Over several years, for the month of June, I wrote about a short story that was available online each day of the month…. It seemed like a good idea at the time. My blog readership fell precipitously and nobody seemed to give a damn about what I was doing – which was a surprising amount of work.
Because of this result, I’m going to do it again this year – In September this time… because it is September.
Today’s story, for day 7 – Why Don’t You Dance?, by Raymond Carver
Read it online here:
Why Don’t You Dance?, by Raymond Carver
He considered this as he sipped the whiskey.
—-Raymond Carver, Why Don’t You Dance?
If I could write like anyone, I would want to write like Raymond Chandler.
His stories are a revelation to me. His characters real, with flaws and good points, – with the flaws winning out in the balance by quite a bit.
What I like the best is the way he leaves stuff out. He doesn’t tell us everything, only what’s important. In today’s story, he doesn’t tell us how or why everything has come to the state it is, because that isn’t important. He doesn’t even tell us what happened… because that isn’t important.
He does tell us that they drank, and that they drank too much, and that they danced, and that the records were crappy.
Because that is what is important.
Interview with Raymond Carver:
But what made you want to write?
The only explanation I can give you is that my dad told me lots of stories about himself when he was a kid, and about his dad and his grandfather. His grandfather had fought in the Civil War. He fought for both sides! He was a turncoat. When the South began losing the war, he crossed over to the North and began fighting for the Union forces. My dad laughed when he told this story. He didn’t see anything wrong with it, and I guess I didn’t either. Anyway, my dad would tell me stories, anecdotes really, no moral to them, about tramping around in the woods, or else riding the rails and having to look out for railroad bulls. I loved his company and loved to listen to him tell me these stories.
—-Raymond Carver, from the Paris Review