Friday, August 29, 2008

Carver Talks to FRANK

Butch Perez gifted me with a collector's copy of Frank (the lit magazine) circa EDSA Reb featuring the Philippines, Sean Penn, Dennis Hopper and Raymond Carver. Here's Raymond:

Every story I’ve written, with maybe one or two exceptions, has had a starting point in the real world. Stories don’t come out of thin air. At least the type of stories I’m interested in. I don’t like to read about writing fiction and so forth. I have very little patience with that. I don’t have much time with this earth and I don’t want to to waste any of it. Usually the first line in a story or poem remains the same, everything else is subject to change. I saw a man once, sitting enxt to me on a plant and just when we were flying into the city, he took the wedding ring off his finger. And this little thing stuck in my head. The story “Fat” in Will You Be Quiet, Please? is about a waitress waiting on a fat man, a story told by me by my first wife many years ago when she was a waitress. She came home from work one night and said, “I waited on this strange character tonight who spoke of himself in the plural. He called himself “we.” “We would like some bread and butter”; “We would like some water”; “We would like some beef tournedos.” And I thought how unusual it was for a man to speak of himself that way. But I didn’t do anything with that story for years and then it came to write the story and it was the question of how best to tell it, whose story it was. Then I made the conscious decision how to present the story. And I decided to tell it from the point of view of the woman, the waitress, and frame the story as if she were telling it to her girlfriend. She can’t quite make sense of the story herself, all the feelings that she experienced, but she goes ahead and tell it anyway.


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