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Summary Cathedral

Raymond Carver’s third collection of stories a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize including the canonical titular story about blindness and learning to enter the very different world of another. Cathedral stories Raymond Carver Cathedral is the third major press collection of short stories by American writer Raymond Carver published in 1983 The collection contains the following stories Feathers Chef s House Preservation The Compartment A Small Good Thing An extended version of his earlier short story The Bath Vitamins Careful Where I m Calling From The Train Fever The Bridle Cathedral Narrated by a man whose wife is old friends with a blind man the story shows the husbandnarrator s distaste for the blind man who is coming to visit him and his wife for a few days At times it seems that the man is jealous of the blind man for being so close to his wife at other times it seems that the husband is disgusted by the man s blindness In the end they bond in a way through the communication they share about what a cathedral looks like 2012 1377 323 1379 1381 9644480643 20 12071399

Summary ↠ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ☆ Raymond Carver


  These twelve stories mark a turning point in Carver’s career and “overflow with the danger excitement mystery and possibility of life Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and ho. Raymond Carver is one of the most influential writers of the late 20th century and this volume published five years before his tragically early death at 50 has the feel of an American classicIt includes some of his most famous short stories Feathers Chef s House A Small Good Thing Vitamins Where I m Calling From and the mysterious title tale I ve read and studied some of the stories before but this was my first time reading the book cover to cover Here are a few observations 1 Boy do these stories ever resonate during a recession I d forgotten how many unemployed people there are in the book Consider some of these opening sentences Sandy s husband had been on the sofa ever since he d been terminated three months ago Preservation I had a job and Patti didn t I worked a few hours a night for the hospital It was a nothing job I did some work signed the card for eight hours went drinking with the nurses After a while Patti wanted a job She said she needed a job for her self respect So she started selling multiple vitamins door to door Vitamins This old station wagon with Minnesota plates pulls into a parking space in front of the window There s a man and woman in the front seat two boys in the back It s July temperature s one hundred plus These people look whipped There are clothes hanging inside suitcases boxes and such piled in back From what Harley and I put together later that s all they had left after the bank in Minnesota took their house their pickup their tractor the farm implements and a few cows The Bridle 2 Not all the characters are working classCarver s known as the poet of the working class and many critics say his diction no fancy words or constructions evokes the language of ordinary working folks Consider the book s opening lines This friend of mine from work Bud he asked Fran and me to supper I didn t know his wife and he didn t know Fran That made us even But Bud and I were friendsSo it s surprising to find many professionals in these stories The dad worrying about his comatose son in A Small Good Thing has an advanced degree in business a junior partnership in an investment firm In The Compartment Myers who s travelling to see his estranged son in Europe is an executive who can afford to be in first class Carlyle the man whose wife suddenly leaves him and their daughter in Fever is a high school art teacher3 These tales are beautifully constructedPerhaps not surprising considering that the book s title is Cathedral Carver is a master architect in setting up plot and character He knows when to offer up dialogue and when to deliver exposition Chef s House about a divorced couple s attempt to get back after the husband has sobered up and found them a paradise of a home is only six or seven pages long but you re given a perfect sense of the couple s troubled past and get a satisfying glimpse of the wonderful summer before their fortunes change It s a model of economy and compressionIf you ve ever wanted to know how to conceal stories within stories look at Where I m Calling From set in a drying out facility In a sense storytelling is a part of the plot the rehab characters listen to others tell stories to distract them from their own troubles Which brings me to4 There are a lot of alcoholics in this bookLike Fitzgerald Hemingway to whom he s often compared and his good friend John Cheever Carver struggled with booze But he cleaned up got sober and set to work I once heard a fascinating theory that many of his stories feel like those confessionals you deliver in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step programs My name is X and I m an alcoholic I ve gone through hell but I ve survived to tell my story Here it is This is where I m calling from 5 There are lots of hands on legsI counted at least four instances where characters put hands on other people s legs Weird eh6 That voiceCarver s voice is so distinct it was imitated by many and of course it lends itself to parody The language and the cadences seem so simple but there s so much lurking beneath the words just take a look at the examples in this review Hint don t read his stories too uickly even if they seem straightforward Carver was also an accomplished poet Read some lines aloud if you can Even the he said and she said s contribute to the rhythm And despite some bleak themes there s lots of humour7 Some epiphanies feel forcedCarver s narrators often stumble upon a revelation usually on the penultimate page of a story Here are some examples emphases are mine Wes it s all right I said I brought his hand to my cheek Then I don t know I remembered how he was when he was nineteen the way he looked running across this field to where his dad sat on a tractor hand over his eyes watching Wes run toward him Chef s House I m thinking about chimney sweeps all that stuff I heard from JP when for some reason I start to think about a house my wife and I once lived in Where I m Calling From Mrs Webster looked at Carlyle and waved It was then as he stood at the window that he felt something come to an end It had to do with Eileen and the life before this Had he ever waved at her FeverFine writing but there s something a touch contrived about the effects Carver spells things out a little too clearly with a faux naive Aw shucks I don t know why but this is what I did attitude 8 There s something spiritual about Carver s writingCarver s stories aren t religious but they are spiritual Perhaps it s because his people suffer so much Their pasts are a hazy blur of drunken excess and violence they ve abandoned wives and children being jobless has left them without an anchor their children are in hospital or they re sick themselves Because of all of this they re searching for something anything redemption grace a vision of happinessFrom the final lines of Cathedral So we kept on with it His fingers rode my fingers as my hand went over the paper It was like nothing else in my life up to nowYou could say the same thing about these deceptively simple yet extraordinary stories

Raymond Carver ☆ 8 Read & Download

Nesty his eye set only on describing and revealing the world as he sees it His eye is so clear it almost breaks your heart” Jonathan Yardley  Washington Post Book World From the eBook editi. After two collections of beautifully written lean but grim and mercilessly sad working class stories Carver lets the reins loose a bit in this 1983 collection allowing some of the stories to expand just a bit in various ways Almost all of the stories in Will You Please Be uiet Please 1976 and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love 1981 are about working class people on the edge of tragedy or seen at the end of a slow tragic decline though it s not classic tragedy of a great man say Macbeth a noble soldier pricked by the spur of his own ambition but a factory rat brought down by an affair say and by his own drunken bumbling The first story in this collection Feathers signals the change maybe by identifying the tale as a low rent tragedy In this collection sometimes still featuring such AA based tragedies there s humor fuller descriptions the pace slows a bit for to happen for us to get to know the characters as fully human though most of all there s a generosity of spirit you don t see to this extent in the earlier collections The best example of how this works is in a story that gets revised here The Bath is a story in What We Talk About When We Talk About Lover it s a story about an eight year old boy hit by a car and in a coma on his birthday The day before his mother hard ordered a cake for him At different points both the mpther and father take breaks and get annoying calls They are too distracted to remember the baker and the cake The phone is ringing and they all seem lost nothing is resolved The tone is harsh devastating unrelentingly sad None of the people connect when they so need to Various sources reveal that an earlier version of the story is fuller but editor Gordon Lish wouldn t publish it until it was stripped to the boneIn Carver s revision of The Bath in A Small Good Thing he lengthens it considerably letting us get to know the parents better But the change in the story becomes dramatic when in this version the parents drive to confront the baker in their grief and rage against the world We don t get to know the baker at all in The Bath but something astonishing happens here as the baker hears what has happened realizes that the boy has been hospitalized and he reaches out to the broken couple offering them freshly baked bread which in communion fashion in family fashion they share together Sometimes a small good thing such as breaking bread together is essential in restoring some small measure of grace and humanity I thought that The Bath was technically amazing but in the closing pages of the revised story I was reduced to tears Until this point that had never happened to me in a Carver story It s wonderfulThere are other such stories in this collection where you find that similar grace happens but possibly one of Carver s greatest stories maybe one of the best stories ever is the story that concludes the collection Cathedral Narrated by a man whose wife is old friends with a blind man the story reveals the narrator doesn t initially like or understand the blind man There s a rich intimacy that his wife and the blind man have that makes him irritable jealous The narrator s life is going nowhere he just likes to get stoned and watch tv but the blind man is rich and insightful in a way the husband is not There s a program about cathedrals on tv and our narrator tries to tell him what a cathedral looks like and fails The blind man asks our narrator to get some paper and a pen and to begin drawing a cathedral with his hand over the narrator s hand Close your eyes now the blind man said to me I did it I closed them just like he said Are they closed he said Don t fudge They re closed I said Keep them that way he said He said Don t stop now Draw So we kept on with it His fingers rode my fingers as my hand went over the paper It was like nothing else in my life up to nowThen he said I think that s it I think you got it he said Take a look What do you think But I had my eyes closed I thought I d keep them that way for a little longer I thought it was something I ought to do Well he said Are you looking My eyes were still closed I was in my house I knew that But I didn t feel like I was inside anything It s really something I said In this story a small but significant miracle happens The majesty and power of a cathedral become clear sure but also the power of imagination and relationship Our selfish narrator learns for a bit what it might be like to be blind to live in someone else s shoesAnd I am thinking about it right now as white supremacists have clashed in Virginia We need desperately to learn from each other and experience beauty in each other In Carver s previous stories the man might just have remained lost stoned as his wife meets her old friend in this story though there emerges the possibility of redemption of life changeHere read it today if you get the chance is long but it is Stephen King on Carver a terrific review I agree about the review is that the heavily Gordon Lish edited stories seem technically virtuoso yet in some way almost nihilistic I think of them as Edward Hopper visions of loneliness and grief but in the best of this collection Carver finally has achieved heart attaining at moments the height of the master he so loved Chekhov

10 thoughts on “Cathedral

  1. says:

    English Cathedral ItalianoThis collection of twelve stories by Raymond Carver is the perfect example of how to compromise the reader's frame of mind by talking about daily events Thanks also to a minimal prose Carver has the great virtue of

  2. says:

    Cathedral stories Raymond Carver Cathedral is the third major press collection of short stories by American writer Raymond Carver published in 1983 The collection contains the following stories Feathers Chef's House Preservation The

  3. says:

    American author Raymond Carver 1938 1988 master of the short storyA dozen Raymond Carver stories collected here as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series Since other reviewers have commented on all twelve I’ll share some short short cuts from the title story my reflections on Carver doozy a story I dearly love Here goesCATHEDRALThe Blind Man The narrator’s wife is bringing her old friend a blind man home for a visit since the

  4. says:

    Dreams you know are what you wake up from My heart is in my throat after finishing this magnificent collection I've spent most of the day reading these stories as I can't think of anything else I'd rather do This is both Carver's third collection and the third one I've read This time his work was published without the ruthless editorial hand of Gordon Lish which is evidenced by longer detailed stories It feels

  5. says:

    Raymond Carver is one of the most influential writers of the late 20th century and this volume published five years before his tragi

  6. says:

    I had no Idea who Raymond Carver was before I picked this collection of short stories Of course I asked the great oracles of the Internet to feed me information about him and they told me that MrCarver is one of the American literar

  7. says:

    A very interesting short showcasing a blind man who doesn't let his blindness limit him in any way Turns a skeptic who was uncomfortable about his blindness into a man who lesrns by the gift of touch There are many different ways of seeing and not all use sight

  8. says:

    After two collections of beautifully written lean but grim and mercilessly sad working class stories Carver lets the reins loose a bit in this 1983 collection allowing some of the stories to expand just a bit in v

  9. says:

    Just another genius collection of laconic grimly funny or just grim short stories by Carver like his other four My favourites “Feathers” A guy and his wife are invited for dinner at a workmate’s house Bud and Olla have a peacock and a r

  10. says:

    This book changed my life sent me on my way to becoming a writer and uite literally was the reason my girlfriend and I got together Yeah Soul mates Me and Carver