dare concretezza ai propri sogni: Carver restituisce dignità a tutti noi, ricordandoci che, in quanto umani, siamo fallibili e lontani dalla perfezione.
After the 'line of demarcation' in Carver's life - 2 June 1977, the day he stopped drinking - his stories become increasingly more redemptive and expansive. Alcohol had eventually shattered his health, his work and his family - his first marriage effectively ending in 1978.