New Meetup: Carver: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

From: Arlinda S.
Sent on: Monday, July 12, 2010 8:02 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Classic Books!

What: Carver: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

When: Sunday, July 25,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Crema Cafe
27 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
[masked]

"A man without hands came to the door to sell me a photograph of my house." "That morning she pours Teacher's over my belly and licks it off. That afternoon she tries to jump out the window." "My friend Mel McGinnis was talking. Mel is a cardiologist, and sometimes that gives him the right." What writer ever produced first sentences like these? They are like doors into Carverworld, where everyone speaks in simple declarative phrases, no one ever stops at one beer, and failure or violence are the true outcomes of the American dream.

Carver is one of the few writers who can make desperation deeply funny. Then there is the sheer craft that went into their creation. His tales are as artfully constructed as poems--and like poems, the best of them can make your breath catch in your throat. In the title piece, for instance, after the gin has been drunk, after the stories have been told, after the tensions in the room have come to the surface and subsided again, there comes a moment of strange lightness and peace: "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."

Much of what happens in "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" happens offstage. This is not merely a matter of technique. Carver leaves out a great deal, but that's only a measure of his characters' vulnerability, the nerve endings his stories lay bare. To say anything more, one feels, would simply hurt too much.

"The psychic cost of the American project." --Michael Palmer, American poet

I enourage you to go through the whole collection, however please read and come prepared to discuss the following stories:

Gazebo
Tell the Women We're Going
After the Denim
Popular Mechanics
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

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