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  • 02.May.12

    “Where I’m Calling From – Selected Stories” by Raymond Carver (1988)

    In Carver’s works, the attention is narrowly focused on characters’ drama. His characters are so frail, still tenacious. Their everyday struggles seem to be too overwhelming and don’t give their mind a rest. Carver doesn’t seem to care about neither what happened before or what will happen later, not even why it happened. Since telling a story is to give order to life, he prefers to carefully listen to what life itself has to say.

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    More about Where I'm Calling From
    Raymond Carver has never let himself just drop a hint of a judgement while narrating these love stories between human beings.
    At first, his writing style can be interpreted as a sign of intellectual detachment, in a way recalling Naturalism. However, Carver’s short stories lack detailed descriptions of social environment and family heritage, so that there’s no analysis whatsoever to support his seeming objectivity.

    In Carver’s works, the attention is narrowly focused on characters’ drama. Their everyday struggles seem to be too overwhelming and don’t give their mind a rest.
    Even in the silence between actions, readers can feel a latent tension that keeps them alert. Most of Carver’s characters face the urge of a resolution to be taken once for all, to put an end to the hard times they were forced to go through long ago.
    Carver doesn’t seem to care about neither what will happen later or what happened before, not even why it happened. Since telling a story is to give order to life, he prefers to carefully listen to what life itself has to say.

    That’s because, I think, he loves people more than they do with each other. His characters are so frail, still tenacious. For better or worse, in sickness and in health, they always try to sort themselves out, even if they have no idea of how they should act for their own sake. Carver just gives them a try.
    In this never-ending utopia, he thus shows the very best of the human soul.

    Thanks to Jadran for editing my poor attempt in writing English.

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