Friday, 23 October 2009

Short Cuts

I  had to laugh when I read this article on Raymond Carver. Carver is held up (rightly) as master of the sparse and the subtle. But blow me, his first collection of stories only turned out like that because his editor Gordon Lish ruthlessly scythed his way through some very purple prose. And apparently the author hated what Lish did so much that his widow has republished them in their original form. Which leads me to wonder, is Carver, Carver because of Lish, or because of himself? And which is better, unadulterated or edited Carver? I must get both collections and find out.


Frank said...

Hi Virginia,

It's just a fascinating story, isn't it -- and as you say raises such interesting questions. What do we mean when we say, the real Carver etc?

There's an earlier article (pre-dating both the Guardian and TLS ones) containing more pieces of the puzzle, that I was alerted to recently, which I think you'd really enjoy:

Cheers, Frank

Virginia Moffatt said...

Hi Frank,

Nice to hear from you.

That's a great article, very thought provoking!