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Versions, Erasures & Omissions: Raymond Carver

May 5 - June 9, 2021
Wednesdays, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (six sessions)


In this Delve we will compare versions of Raymond Carver’s short stories published originally in the collection titled What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981), edited by Gordon Lish, and the collection titled Beginners (2009) which contains the same seventeen stories restored to Carver’s original versions posthumously by his wife, poet Tess Gallagher. Our discussions will revolve around the differences such editorial decisions make in terms of tone and message received by the reader: When these cuts are made, what inhabits the spaces left behind? We’ll also examine other notable examples of altered versions, such as the works of Emily Dickinson in the custody of multiple editors and compilers. We’ll consider the differences between situations involving collaboration of author and editor, posthumous alteration, and self-editing, examining what kinds of biases and cultural phenomena might fuel these various scenarios. We will ask questions such as: What is the difference between editing and writing? What is style and who is responsible for the molding of an author’s voice? and, in Carver’s case, Who really crafted the minimalist style for which he is so well known?

Required texts:
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
Beginners by Raymond Carver

Delve Access Program
We want Delve seminars to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. We are happy to offer an Access Program which provides reduced tuition to qualifying participants. Most Delves have at least one access spot available. Contact Susan Moore at susan@literary-arts.org if you would like to take a Delve at the Access Rate.


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Raymond Carver Delve
$ 240.00

Coleman Stevenson

Coleman Stevenson is the author of Breakfast, The Accidental Rarefication of Pattern #5609, The Dark Exact Tarot Guide, and a book of essays accompanying the card game Metaphysik. A new collection of poems, Light Sleeper, is forthcoming in Summer 2020 from Deep Overstock. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications such as Seattle Review, Mid-American Review, Louisiana Literature, tarot.com, and the anthology Motionless from the Iron Bridge. In addition to her work as a designer of tarot and oracle decks through her company The Dark Exact, her fine art work, exhibited in galleries around the Pacific Northwest, focuses on the intersections between image and text. She has been a guest curator for various gallery spaces in the Portland, Oregon, area, and has taught poetry, design theory, and cultural studies at a number of different institutions there.
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