Saturday, September 05, 2009


This will be interesting. The Library of America has published Carver: Collected Stories, containing his entire output of short stories and including the early, pre-Lish versions of all 17 stories in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.

The NY Times article I link to above also has a link to a pdf by William Stull and Maureen Carroll which compares a couple of the pre- and post-Lish texts. I've seen one before, the ending of One More Thing, which shows that Lish provided a particularly brutal piece of editing.

I'm not sure about Carver. Actually, I want to dislike the post-Lish stories, because I think he went too far and excised all the emotion as well, but there's something about them. They work. The ending of One More Thing is very good. A touch manufactured, perhaps, but it works. The original doesn't.

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