A writer ought to speak about things that are important to him. As you know, I’ve taught in universities, in fact for some fifteen years. I had time there for other work, and I never wrote a single story about university life because it’s an experience that left no mark on my emotional life. I tend to go back to the time and the people I knew well when I was younger and who made a very strong impression on me . . . Some of my recent stories deal with executives. […] He’s a businessman, and so on. But most of the people in my stories are poor and bewildered, that’s true. The economy, that’s important . . . I don’t feel I’m a political writer and yet I’ve been attacked by right-wing critics in the U.S.A. who blame me for not painting a more smiling picture of America, for not being optimistic enough, for writing stories about the people who don’t succeed. But these lives are as valid as those of the go-getters. Yes, I take unemployment, money problems, and marital problems as givens in life. People worry about their rent, their children, their home life. That’s basic. That’s how 80-90 percent, or God knows how many people live. I write stories about a submerged population, people who don’t always have someone to speak for them. I’m sort of a witness, and, besides, that’s the life I myself lived for a long time. I don’t see myself as a spokesman but as a witness to these lives. I’m a writer.

Zitat aus “Stories Don’t Come Out of Thin Air” Interview with Raymond Carver by Claude Grimal, 1987


The Best Time Of The Day

Cool summer nights. Windows open. Lamps burning. Fruit in the bowl. And your head on my shoulder. These the happiest moments in the day.

Next to the early morning hours, of course. And the time just before lunch. And the afternoon, and early evening hours. But I do love

these summer nights. Even more, I think, than those other times. The work finished for the day. And no one who can reach us now. Or ever.


Photograph of My Father in His Twenty-Second Year

October.  Here in this dank, unfamiliar kitchen I study my father’s embarrassed young man’s face. Sheepish grin, he holds in one hand a string of spiny yellow perch, in the other a bottle of Carlsbad Beer.

In jeans and denim shirt, he leans against the front fender of a 1934 Ford. He would like to pose bluff and hearty for his posterity, Wear his old hat cocked over his ear. All his life my father wanted to be bold.

But the eyes give him away, and the hands that limply offer the string of dead perch and the bottle of beer.  Father, I love you, yet how can I say thank you, I who can’t hold my liquor either, and don’t even know the places to fish?


Videoportrait Raymond Carver (EN, 1992)


Raymond Carver wurde 1938 in Clatskanie/Oregon geboren. Er heiratete mit 18, hatte zwei Kinder und schlug sich lange Jahre mit Gelegenheitsjobs durch. Sein erster Erzählband “Will You Be Quiet, Please?” machte ihn 1976 schlagartig berühmt und wurde für den National Book Award nominiert. Raymond Carver erhielt zahlreiche Auszeichnungen für sein Werk und wurde 1988 in die American Academy of Arts and Letters aufgenommen. Er starb im gleichen Jahr an Lugenkrebs.

Erzählbände Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (first published 1976) Furious Seasons (1977) What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981) Cathedral (1983) Elephant (1988)

Gedichte Near Klamath (1968) Winter Insomnia (1970) At Night The Salmon Move (1976) Fires (1983) Where Water Comes Together With Other Water (1985) Ultramarine (1986) A New Path To The Waterfall (1989)



Links: “For Raymond Carver, a Lifetime of Storytelling”, Stewart Kellerman (The New York Times) Biography (The Oregon Encyclopedia) Audiointerviews (Wired for Books) The Raymond Carver Website (Whitman College) Rezensionen Bücher (perlentaucher.de)


Quelle Bild: poet-in-residence.blogspot.com

Quelle Zitat: www.iwu.edu

Quelle Biographie: Berliner Taschenbuch Verlag

Quelle Gedichte: www.americanpoems.com