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"Cathedral" by Raymond Carver
Transcript of "Cathedral" by Raymond Carver
Carvers View on Writing Short Stories
Inside the mind of Raymond Carver
"Cathedral" by Raymond Carver
Grew up in a lodging town in Oregon.
Married at the age of 19, after graduating High School.
Had 2 children
Divorced first wife.
Managed to enroll in the Chico State College in California in 1958
He took a Creative Writing course from, then the unknown young novelist, John Gardner.
Received his B.A. Degree from Humboldt State College in northern California, in 1963
"Most of my stories, if not all of them, have some basis in real life. That's the kind of fiction I'm most interested in. I suppose that's one reason I don't have much respect for fiction that seems to be game playing."
"When you're writing fiction or poetry... it really comes down to this: indifference to everything except what you're doing... A young writer could do worse than follow the advice given in those lines."
"I went to my desk and wrote the story "Cathedral". I knew it was a different kind of story for me, no question. Somehow I had found another direction I wanted to move toward. And I moved quickly. " - Raymond Carver
The Difference between Looking and Seeing
In “Cathedral,” the act of looking is related to physical vision, but the act of seeing requires a deeper level of engagement. The narrator is certain that the ability to see is everything and puts no effort into seeing anything beyond the surface. However, the ability to “see” on a much deeper level leads to a deeper understanding. True “seeing,” involves a lot more than just looking.
Nesset, Kirk. The Stories of Raymond Carver. Athens: Ohio University
Carver, Raymond. Call If You Need Me. London:
Harvil Press, 2000. Print.
Press, 1995. Print.
Sklenicka, Carol. Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life. New York: Division of Simon &
Schuster, Inc., 2009. Print.
A presentation by
Worked as a Janitor at a Hospital.
Was an Alcoholic,
An abusive husband.
Got a job as a text book editor, and then got fired due to his "inappropriate" writing style.
Carver noted V.S. Pritchett's definition of a short story as "something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in passing." Carver elaborated: "First the glimpse. The glimpse given life, turned into something that will illuminate the moment and just maybe lock it indelibly into reader's consciousness. Make it a part of the reader's own experience, as Hemingway so nicely put it; 'Forever the writer hopes. Forever.'
If we're lucky, writer and reader alike, we'll finish the last line or two of a short story and then just sit for a moment, quietly. Ideally, we'll ponder what we've just written or read, maybe our hearts or our intellects will have been moved off the peg just a little from where they were before. Our body temperature will have gone up, or down, by a degree. Then, breathing evenly and steadily, once more, we'll collect ourselves, writers and readers alike, get up. "Created of warm blood and nerves", as a Chekhov character puts it, and go on to the next thing: life. Always life
The Philadelphia Inquirer calls Raymond Carver "one of the great short story writers of our time--- of any time"
New York Times Book Review says his stories "can already be counted amongst the masterpieces of American Fiction
Eisenhower WRC-TV 1958 (oldest known colour videotaping)
His second wife after his divorcee was Tess Gallagher an American poet, essayist, and short story writer. She attended the University of Washington, where she studied creative writing
Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?
-Leonardo da Vinci