Browse by Author
by Raymond Carver
I’d love to see what Proust might have done in another voice, in, say, science fiction or with the story of a pair of street urchins. Or how Chandler might have written differently to tell the story of a great romance, stretching beyond his comfort zone where something entirely fresh might be born.
Would you want to read a war novel called Love Is One Fervent Fire? Or Death Once Dead? Or, God forbid, One Event Happeneth to Them All? Evidently, Hemingway considered all these and many more even worse ones before making a note to himself, “Shitty titles,” and going with A Farewell to Arms.
The conventional shorthand is that Gordon Lish’s versions are bracing and bleak, Carver’s verbose and sentimental. But, in a just world, Beginners would be published as a stand-alone volume to replace the shell that Lish made of it.