English Comp. II- Literary Visions
A. Raymond Carver describes himself as “inclined towards brevity and intensity and hooked on writing short stories.” Some critics have found Carver’s flat prose, arid landscape, muddled and unhappy characters, and enigmatic endings nihilistic, vapid, or pointlessly bizarre.
B. Biographical information
1. Born on May 25, 1938 in Clatskanie, Oregon
a. Received a B.A. from Humboldt State College in 1963
b. Grew up in a middle class family in Yakima, Washington
2. Literary Career
a. His first published story, “The Furious Seasons”, appeared in 1961
b. “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?” appeared in Martha Foley’s Annual Best American Short Stories Anthology in 1967.
c. The short story “Neighbors” launched his career as a major literary figure
II. Influences on the authors work
A. He sat in on classes at what was then Sacramento State College, including workshops with poet Dennis Schmitz
1. Carver’s first book of poems, Near Klamath, was later written and published under Schmitz’s guidance
2. In 1963, Carver studied with Richard Cortez Day
3. In 1969, while enrolled in San Jose State’s library science program, Carver established vital literary connections with Gordon Lish and the poet/publisher George Hitchcock
III. Topics and/or themes the writer likes to write about
A. Often Used Blue Collar Experiences
1. Carver’s blue collar experiences was a reflection of his own life.
2. Carvers stories detailed the predominant mood of crisis in American culture
B. Carver tends to write about masculinity in his writings
1. Carver’s stories provide a window into the intense gender conflict in the 1970’s and 1980’s
2. Carver’s constructions of masculinity are characterized by...