Friday, May 25, 2007

Take Me To The Bridge

When it comes to fiction, some writers tend toward novels, some to short stories. Two masters come to mind -- Larry McMurtry (b. 6/3/1936) and Raymond Carver (5/25/1938-8/2/1988). McMurtry's novels tend to move at a clip, while Carver's short stories slow down the pace.

Carver has been dead for nearly twenty years, so more has been revealed about Raymond the man. One place to discover more is What it Used to be Like: A Portrait of My Marriage to Raymond Carver, Maryann Buck Carver's 2006 memoir. An enjoyable if tortured read, Maryann's book fleshes out parts of Ray's life that one can already surmise from his fiction, poetry, and short essays. In fact, a good sampler to read along with the memoir is Fires: Essays, Poems, Stories (1983). I like Maryann's version. On the other hand, I'm not a Tess Gallaher fan because what she says about Ray -- as the "second wife" -- sounds a little suspect: too distorted and self-serving, even delusional at times. I will not be surprised if she answers What it Used to be Like with something of her own. If so, I don't look forward to it.

I would, though, like to read a Larry McMurtry memoir about some of his own women friends. Like Carver, he can do non-fiction. All three of these are good (and short): Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen (1999), Roads (2001) and Paradise (2002). So how about something like Now About My Friends (2011)?

Today's Rune: The Mystery Rune.

Birthdays: Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mr. Bojangles (Bill Robinson), Padre Pio (Francesco Forgione), Igor Sikorsky, Gene Tunney, Bennett Cerf, Raymond Carver, Ian McKellen, Jamaica Kincaid (b. Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardson), Paul Weller, Anne Heche.

Go, Pistons, Go!


the walking man said...

Larry who? and Raymond who?

JR's Thumbprints said...

Looks like TWM's got a "broke back memory."