Chris's Reviews > What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
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Sep 16, 11

bookshelves: american, short-stories
Read in September, 2011

I read someone say that Raymond Carver was to the 80s what David Foster Wallace was to the 00s, and if that's the case, then I would have much rather lived through the 80s. But I found Carver especially relevant now, when there's a constant din of noise and information and words. It's so refreshing--you could say elevated, even--to read such finely constructed (and edited, thanks to Gordon Lish, of course) writing that brings your attention to the very words, with not an excess one to be found. Maybe it's a silly feeling, but I like writing that leaves me feeling smart, and Carver's really does, in that he leaves so much to be pieced together and probed by the reader. He allows every reader to feel like a writer in some sense. And, even though there's hardly a "feeling" at all in the book, I felt more reading this than I have with many more "sensitive" stories, because the feelings were my own, in sympathy with the characters, instead of feelings of the characters that I saw voyeuristically. Anyhow, pardon the phrase, but what I talk about when I talk about loving literature is this, so read it.
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message 1: by Claire (new) - added it

Claire was reading ex-boyfriend's copy when he dumped me. that's what i talk about when i talk about love(!) now i'm reminded i actually enjoyed it and want to pick it back up.


Chris Ah, so Carveresque! Well, some things just can't help but be tainted, but if you can make it through, I think it's worth it. There's a really great reading of one of my favorite stories (not in this collection) here, if you wanna ease into Carver: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/audio...


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