4. Raymond Carver. 'Errand' (Dirty Realism) (2014)Apunte Español
Classe de dimarts, 2/12.
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4. CARVER, ERRAND
Raymond Carver was very influential, similar to Hemingway. Carver's characters are
similar to Pinter's. People find it hard to explain their problem when the problem is very
intense or dramatic.
Chekov was a Russian writer. The influence of Chekov has been extraordinary. He also wrote short stories. There is a story in the coda of the dossier. Chekov introduced in the short stories the concept of epiphany, with a strange revelation of a mind, something that transcends lives.
Twenty years before, Carver wrote a little poem called “Winter Insomnia”. Errand is his last published story, he wasn't ill but he already knows that he would die soon. The death of Chekov in his life is related to his own condition: “The mind is sick tonight.
It wishes Chekov were here to minister Something -three drops of valerian, A glass of rose water Anything, it wouldn't matter.” He hopes for someone who can bring consolation to his mind. Perhaps it was an anxiety of influence the fact that Carver was really influenced by Chekov. His name is even the first word in Errand.
The influence of Chekov in the modern understanding of the short story - Chekov ability to dispense with a striking incident, his impressionism, and his freedom from the literary conventions of the highly plotted and formalized story marked the beginnings of a new or 'modern' kind of short fiction that combined the specific detail of realism with the poetic lyricism of romanticism.
Characteristics: A) Character as mood rather than as either symbolic projection or realistic depiction. The narrator tells things that the character does.
B) Story as minimal lyricized sketch rather than as elaborately plotted tale.
C) Atmosphere as an ambiguous mixture of both external details and psychic projections. E.
g. “Baby shoes for sale. Never worn.” That's enough: we create the story.
D) A basic impressionistic apprehension of reality itself as a function of perspectival point of view. We get an insight inside Olga's mind.
The problem Chekov tried to solve is how to create an illusion if inner reality by focusing on external details only. An event has to be found that, if expressed 'properly', that is, by the judicious choice of relevant details, will embody the complexity of the inner state. A seemingly simple external situation is presented as to suggest emotional complexities beneath it.
Hemingway: we can produce a new list of binary oppositions which have, in fact, coexisted all along story-telling itself.
- Hemingway's ice-berg theory.
- Faulkner’s “I want to put everything into one sentence”.
Lower-outer - Put-outer Minimal - Maximal Style - Anty-style - A recognition of literature's limitations - The power of 'silence' / A grammar of 'silence' = meaning can be inferred in a much more memorable way by the writer not saying anything, exploring the power of silence. We only analyze everything, but we should be aware that language is a great tool to help, but also to conceal. We can use it for telling and also for hiding.
- The short story focuses on a revelatory break-up of the rhythm of everyday reality depending more in tone than on a plot as a principle of unity.