What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

E Book What We Talk About When We Talk About Love This collection part of the s Vintage Contemporaries series includes seventeen vintage Raymond Carver including Viewfinder An abandoned husband

E-Book What We Talk About When We Talk About Love This collection part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series includes seventeen vintage Raymond Carver, including Viewfinder - An abandoned husband chucks stone as he is photographed up on his roof by a door-to-door salesman/photographer who had hooks instead of hands; A Serous Talk - An ex-husband expresses his rage when his ex-wife takes a telephone call in the bedroom by cutting the telephone line in the kitchen; One More Thing – A husband, wife and daughter accuse one another of being nuts. To share a larger helping of what a reader will find in the pages of this book of early Raymond Carver short-shorts, here’s a bit of detail on the title story alone with my sidebar comments:What We Talk About When We Talk About LoveSymposium: Two couples, Mel and Terri, Laura and the narrator, Nick by name, sit around Mel’s kitchen table one evening drinking gin when the topic of conversation turns to love. Sidebar: Echoes of Plato’s Symposium and, of course, the meaning of symposium is a drinking party. However this is 20th century Carver county America, so the object of love remains always women for men and men for women – not even close to seeing the opposite sex as the first step on the ladder leading to a more generalized universal love of philosophic wisdom. Dionysius, One: Terri lived with Ed before she lived with Mel. Terri tells how Ed loved her so much he tried to killer her, dragging her around the living room by her ankles, while repeating, “I love you, I love you, you bitch’. Thus, the four launch into a debate about Ed’s madness and passion being true love. Sidebar: Ed embodies the ancient Greeks myth of Dionysius, the frenzied, drunk intensity of unbridled passion gone wild. Dionysius, Two: Mel relates how Ed would call him up on the phone to threaten his life and once actually tried to kill him. Mel had to buy a gun for protection (completely out of character, he admits – he’s a cardiologist, for God sake!) and he and Terri lived like fugitives. Terri, in turn, says how when she left him, Ed drank rat poison causing serious facial deformities. Sidebar: Raymond Carver noted how a little menace is good for the temperature, good for a short story. Very true, Ray! Since Mel and Terri were personally so threatened by Ed, the whole tone of the discussion on love takes a much more serious turn. Dionysius, Three: Ed shot himself in the mouth but he didn’t die – he was taken to the hospital where at one point Mel actually saw him. “His head swelled up to twice the size of a normal head. I’d never seen anything like it, and I hope I never do again.” When Ed was in his hospital room dying with his much swollen head, Terri sat in the chair next to him, counter to Mel’s wishes, right up to Ed’s last breath. Sidebar: As these two women and two men drink their gin, Terri’s compassion for Ed is the sole example given in the story where love transcends physical attraction for any of them. True Love: Laura comments how she and Nick know what true love is, as they touch knees and Nick makes a big production of kissing Laura’s hand. Terri tells them they are still on their honeymoon, even after being together for nearly two years, but just wait. As an afterthought, Terri tells them how she is just kidding about that "just wait." Sidebar: Like hell Terri is kidding; she knows from experience that at some point the honeymoon ends, but Laura and Nick are in honeymoon mode now, which is the pinnacle of love for each one of these four, thus her jealousy. Probing Question: Mel waxes philosophical when he acknowledges how he loved his first wife very much but now he hates her guts. Same thing with Terri in her love for Ed, same thing for both Laura and Nick since they both were married previously. What happened to that love? And if anything tragic happened to any of them, their partner would find someone else to love. Sidebar: Good question. Why is such a powerful, all consuming emotion for one person alive within us for a time then it either dies or turns to an equally negative emotion? Even when it comes to something that doesn’t change, like music, the type of music we love changes over time. Why is this? DOA: Mel relates a story of love that really impressed him, a story where a drunk teenage driver at high speed slammed into the car of a seventy-year-old husband and wife. The kid was DOA but the husband and wife were at his hospital in traction, bandaged head to foot, in the same hospital room and the husband tells him though a mouth-hole in his bandaged head that what really depresses him isn’t the accident or being injured or the pain but the fact that he can’t turn his head and see his wife through his eye-holes.The White Knight and His Kids: Mel says how he wants to be like those medieval knights in their armor where nothing can hurt them. Then, tipsy with gin, Mel wants to speak with his kids. Terri cautions him that his Marjorie (Mel’s ex) might answer the phone. Mel becomes extremely angry and upset, tells everyone how Marjorie is bankrupting him, how she doesn’t marry her goddam boyfriend since she wants to still continue to collection money from him. Knowing Marjorie is allergic to bees, Mel swears he will show up at Marjorie’s front door wearing the white suit of a beekeeper and let loose a hive of bees to kill her. Sidebar: Echoes of Ed and the spirit of Dionysius as Mel is possessed with the mad desire for destruction and killing.Silence: All four fall silent, sensing how Dionysius isn’t all that far away – it is only a matter of what can set us off. The story ends with Nick’s reflection: “I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.”Raymond Carver, master of the short story. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love am Kindle Alternate cover edition can be found here In his second collection, Carver establishes his reputation as one of the most celebrated short story writers in American literature a haunting meditation on love, loss, and companionship, and finding one s way through the dark.. Carver was born into a poverty stricken family at the tail end of the Depression 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 He saw this opportunity as a turning point.Rejecting the experimental fiction of the 60s and 70s, he pioneered a precisionist realism reinventing the American short story during the eighties, heading the line of so called dirty realists or K mart realists Set in trailer parks and shopping malls, they are stories of banal lives that turn on a seemingly insignificant detail Carver writes with meticulous economy, suddenly bringing a life into focus in a similar way to the paintings of Edward Hopper As well as being a master of the short story, he was an accomplished poet publishing several highly acclaimed volumes.After the line of demarcation in Carver s life 2 June 1977, the day he stopped drinking his stories become increasingly redemptive and expansive Alcohol had eventually shattered his health, his work and his family his first marriage effectively ending in 1978 He finally married his long term parter Tess Gallagher they met ten years earlier at a writers conference in Dallas in Reno less than two months before he eventually lost his fight with cancer.. Popular Book What We Talk About When We Talk About Love I'll announce the cliche of my loving this book before you beat me to it.I'm an overeducated, mock-contemplative early-twenty-something with a penchant for strong male voices (despite my feminist leanings) and a distaste for anything too sentimental. I was raised in the tradition of "Show, Don't Tell" and hold this closer than even my favorite teddy (whose name is Atticus.) My middle name is "Minimalism." My other middle name is "Ooh, that sounds pretty."With that out of the way, yes, of course I loved this volume, and probably for the reasons you'd expect. Raymond Carver's name should be in lights. Everyone who likes this book is going to tell you that one of Carver's strengths is his knack for understatement. I'm guessing what they're getting at is Carver's ability to keep all the mechanics of his stories imperceptible beneath the surface, with maybe a few out-of-character exceptions (the alcohol device in the title story being one). There's also the fact that Carver seems to accomplish things in the span of one page that so many authors would kill many more trees (and possibly small children, and maybe even a puppy or two) to achieve; see the opening page of "Tell The Women We're Going" to see what I mean. How many authors can convincingly sum up the entire personal history of two characters in only one paragraph?Beneath the tightness of each story there seems to be a distinctive pulse. Not the rhythm of the language. Rather, the kind of pure life energy that all artistic works strive for (or at least they should.) When stories took turns ("for the worst" is implicit), what startled me more than each outcome was often the fact that I was so moved by them each. It's because of this pulse that characters who existed for only 3 or 4 pages still seemed to walk off the page and become real. And that's probably what will make these stories linger in my memory.People often seem to speak of "Raymond Carver's America" when they're trying to grasp these stories. I don't know what that means, or if Raymond Carver's America is anything like mine. Whatever it is, it's tortured and beautiful. And I like it.
Signs It s Time To Have The What Are We Talk With What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Stories What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is not only the most well known short story title of the latter part of the th century it has come to stand for an entire aesthetic, the bare bones prose style for which Raymond Carver became famous What We Talk About When We Talk About Books Booklist Predictions of the death of the book weren t only greatly exaggerated as Leah Price notes in What We Talk About When We Talk About Books, they were old news.The book has Raymond Carver What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is the titular story of Carver s third collection of short stories, published in Similar to much of his work, the story has minimalist

  1. Carver was born into a poverty stricken family at the tail end of the Depression 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 He saw this opportunity as a turning point.Rejecting the experimental fiction of the 60s and 70s, he pioneered a precisionist realism reinventing the American short story during the eighties, heading the line of so called dirty realists or K mart realists Set in trailer parks and shopping malls, they are stories of banal lives that turn on a seemingly insignificant detail Carver writes with meticulous economy, suddenly bringing a life into focus in a similar way to the paintings of Edward Hopper As well as being a master of the short story, he was an accomplished poet publishing several highly acclaimed volumes.After the line of demarcation in Carver s life 2 June 1977, the day he stopped drinking his stories become increasingly redemptive and expansive Alcohol had eventually shattered his health, his work and his family his first marriage effectively ending in 1978 He finally married his long term parter Tess Gallagher they met ten years earlier at a writers conference in Dallas in Reno less than two months before he eventually lost his fight with cancer.

121 Reply to “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”

  1. I ll announce the cliche of my loving this book before you beat me to it.I m an overeducated, mock contemplative early twenty something with a penchant for strong male voices despite my feminist leanings and a distaste for anything too sentimental I was raised in the tradition of Show, Don t Tell and hold this closer than even my favorite teddy whose name is Atticus My middle name is Minimalism My other middle name is Ooh, that sounds pretty With that out of the way, yes, of course I loved this [...]


  2. A collection of slice of life short stories that mostly go nowhere and end ambiguously, and for some damn reason I loved them Carver gets mileage out of yard sales, photographers offering their services, accidental death, a night of bingo, doing things and doing nothing, talking yet saying nothing.As a reader, I was frustrated when some of the stories went nowhere I expected and hoped for big conclusions, finality, and instead I got dudes driving away from confrontations holding ashtrays But the [...]


  3. This collection part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series includes seventeen vintage Raymond Carver, including Viewfinder An abandoned husband chucks stone as he is photographed up on his roof by a door to door salesman photographer who had hooks instead of hands A Serous Talk An ex husband expresses his rage when his ex wife takes a telephone call in the bedroom by cutting the telephone line in the kitchen One More Thing A husband, wife and daughter accuse one another of being nuts To sha [...]


  4. HummingbirdSuppose I say summer,write the word hummingbird, put it in an envelope,take it down the hillto the box When you openmy letter you will recallthose days and how much,just how much, I love you.Capturing bliss in one word, crystallising tenderness and love at once into a precious gift and a delicate act of remembrance, Hummingbird, the affectionate poem closing this collection, charmed me in its endearing simplicity and ended up as my favourite reading this short poem magically transport [...]


  5. Milan Kundera in his short story collection Laughable Loves, talks about the inevitable absurdity that revolves around the highly misunderstood feeling of Love that begins with innocent stargazing but later tempt numerous meteors to destroy the vulnerable abode of lovers Promises are ditched, mushy definitions are torn apart and even when other things remain equal or unequal he she still loves me just doesn t matter any What remains is this filthy carcass of emotions that some people tag along w [...]


  6. Booze takes a lot of time and effort if you re going to do a good job with it Indeed If one wanted to distill the stories within this collection down to a pithy, inverted, Hallmark style aphorism, this would be a top contender Click For Review Soundtrack Little Person Drinking and smoking and talking these are the true main characters of Carver s world and make no mistake he s summoned and crafted a distinctive world Okay, we can quibble and refer to this trifecta aptly as the true plot devices [...]


  7. My fucking head hurts I should be writing my thesis, but the math part of crunching the data is hurting my head It shouldn t though It should be easy math I m dumber than I used to be Instead I ll procrastinate, and share a review I wrote 6 years ago for another website that I haven t written a single thing on in just about 6 years All date references should have six years added to them After reading MFSO s review I wanted to make some comment about a line that I really like in the first story o [...]


  8. I first became interested in this book when I read Haruki Murakami s memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Any book that can inspire Murakami to steal most of the line must be worth reading Mustn t it Well I thought so, though it took me some time to get around to this collection of 17 short stories The cover of the Vintage Classics version I read is sparse and the blurb gave nothing away Ah well, in for a penny Originally published in 1981, the prose is lean and the general mood so [...]


  9. This is like what would happen if Walker Evans had built a time machine, gunned it to he 1970 s, landed in the field of some pop 1000 Oregon hunting town, plopped down at a bar stool, and started writing field notes for photos of the place and the folks contained therein He isn t actually going to shoot the images this time, though Fill in the lines with your own muck.Sparse, s p earing, simple stuff Even if you don t generally go for a minimalist approach, Carver has this un thumb downable wisd [...]


  10. Posted at Shelf Inflicted When I started reading, I found these stories a little too spare, a little unfinished They were snippets of lonely people and troubled relationships, but nothing I could really sink my teeth into I set the book aside and when I picked it up a second time, I discovered that these stories are better digested when read with fewer interruptions Although these stories are about a variety of characters, I found their commonalities, differences, views and struggles very compel [...]


  11. I picked up this collection of Raymond Carver stories after watching the movie Birdman, which features a play based on the title story When I finished reading it, I was both impressed at Carver s brisk dialogue and wishing there had been He sketches scenes well, dances around a topic, reaches for an emotional peak, and then closes Like most short stories, it s a marvel of efficiency But I still wish there had been heft.


  12. What do any of us really know about love It seems to me we re just beginners at love We say we love each other and we do, I don t doubt it I love Terri and Terri loves me, and you guys love each other too You know the kind of love I m talking about now Physical love, that impulse that drives you to someone special, as well as love of the other person s being, his or her essence, as it were Carnal love and, well, call it sentimental love, the day to day caring about the other person But sometimes [...]


  13. If I had a teacher in high school who assigned Raymond Carver, I would ve gone bananas for What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, a 1981 collection of seventeen stories published in literary journals in the 70s or early 80s After being required to read Orwell and the goddam Canterbury Tales, reading So Much Water So Close to Home where men on a fishing trip discover a woman s body in the river and wait until the end of their weekend to report it would ve been like ducking a bullet fired fro [...]


  14. Dirty Realism is the genre where this book is classified Coined in the 80 s, the dirty realism school of writing became popular during that decade due to the writings of Raymond Carver, Angela Carter, Bobbie Ann Mason, Richard Ford, Tobias Wolff among others Their language is sparse and their characters are the blue collar, middle class Americans who faced disappointments, heartbreaks and harsh truths in their ordinary lives.I have been reading a biography of Haruki Murakami and read last week t [...]


  15. A primeira coisa que me ocorre dizer sobre este tesouro Voc s que me l em, se puderem leiam no Entreguem se lhe e ter o uma fabulosa experi ncia liter ria S o pequeninos contos epis dios do quotidiano que falam de amor, de todas as formas de amor e muito da falta dele , amor fraterno, amor amante, amor conjugal, amor perdido, amor reencontrado, amor amizade, e de desamor, muito desamor S o pequenos relatos de amor, de desejo, de morte, de ego smo,de crueldade e que nos deixam lassos, inquietos e [...]


  16. A collection of short stories first published in 1981, but feeling a couple of decades older They are heavily edited versions of Beginners , which I reviewed HERE Comparing the two versions of these stories demonstrates that Stephen King s assertion that The editor is always right is not necessarily true See my review of On Writing, HERE Each is a vivid glimpse of people at a troubling time in their lives One of the early ones contains the line Booze takes a lot of effort if you re going to do a [...]


  17. Stylistically incredible if relentlessly depressing short stories I read this because Haruki Murakami counts Carver as an influence, and I can see that they share a certain spare clarity of prose, and an occasional touch of beautiful oddness though Murakami takes the latter much farther than Carver does But while Murakami is often quite funny, Carver is just bleak read too many of these stories in a row and you ll want to throw yourself off the roof Read in sequence like that, they also start to [...]


  18. I attended the wedding of my brother s best friend last week I like weddings It may be something that runs in the family since my brother is a wedding videographer But I really, really like attending weddings, because it s such a happy, happy day Plus, I really like hearing wedding vows.Anyway, my wedding weekend read was Raymond Carver s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, which I borrowed from Angus when I got the chance to check out his bookshelf This is my first Carver, and the first [...]


  19. Raymond Carver is simply one of the best post war American writers, simply because he keeps everything within, simple, crisp and clear He honed his writing craft to such a degree here that this collection may well be his best work Focusing on lonely men and women who talk, drink, go fishing and play cards to pass the time of day Told in a minimalist style with a razor sharp sense of how people get along in a contemporary America using dialogue that reads like an absolute dream There s still some [...]


  20. Il mio approccio con Carver inizia con questa raccolta di racconti Una raccolta che sembra un album fotografico in cui ogni storia una istantanea della vita nella sua quotidianit e del mondo di Carver I personaggi della raccolta sono autisti, artisti, commessi, sono reietti, sono personaggi che preferiscono vivere una vita ai margini della societ piuttosto che esserne i protagonisti Una vita in cui non solo l alcool il protagonista, ma anche e soprattutto l a come recita il titolo Un a viscerale [...]


  21. In friendshipIn affectionIn loveIn lustIn perpetuity In memoriamIs this what we talk about when we talk about love Carver s stories are short, pared down love stories, stripped of everything but the necessary words and the skeletal, frequently all too human frame upon which to hang them Some of his work doesn t seem like a love story at all, think Hemingway, if he left out the toros, marlin fishing and drinking Carver is a landlocked Hemingway in fact You might be left wondering, where is the lo [...]


  22. 5 sao.Bi t n i g v cu n n y, m nh cho 5 sao l hi u m nh y u qu no n th n o Ca c c u chuy n kh ng ch hay n i dung m c n g n v i nhi u k ni m c a m nh, cu n n y m ng th i nh ng nh ng trang s ch theo m nh trong m t th i gian d i, l nh ng bu i t i khuya y n bi nh, s t nh l ng, nh ng con ng i s kh ng g p l i, la k c


  23. What do any of us really know about love It seems to me we re just beginners at love We say we love each other and we do, I don t doubt it I love Terri and Terri loves me, and you guys love each other too You know the kind of love I m talking about now Physical love, that impulse that drives you to someone special, as well as love of the other person s being, his or her essence, as it were Carnal love and, well, call it sentimental love, the day to day caring about the other person But sometimes [...]



  24. Interesting collection of short stories, the first I ve read from Carver The stories are quite captivating in a simplistic way They often end before the full story has been fully told I guess that may add to the intrigue, but it frustrated me reading a story that wasn t quite done,in my eyes I look forward to reading from him.


  25. One of the great things about New Year s is that a night of uncommon revelry means that I have no excuse not to spend an entire day all curled up with a book and a nest of blankets And, oh boy oh boy, did I ever stumble upon a winner of a short story collection with this one Among the myriad joys to be found in these decidedly bleak little snapshots and I place this above the unparalleled use of understatement, which is a thing that usually tickles me hardest about masterfully written prose is t [...]


  26. Ch ng bi t n n n i g v cu n n y Ai t ng n i n t nh c kh ng l m n n b n nh c m l kho ng c ch gi a ch ng M nh ch a th c s s m c t ng t n c i kho ng c ch c a Carver, m c d m nh bi t r ng m nh b n m.Kh ng nh nh ng ph n t kh ng b th ch tr n v o t m tr , m t i t p, v c ng m nh li t, v khu y ng t i kinh ho ng c i v ng y l n, Carver ch m h h ng, b ng qu S c n ng kh ng t i t c m m t s th n nhi n v kh ng bi u l c m x c khi m ng c ng kh ng cho k b m c bi u l c m x c n t r i c i k kh n kh y hoang mang, nhi [...]


  27. FearFear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.Fear of falling asleep at night.Fear of not falling asleep.Fear of the past rising up.Fear of the present taking flight.Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.Fear of electrical storms.Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek Fear of dogs I ve been told won t bite.Fear of anxiety Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.Fear of running out of money.Fear of having too much, though people will not believe [...]


  28. Minimalista a chi Stralcio di un dialogo da lettore a lettrice Ah, ti piacciono i racconti Bene Hai letto Carver Ancora no Segue silenzio imbarazzante.Passano i giorni Hai letto Carver Ancora no Segue silenzio imbarazzante.Passano i mesi Hai letto Carver Ancora no Segue silenzio imbarazzante.Passano gli anni Carver Carver Carver Carver Carver Carver Carver Carver Carver Carver Carver Carver Hai letto Carver Siii Era ora Quindi Cosa ne pensi Bella domanda Quando si legge una raccolta di racconti [...]


  29. Carver s short stories present spare glimpses of characters entrapped in a frazzled web of relationships and events whose significance they cannot understand He generously uses symbolism to advance the story s theme where a lot takes place between the lines His symbolic guideposts are so reliable and meticulously crafted that they resolve ambiguity rather than creating it.Carver s slices of life ranges from surrealism in Viewfinder and Why don t you dance , to careful omissions in Tell the women [...]


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