Friday, November 20, 2009

Raymond Carver’s Life and Stories

Above is Stephen King's review of Carol Sklenicka's biography of Raymond Carver, "Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life." I really loved this review... I can't wait to read the book and was kind of amazed that Stephen King hit on all of the things I find fascinating about Raymond Carver. I'm super interested in Raymond Carver's relationship with Gordon Lish, the complex and intimate reltionship between a writer and an editor. And I'm super, super interested in Raymond Carver's relationship with his first wife, who he abused, physically and emotionally, as well as refusing to acknowledge her role in helping him create his work.


A spouse is much more of a collaborator than people like to mention when talking about "geniuses." They LOVE the romance of the auteur. Let me tell you, that gets on my last gay nerve. A spouse's support allows the work to get done, in this case the writing to be written. When a partner supports your work, financially and emotionally, they are a collaborator and due recognition. Simply put, the work would not have been created without the collaboration of the partner. Of course, it's the wife who most often shoulders the burden of all the invisible things that allow creative work to be done for a husband.


OK, for many reasons Raymond Carver was a FUCKING ASSHOLE, a self-centered abusive dick who I'd like to punch dead in the face if he was standing right here, and it definitely impacts my reading of his stories. Even if I love them. In the review, Stephen King mentions that some facts are so abhorrent that it "to some degree taints my enjoyment of Carver’s stories." Thanks for saying that!


"During the divorce proceedings, Maryann’s lawyer said — this both haunts me and to some degree taints my enjoyment of Carver’s stories — that without a decent court settlement, Maryann Burk Carver’s post-divorce life would be 'like a bag of doorknobs that wouldn’t open any doors'."
-Stephen King


Up for discussion:

Woody Allen
R. Kelly
Richard Wagner

What did Cincinnati Reds fans do during the Marge Schott years?


Dan Buskirk said...

I've always suspected Alfred Hitchcock's wife Alma as a major spouse/secret collaborato. She was a film editor who retired when Hitch came to Hollywood. He supposedly ran all his ideas past her and he turned surprisingly blubbery when he mentions her support receiving his Lifetime Achievement award in the 1970's.

ZS said...

That is amazing information I didn't know. Thanks, my man.