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Poems deal with memories, loss of identity, childhood innocence, the past, and mortality.
Poems deal with memories, loss of identity, childhood innocence, the past, and mortality.
Raymond Carver, who became a master-storyteller of his generation and was hailed in Europe as 'the American Chekhov', wrote of himself: "I began as a poet. My first publication was a poem. So I suppose on my tombstone I'd be very pleased if they put 'Poet and short-story writer - and occasional essayist', in that order." This complete edition allows readers to experience the range and overwhelming power of Carver's poetry for the first time. It brings together in the order of their American publication the poems of Fires (1985), Where Water Comes Together with Other Water (1986), Ultramarine (1988), A New Path to the Waterfall (1989) and No Heroics, Please (1991). For readers who know Carver's middle period only through his selected poems, In a Marine Light (1988), it includes the windfall of 51 poems not previously published in Britain. All of Us is edited by Professor William L. Stull of the University of Hartford, and introduced with an essay on Raymond Carver's methods of composition by his widow, the poet Tess Gallagher.
More than sixty stories, poems, and essays are included in this wide-ranging collection by the extravagantly versatile Raymond Carver. Two of the stories—later revised for What We Talk About When We Talk About Love—are particularly notable in that between the first and the final versions, we see clearly the astounding process of Carver’s literary development.
Raymond Carver’s third collection of stories, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, including the canonical titular story about blindness and learning to enter the very different world of another. These twelve stories mark a turning point in Carver’s work and “overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life. . . . Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty. . . . his eye set only on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart” (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World).
Best known as one of the great short story writers of the twentieth century, Raymond Carver also published several volumes of poetry and considered himself as much a poet as a fiction writer. Sandra Lee Kleppe combines comparative analysis with an in-depth examination of Carver’s poems, making a case for the quality of Carver’s poetic output and showing the central role Carver’s pursuit of poetry played in his career as a writer. Carver constructed his own organic literary system of 'autopoetics,' a concept connected to a paradigm shift in our understanding of the inter-relatedness of biological and cultural systems. This idea is seen as informing Carver’s entire production, and a distinguishing feature of Kleppe’s book is its contextualization of Carver’s poetry within the complex literary and scientific systems that influenced his development as a writer. Kleppe addresses the common themes and intertextual links between Carver’s poetry and short story careers, situates Carver’s poetry within the love poem tradition, explores the connections between neurology and poetic memories, and examines Carver’s use of the elegy genre within the context of his terminal illness. Tellingly, Carver’s poetry, which has aroused slight interest among literary scholars, is frequently taught to medical students. This testimony to the interdisciplinary implications of Carver’s work suggests the appropriateness of Kleppe’s culminating discussion of Carver’s work as a bridge between the fields of literature and medicine.

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