Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Raymond Carver's unedited stories - NYT

Raymond Carver - Books - New York Times: "Tess Gallagher, the widow of Raymond Carver, one of the most celebrated American short-story writers of the 20th century, is spearheading an effort to publish a volume of 17 original Carver stories whose highly edited versions were published in “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” his breakout 1981 book. Largely as a result of that collection, which became a literary sensation, Carver was credited with popularizing a minimalist style. But many of his fans have been aware of reports that Gordon Lish, Carver’s first editor at Alfred A. Knopf, had heavily edited, and in many cases radically cut, the stories before publication to hone the author’s voice. At the time, Carver begged Mr. Lish to stop production of the book. But Knopf went ahead and published it, to much critical acclaim."

This is a fascinating look at what can happen with an overly zealous editor. Be sure to read the excerpts for comparisons. Astonishing.


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