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Cathedral

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  14,691 ratings  ·  666 reviews
"A dozen stories that overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life...Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty...his eye set only on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart."--Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

"Cathedral contains astonishing achievements, which besp
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 18th 1989 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

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Paul
Just another genius collection of laconic grimly funny or just grim short stories by Carver, like his other four. My favourites :

“Feathers”. A guy and his wife are invited for dinner at a workmate’s house. Bud and Olla have a peacock and a really ugly baby. (“Even calling it ugly does it credit.”)

“Preservation”. A guy loses his job and his life disintegrates. The fridge breaks down. His wife gets ready to go to an auction to buy a new one. That's all, folks.

“A Small Good Thing”. A boy is hit b
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Dustin
This book changed my life, sent me on my way to becoming a writer, and quite literally was the reason my girlfriend and I got together. Yeah. Soul mates. Me and Carver.
Fewlas
Avete presente quei libri che si leggono da bambini, mi sembra che li chiamino libri animati, che hanno delle linguette laterali? Tu le tiri e sulla pagina ti si rivela un’immagine, oppure magicamente si alza una figura e la pagina diventa 3D. Spero di essermi spiegata. Comunque, ecco, la sensazione che ho avuto leggendo questo libro di Carver è stata così. Un’esperienza rivelatrice, illuminante.

I critici, parlando dei racconti di Carver, li descrivono come onesti. Sono d’accordo, se con onestà
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Emir Never
There's a scene in Raymond Carver's short story 'Cathedral' that vaguely outlines the workings of great literature.

Here we have a blind visitor guiding his seeing host in drawing a cathedral. As a final touch the blind man asks his host to close his eyes and draw some people. "What's a cathedral without people?" he says.

The blind guides, the seeing follows. We feel this is not impossible, no. It's happening as we read it.

So we kept on with it. His fingers rode my fingers as my hand went over t
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Camille Stein


'Cathedral' - Anne Manteleers - graphic designer + illustrator - http://ow.ly/vtAbV



Los sueños son eso de lo que uno se despierta.

...

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 rutinario 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 esp
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J.P.
Sep 28, 2007 J.P. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: short story writers, short fiction fans
On Christmas Eve, 1989, I sat in my room as snow fell outside. I was 20 years old. That night, I read this book cover-to-cover. I didn't mean to---Carver's voice and characters just grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. It's one of the few books I've ever read in one sitting.

These characters, I found, weren't like 'made-up' people from most other fiction I'd read up to that time. They were my friends, neighbors, coworkers---and to some extent, me.

Upon completing Cathedral, I was certain of t
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Steve
After years of being told that Raymond Carver was the epitome of quality short story writing I finally read one of his books. I'm all in favour of sparse, concise prose that describe the minutiae of everyday life if it offers reveals the extraordinary within the ordinary. With many of the stories in "Cathedral" I kept thinking, "And...?" I did not feel that Carver's subtle observations amounted to any great insight. The only story that lingers in my mind is "A Small, Good Thing" in which a coupl ...more
AC
On finishing this magnficent collection, I am moved -- Carver is a gem. The final story, in particular, strikes home, since I once spent many hours in College with a guy who was blind as a stone, sitting up late hours, also (as in Cathedral), passing the hooch.... and talking about being blind and seeing and colors and sounds.... what a loss, Carver's early death! Oh, what a loss...

I've now read the three collections -- and the feeling of sadness that there's not another one... just sort of smot
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Ilenia Zodiaco
C'è in questa raccolta qualcosa che sfugge a qualsiasi definizione. Qualcosa che vi vestirà di incertezza, che vi farà sentire storpi e del tutto impreparati alla vita, dei "principianti". Eppure, meno soli. In un cerchio di tristezze, al centro un fuoco.
Lucrezia
Per capire che atmosfera si respiri nei dodici racconti di "Cattedrale" basta cercare su Google Edward Hopper, e voilà il gioco è fatto!
Avevo già parlato di atmosfera "Hopperiana" palpabile, in un altro romanzo americano, ma in Carver la cosa balza proprio all' occhio.

Io sono un' amante delle edizioni illustrate, le illustrazioni mi piacciono da impazzire, perchè mi fanno considerare le cose da un' altro punto di vista. Non influenzano la mia versione dei personaggi e degli ambienti ,che già mi
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PGR Nair
The title Story "cathedral" is one of the best American stories of last century.

The theme is the communication gap that isolates relationships. The narrator drinks too much and seems unable to adequately communicate with his wife. The wife has earlier tried to commit suicide because of loneliness. Both the narrator and his wife are unable to effectively communicate with one another; however, his wife communicates freely and well with the blind man. The narrator is very resistant to getting to kn
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Tanuj Solanki
The name 'Carver' is a fit for the writer's name. He does carve his stories well.

'Chef's House' - his first New Yorker publication - had me reading it repeatedly, amazed at the poise and spareness of the prose, while ever acknowledging the danger of the story careening to a place I didn't want it to. This is the thing with Carver's stories. They create some dread and then they take you to the source of that dread.
Gretchen
Cathedral is a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver. Each story explores everyday moments in humanity, as well as common issues like relationships and alcoholism. Carver’s writing style is minimalist, so there are no moments of long description of setting or characters. Carver focuses on plot and themes, and each story ends with a slight cliffhanger, leaving it up to the reader to decide what happens.

I read this book for my Contemporary American Literature class, and I loved it. All the
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Sia7ash
کتاب مجموعه ایست از داستان های کوتاه , هر داستان روایت رابطه معمولی چند شخصیت با همدیگر است که در آخر بدون هیچ اتفاقی تمام میشوند , فضایی که قرار است تلخی و پوچی روابط میان انسانها را به صراحت نشان دهد و در آن کنایه ها نقش مهمی دارند مثل داستان مرد کوری که مشکلی در ارتباط با انسانها ندارد و ذهنی باز دارد تا جایی که از ته دل دیدن را به مرد صاحبخانه یاد می دهد. اما این شخصیت های یخ زده هیچ کاری برای بهتر شدن وضعیت نمی کنند هیچ کدام قهرمان نیستند تنها تا پایان ادامه میدهند , چه چاره ای جز این؟
برعک
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Arwen56
Mi è molto difficile esprimere un giudizio su questi racconti. Il primo impatto, sicuramente spiazza. Quasi certamente, mentre leggevo questo libro devo aver avuto l’espressione che hanno di solito i gatti quando vedono qualcosa che li incuriosisce, ma di cui non si fidano affatto. In tali casi, di solito, i gatti ci girano attorno con aria noncurante, muovendo leggermente la coda e fingendo di interessarsi d’altro, salvo poi improvvisamente restringere le palpebre, girarsi di scatto e puntarlo ...more
Ryan Werner
After a career of focusing on the bleak exactitude of blue-collar life, Raymond Carver's last collection embraces the hope he and his characters may have always had.

If What We Talk About When We Talk About Love was a collection full of characters in the middle of losing it all, then Cathedral (Vintage, ISBN: 0394712811, 1983) is a collection full of characters trying to get it all back, trying to salvage relationships of all types: marital (“Chef’s House”), paternal (“The Compartment”), and edib
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David
In the title story, the narrator of this typically short, sparely written tale is expecting an old, blind friend of his wife’s to come to visit them for a few days. She hasn’t seen him in ten years, since she worked for him one summer, and she is very excited about it. The friend has recently lost his wife to cancer. His dead wife had been her replacement the following summer, nine years ago, and the job of both women had been to read and talk to him. He’d obviously made a deep impression, as th ...more
pierlapo  quimby
E così è questo il minimalismo à la Carver?
M'aspettavo molto di più (anche se aspettarsi di più da ciò che è minimale per definizione pare proprio un bel paradosso), anzi m'aspettavo che questa scrittura delle piccole cose facesse al caso mio.
Il punto è che anche a voler tacere delle scelte sulle istantanee delle vite che ritrae (che mi hanno lasciato alquanto freddino, tranne in un paio di racconti), non mi convince lo stile di Carver, e non mi convince per la stessa ragione per cui non mi con
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sleeps9hours
Depressing short stories about working-class Americans. He’s a decent writer, but spare, and the subject matter is everyday tragedy. Abrupt endings. Seen as a “realist”, but he lives in a banal and cynical kind of reality. ALL of his characters are awful people with huge flaws and petty prejudices. Recommended by a writer friend, maybe more enjoyable if all you want to do is analyze the writing.

From "Feathers"—about a family with an ugly baby and a peacock for a pet.

p. 23 Olla watched Fran with
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Casey
Raymond Carver knows what he writes about. All of his characters could either be him or people he knows really well. I’ve never had that feeling before. That sense that the author is in every story he’s writing about. Be it the family that loses their son, our the alcoholic that is trying to dry up, the husband abandoned with two children by a wife that “is going for it”. I always got the sense it was Carver in all these stories. It was his life he was talking about. Of course that’s not the cas ...more
Eric Kibler
This is the collection where Carver shakes off the label of "minimalist".

His previous editor, Gordon Lish, was known for paring Carver's stories down to the bone. But in this collection, free from Lish's pencil, he is able to be more expansive. The stories still concern average shmoes living clumsy lives, but now Carver gives himself the space for more incident. More emotional nuance. Not only that, but he's funnier, and he was fairly funny to begin with.

I read a volume of his poems recently. Li
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Myles
OK, so the craft and the talent of/behind these stories is undoubted, but there was very little about them to love.

They were mostly about endings and people keeping on anyway. Sometimes they had a shred of hope like in the title story or "Where I'm Calling From", but mostly it was about keeping your head down and just accepting the dull current of life.

This is the first time in a long time that I've felt too young to have read something. I can get a bit down and moody on occasion, but the next t
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Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
I thought this had missing pages at the end. The ending was abrupt and made me do a double-take (God, this copy was cheap because it is damaged!). A long, hard think after realizing it is complete. A re-read. Think, think, think. What is this? Then: Ah, a paradox! The husband, who is whole, and can see, cannot tell the his blind visitor what he sees; and the blind man, in his perpetual darkness, making the other see things.

This blinded, then unblinded, me.
Kelly
I always feel like I am missing out on something when a book get amazing reviews and I just don't feel it. This book was not bad, but it was not what I was expecting it to be. One or two of the stories stand out for me, mainly because I felt like the characters were really memorable. I just felt like many of the stories just didn't go anywhere.... which, by the way I am okay with, as long as the prose makes up for it. And I am not saying that the prose here was bad, but it was simple and seemed ...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Brilliant, Brutal, Devastating - these short stories by the preeminent artist of dirty realism manage to chip away the universals other writers deem necessary and lay bare the particulars, the mundane, the absurd in everyday life. Carver must have had a craggy, unsentimental stare, coz he is always bloody right on target.
Jeremy Bailey
This is my favorite collection of short stories bar none. I'm even impressed with the the way in which the collection is arranged. The title story comes last, if I remember correctly and it's a perfect bookend and the strongest here. It may be his most famous. My best pal Andy turned me on to Carver a long time ago and if I never learn Aikido like we had contracted to do, he will be winner by default because of this recommendation. Again, if you need your characters actually doing things (chasin ...more
Masoomeh Tavakoli
نمی دانم...
بین 3 و 4 سرگردانم!
بعضی قصه هایش، بعضی لحظه هایش و به خصوص دو نوشته ی اوّل کتاب (اسم یکی اش شور بود، آن یکی را یادم نیست) لایق 4 اند.
و به خصوص به دلیل بصیرتی که به واسطه ی این کتاب نسبت به موضع خودم درباره ی نوشتن و نوشتن داستان کوتاه پیدا کردم، بایستی بهش 4 بدهم...
امّا درست به دلیل همان بصیرت و به دلیل آن که با خواندن این کتاب مطمئن شدم که هرگز نمی خواهم داستان کوتاه هایی مثل این بنویسم، برایم 3 ستاره است...
و حالا که بهتر فکر می کنم، می بینم که باید بهش 5 بدهم، چون بسیار و بی نهایت م
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Laala Alghata
“My eyes were still closed. I was inside my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything.” — Raymond Carver, Cathedral

I’ve heard people say that Carver is boring, or too monotonous. I don’t agree. His writing is beautiful, realistic and sparse. I’ve put off writing this review for so long because I didn’t really know what to say. I love his writing, I love the realism in his characters and the everyday actions that he writes about. I love that not all the stories get a resolu
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Heather
A few days have passed since I finished Cathedral and the pain it left me with still lingers. Like an innocuous paper cut that stings when you have forgot of the injury entirely. Sometimes I can't stand myself, and sometimes I can't stand others, but I can involve myself with the characters Carver presents to us. They are the people you surround yourself with because you want to be alone, but not lonely. What strikes me most about the stories is the time that they are written usually before or a ...more
Marcia Johnston
This collection includes two of my all-time favorite short stories: "Cathedral" and "A Small, Good Thing." The latter is my favorite favorite. For starters, the rhythm of the title evokes another short story that made an impression on me back when I discovered it in my teens, namely, Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place." Carver's ending does bring us to a clean, well-lighted place. His ending is all the more powerful for its contrast with Hemingway's "nada us not into nada but deliver us fr ...more
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Questions on the Ending of Raymond Carver's Cathedral 2 31 Mar 12, 2014 11:23PM  
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Carver was born into a poverty-stricken family at the tail-end of the Depression. The son of a violent alcoholic, he married at 19, started a series of menial jobs and his own career of 'full-time drinking as a serious pursuit'. A career that would eventually kill him. Constantly struggling to support his wife and family Carver enrolled in a writing programme under author John Gardner in 1958 and ...more
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“Dreams, you know, are what you wake up from.” 103 likes
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