Obviously everyone in the world loves Raymond Carver. I had this lovely moment at TiNA where I was at a panel and someone mentioned Carver and the MC said “Who here likes Raymond Carver?” and most of the room put their hand up (the rest were probably just shy). But I want to know why everyone likes his writing.
In these days where we need constant action and radical adventures it is strange to see that his work is still so popular. In most of his stories nothing even happens. Some stories that spring to mind are the one where the couple go round to their friend’s house and the friends have a peacock and an ugly kid. They eat dinner together. Story ends. Or the one where the kid wags school and goes fishing. He catches a fish, brings it home, story ends. Sometimes big events occur, but so little is made of them that we can’t help but notice the characters instead.
I think I love his work because the snapshot we are given are so true to life that it is perfectly consistent that no really big events occur, most people’s lives are a series of small events that still change them in some way. He is also able to deal with really big emotions (usually despair or loss) without ever exaggerating them to get his point across
But I’d be interested in seeing why people think he is still so popular.