Sunday, October 28, 2007

James Lasdun on Raymond Carver's Stories

James Lasdun on the prospect of a new edition of Raymond Carver’s stories that would restore them to their pre-edited state:

If the restorations of Carver improved what we have, I'd be all for them, but in my opinion they don't. What Lish's editing brought forth from Carver's writing was very, very good. What I've seen of the material Stull and Carroll want to restore is, frankly, pretty awful. It's the kind of thrashing around writers do when they want to force meanings on their stories that aren't in fact supported by the stories themselves.

To read the rest of Lasdun’s article which does us the service of setting an original and an edited ending of one of Carver’s stories side-by-side for comparison, click here.


Seachanges said...

Intriguing story this - it just does not seem right to 're-edit' a book after the author is dead though, even if it is done by someone close... Why did Carver not do this himself if he had wanted to and felt so strongly about it? Lots of questions!

LK said...

Oh, good one! Thank you. (I really enjoy Carver.)

apostata said...

I suppose if they packaged a new release of Carver's work in their original form (with, perhaps, some minor copyediting if needed) it would be of genuine interest...what worries me is whether what is released is deemed "official" as opposed to a less-contentious consideration.