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Raymond Carver

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September 4, 1988
I have always found it hard to understand people who mourn for those they never knew. The people who grieve for politicians or celebrities seem to me to experience a grief that isn't really theirs. Tonight I understand. Tonight I learned of Raymond Carver's death from cancer. Even though Carver was my favorite contemporary writer, I was surprised by the emotion his death made me feel. His architectural prose and his brief, enigmatic poems are not usually considered passionate; Carver heard his work described as "minimalist" by many critics.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
The delightful reading series Selected Shorts returns to the Getty this weekend, complete with snacks. Actor Robert Sean Leonard will host all three shows, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. Selected Shorts features short fiction read-slash-performed live by actors we're used to seeing on-screen. This time around, performers include Michael Imperioli, Christopher Lloyd, Amber Tamblyn, Catherine O'Hara, Christina Pickles, Joshua Malina, Jane Kaczmarek and Leonard. Each performance features a different lineup of actors and stories, but all three are thematically linked.
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BOOKS
December 28, 1986 | David St. John, St. John's most recent book of poems is "No Heaven" (Houghton Mifflin). He was the 1984 recipient of the Prix de Rome and teaches at Johns Hopkins University. and
Raymond Carver is best known to most readers as the author of three superb collections of short stories: "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?" "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love," and most recently, "Cathedral." Yet many West Coast readers know something about Raymond Carver that many Eastern readers have only recently discovered--that, for the whole of his writing career, Carver has been a highly respected and widely published poet as well as a distinguished writer of fiction.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 2, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Mortality Christopher Hitchens Twelve: 104 pp., $22.99 For all that literature is an art of self-exposure, writers tend to back away from impending death. The shelf of firsthand looks at what Janet Hobhouse called "this dying business" is a short one - Hobhouse's searing posthumous novel "The Furies"; Raymond Carver's final collection of poetry, "A New Path to the Waterfall"; John Updike's "Endpoint and Other Poems. " I'm not sure why this is, exactly, other than that dying is a lot of work.
BOOKS
July 19, 1992 | David Reid, Reid is editor of "Sex, Death and God in L.A." (Pantheon).
One bright morning 20 years ago, I was invited to a somber little bar at the Hotel Durant in Berkeley to meet Raymond Carver and his wife Maryann. The occasion was not complicated on my part by any sense of future greatness, but it did strike me that Ray was unusually watchful for such a large man. I saw something like that watchfulness in the early stories. They were minatory in manner, bleakly comic, instinct with Carver's abiding sense of the fearfulness of ordinary life.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 1993 | KENNETH TURAN, TIMES FILM CRITIC
The old lion can still roar. Though tradition holds that there are no second acts in American lives, writer-director Robert Altman, never much of a traditionalist, embarks with "Short Cuts" (Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza) on the fourth or possibly fifth act of a remarkable career. Both building on what has gone before and extending outward to new boundaries, he has made a rich, unnerving film, as comic as it is astringent, that in its own quiet way works up a considerable emotional charge.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 6, 2009 | David L. Ulin
Collected Stories Raymond Carver Library of America: 1,020 pp., $40 When does an act of reclamation cease to be about restoration and become about something else? That's the question raised by "Collected Stories," the Library of America's new collection of the complete short fiction of Raymond Carver, who died at 50 in August 1988. Complete, of course, is a relative concept in regard to Carver, an inveterate rewriter who published many stories in different versions at various points in his career.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 26, 1993 | KRISTINE McKENNA, Kristine McKenna is a frequent contributor to Calendar
It was three years ago on a transatlantic flight that Robert Altman fell for Raymond Carver. "I was flying back from France to L.A. and asked my secretary to get me some books for the plane and she got me a bunch of Carver stories," recalls Altman of his first encounter with the source material for his new film, "Short Cuts," an ambitious work that runs more than three hours and charts events in the lives of 22 characters.
BOOKS
July 23, 2006 | Jonathan Kirsch, Jonathan Kirsch is the author of 11 books, including the forthcoming "A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization."
TO detect and decode the subtext of "What It Used to Be Like," a memoir by the first wife of late poet and short story writer Raymond Carver, it is useful to consult the biographical entry for Carver in "The Dictionary of Literary Biography." Tess Gallagher, the poet whom Carver met in 1977 and married a couple of months before he died of cancer in 1988 at the age of 50, is mentioned 17 times. But Maryann Burk Carver, his wife of 27 years, is mentioned only once.
MAGAZINE
January 12, 1992 | JOHN DOUGLAS MARSHALL, John Douglas Marshall, a Seattle writer, is the author of an upcoming book, a memoir about his grandfather, Brig. Gen. S.L.A. Marshall, the late historian and columnist
The gunmetal-gray Mercedes pulls up in front of an old house, not much more than a shack. As the turbo-diesel idles, the driver, a woman at middle-age, scans a scene far different from what she remembers. The brown paint on the house is faded, an old refrigerator sits on the front porch, bedsheets hang in the windows as curtains, and an ancient rowboat lies in the overgrown grass.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2010 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Bound A Novel Antonya Nelson Bloomsbury: 232 pp., $25 One pleasure of reading Antonya Nelson is that she brings the careful language and control of literary fiction to uncontrolled, rough-and-tumble lives. Mixing the admittedly bourgeois undertaking of meticulously crafted prose with working class grit is risky ? it can devolve into condescension or cartoonishness ? but Nelson, like Raymond Carver, strikes a remarkable balance. In "Bound," she turns her talents to a character study of three women who've crossed class lines.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2010 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
There is a turning point in the life of any independent movie when the filmmaker realizes it actually might get made. For "Everything Must Go," writer-director Dan Rush's first feature, that moment came when Will Ferrell said yes. "I love the role, but it was more about the story," the marquee comic actor said via e-mail a few days before the movie's Friday premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. "I love the fact that the world, being the character's front lawn, was contained.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2010 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
George Hitchcock, a poet, painter and UC Santa Cruz emeritus professor whose iconoclastic vision as publisher of the literary magazine "kayak" helped free American poetry from mid-20th century orthodoxies and provided an early forum for such distinguished writers as Robert Bly, Raymond Carver and Philip Levine, died Friday at his home in Eugene, Ore. He was 96. His death came after a long illness, said poet Robert McDowell, a former student and...
ENTERTAINMENT
September 6, 2009 | David L. Ulin
Collected Stories Raymond Carver Library of America: 1,020 pp., $40 When does an act of reclamation cease to be about restoration and become about something else? That's the question raised by "Collected Stories," the Library of America's new collection of the complete short fiction of Raymond Carver, who died at 50 in August 1988. Complete, of course, is a relative concept in regard to Carver, an inveterate rewriter who published many stories in different versions at various points in his career.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 2008 | Marion Winik, Marion Winik is the author of "First Comes Love" and, most recently, "The Glen Rock Book of the Dead."
Desire Where Sex Meets Addiction Susan Cheever Simon & Schuster: 192 pp., $23 Love Junkie A Memoir Rachel Resnick Bloomsbury: 250 pp., $24 -- Though a youthful alcoholic or junkie can be seduced by the prospect of dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse, the middle-aged addict faces a different scenario. Any romance associated with his plight has flaked off beneath the grinding wheel of the habit itself, a mechanical and joyless set of behaviors.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 7, 2008 | Susan Salter Reynolds, Susan Salter Reynolds is a Times staff writer.
"A stillborn child is really only ever his death. He didn't live: that's how he's defined. Once he fades from memory, there's little evidence at all, nothing that could turn up, for instance, at a French flea market, or be handed down through the family. Eventually we are all only our artifacts. I am writing this before our first child turns into the set of footprints the French midwives made for us at the hospital. . . . " His name was Pudding, that's what his mother, Elizabeth, and his father, Edward, both writers, called him. That's what they put on what the French call his "certificat d'enfant sans vie."
BOOKS
June 26, 1988 | Paul Skenazy, Skenazy teaches literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His book, "James M. Cain," will appear this fall (Ungar). and
It is usually poets who periodically issue "new and selected" editions of their works as updated census reports of ongoing careers. Both a poet and a short-story writer, Raymond Carver has edited and revised his several volumes of fiction down to 30 previously published tales, along with seven uncollected stories, that he wants to stake the future on.
OPINION
October 27, 2007 | David L. Ulin, David L. Ulin is book editor of The Times.
Last week brought the news that Tess Gallagher, widow of Raymond Carver, had plans to publish original versions of the 17 stories that make up his 1981 collection, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." This is widely considered to be the book that put Carver on the map. Before it, he was just another short-story writer evoking hardscrabble America in the 1970s; afterward, he was literary minimalism's avatar.
BOOKS
July 23, 2006 | Jonathan Kirsch, Jonathan Kirsch is the author of 11 books, including the forthcoming "A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization."
TO detect and decode the subtext of "What It Used to Be Like," a memoir by the first wife of late poet and short story writer Raymond Carver, it is useful to consult the biographical entry for Carver in "The Dictionary of Literary Biography." Tess Gallagher, the poet whom Carver met in 1977 and married a couple of months before he died of cancer in 1988 at the age of 50, is mentioned 17 times. But Maryann Burk Carver, his wife of 27 years, is mentioned only once.
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