Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Carver II

I really believe that with segments of the literary industry we're dealing with malevolence. Gordon Lish had to hate Ray Carver to do what he did-- or be totally consumed with his own ego and selfishness. Read the original versions of the stories and you'll see they were fine-- nothing untoward or amateurish about them. Lish DIDN'T HAVE THE RIGHT to rewrite them to make them Gordon Lish stories. It was about power and control, not art. Read Lish's own work and you'll see that he hates literature-- unless you consider lobotomized exhibitionism to be literature.

The Editor's job is NOT to replace the writer's vision and style with his own, but, at most, to help the writer more ably and fully express the intent and vision of the artwork.

Carver wasn't a baby at writing. He'd been at it for years and knew what he was doing. Lish used him like a ventriloquist's dummy-- used him flagrantly and maliciously.

There's pathos in this matter-- most of all when Carver decided before the Lish-edited book came out that he wanted it stopped. Think what a dilemma this represented for a guy who'd been struggling to achieve major publication for so long. According to reports, Carver frantically wrote Gordon Lish asking that the book be halted. Lish ignored him.

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