He fine. I like him as an american Chekhov influenced writer. I mean, minimal everyday themes, weak and pityful characters... his concise prose ain't as good as Chekhov's tho and maybe Chekhov portraits them characters in a more universal mature way, while Carver sometimes kinda falls for the "muh dirt muh scum muh white trash" meme; although, when it comes to that theme, I'm glad we got Carver despite Bukowski.
because I have read a lot of short stories and none of them compare to the heights of the best novels or poems. it's like that retarded little brother in the basement. everyone is nice to him and he occasionally wins the nobel even though the person writing him only talks about mid life crises and getting cancer, and occasionally someone will be great at writing him, like Hemingway or Hawthorne, but in the end even these great writers are better novelists and nothing is really accomplished in their 4000 words that could've been done in 4 lines of poetry or 400 better, expanded-upon pages of a novel. And in most cases it's a trite little point that could've been best done in a rhymed couplet.
oh, you meant specifically Chekhov and Carver. I'll add to my post then:
Carver is mostly a bag of tricks that conceal a few poignant sentences that could have stood entirely on their own. And his bag of tricks don't work as well as those of mediocre poets. Lish was a good editor, but honestly the only reason Raymond Carver is considered a minimalist is because of him, and only because Lish probably saw his stories and said what I'm saying, and cut as much as he could without pissing Carver off.
Chekhov is great as a little writer of vignettes, but he doesn't ever have to space to do more than that. I think it's just a fault of the form. You have to constantly compress what could be extremely lengthy conversations, interactions, personalities, down to a printably-small form. Personalities suffer for it. The best you can do is document interactions, and that's no replacement for a human being.
I'll say though in retrospect that Borges is about as close as it comes to being comparable to poetry or the best novels. Though he has his own bag of tricks, if not a more intellectual bag of them.
>>7638532 >mfw I always start threads like this >mfw /lit/ always posts serious prosand cons about author as well as mildly entertaining banter >mfw in debate class, classmates pay me to creat solid arguments for both sides cramed with memes to keep it entertaining
Man, I completely and utterly disagree with you. Almost every writer I know who wrote both stories and novels in any quantity, their stories are way better than their novels. I feel like very few things are worthy of a whole novel, and most novels are self insertions and filler and bullshit. Anything longer than like 100 pages and all I think is 'this idiot thinks they're so clever that they deserve to ramble on about bullshit'. I mean, most good short stories writers will write a story where every single world and phrase is integral to the story. Not many novels could ever do that.
> Man, I completely and utterly disagree with you.
That's fine. I already know that my opinion is in the minority and that most people look at it like you do. I don't know, I suppose that short stories just often feel contrived to me. It's not that novels have much more to say -- they usually don't, except in extreme cases -- but something about having 100 or more pages to create a character makes that personality more memorable, and makes them feel less like an ingredient used to basically show something in a limited space. One of my favorite short stories is one by Hemingway, A Clean Well Lighted Place, and I think it's one of the few stories I've read that admits that a short story can only work through interaction and not personality, and that we have to essentially substitute archetypes of personality in there ourselves to really get the full bit out of it. Borges is different because he doesn't really do any of that and just has fun with the short story like it's a little toy you can mess around with and float neat ideas. And while doing that with short stories now is a bit overdone, it was really really neat when he did it.
But yeah I read more poetry than anything else, and I read some novels, but the one thing I can hardly make myself do is read short stories. Something about it just feels empty to me. Really it's a personal preference at this point.
/lit/ would be more interesting if people embraced the multitude of writers labelled 'kmart realism' instead of the same postmodern shit. you guys realize that instagram is flooded with girls who have Pynchon and dfw on their shelves right next to The ____ Trilogy and harry potter toys? please let's be different
I find it hard to believe a lot of us, I know I'm not, are really getting a ton out of some of these extremely difficult postmodern works, or dense modernist novels that generally I've only seen people writing graduate thesis on (while spending years with one work in one way or another).
And if some people here are, they certainly don't write down much analysis or even banter of any quality on content.
Not sure why we keep tackling proust and pynchon and all that, not like the majority of us have tutors or profs helping us out.
>>7643146 That sounds like an admission of defeat desu
I've read some of a book of Beattie's and thought she was funny, as well as some Barthelme, the book has "Laws" or "Power" in the title, and I didn't think it was very good, but overall the minimalist short story writers are pretty boring and unimaginative.
They aren't exhilarating and inspiring in the same way as Joyce or Beckett or Barth or any of those difficult writers, and I think a lot of people here are looking for something to feel passionate about, even if they never actually put in the time to read / read thoroughly any of those books. Discovering Joyce was one of the most amazing feelings I can remember, never had known things like that even existed, and that's not something you're going to get out of Carver
good on you for making an argument, but that's pretty damn subjective, right? i feel passionate about people making sense of their experience through writing, but i can't really get that from most postmodern/experimental writing. my interest in literature started with Salinger, Cheever, Carver, then Beattie, F Barthelme, and Lydia Davis. The social portrait. literature of isolation.
>>7643255 "the New Yorker Stories", big red book, assume it's pretty spread out chronologically. And your list sounds too narrow, mostly reading New Yorker/Esquire approved minimal stories. I personally have little interest in writers focusing solely on their own experience, imaginative literature takes a far greater sensibility to concoct and that difference in artistic ability is endlessly palpable, and pomo/experimental writing isn't even lacking in feeling or experience
well obviously i don't read exclusively authors who appeared in the New Yorker. my life has been forever changed by the likes of Beckett's trilogy, Wittgenstein's Mistress, The Crying of Lot 49, DeLillo, Barthelme, Baker, Infinite Jest, Abe, and Bernhard. It's just that i prefer a lot of work that is usually categorized as minimalism or realism. i'll never really know why they are called those things, especially because the authors are as different as they are similar (I think Barth said that.) it seems a lot of users want fantastical elements or migrate from /v/ and just want to read 'the toughest' novels so that they can 'play on hard mode' I think /lit/ could do with a little more realism though
Yeah, I definitely would say that my preference for short stories is just that, a personal preference. A Clean Well Lighted Place is a pretty good story, Hemingway's short fiction is really good. I like 'The Killers' and 'Cat in the Rain' too.
I guess I don't read fiction with the idea to engage with a personality or get to know a character. What you said about short stories using characters as 'an ingredient used to basically show something' - that's what I like hehe. Most of my favourite novels are on the shorter end of the spectrum as well...
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