Fiction Responding to Fiction: D.H. Lawrence and Raymond Carver (and James Lasdun)

Among the 14 pounds of books I got from Powell’s this week are three or four pounds of DH Lawrence. I also bought the 2014 O. Henry Prize collection and a new copy of James Lasdun’s It’s Beginning to Hurt.  I studied with James in 2011 at The New School.  I did not know that James was a jurist for the 2014 O. Henry Prize, nor did I know that he wrote the introduction to one of the Lawrence collections among the three or four of my new 14 pounds.

James is a great writer and a great teacher.  It was a pleasure to find more of his work than I knew was coming.

The link below is to a piece on the similarities between Raymond Carver’s “Cathedrals” and Lawrence’s “The Blind Man” at Ploughshares. I share it here because one of the things that has encouraged me over the years is some insight James gave me on a story I’d written for his seminar.  We’d discussed the Cathedrals/Blind Man connections in class, and James asked us each to write a story in some way inspired by something we’d read and studied in class.  I went back to “The Blind Man,” among other things.

Speaking of Carver:  I think most writers are looking for a less-ambitious Gordon Lish.

From Ploughshares:

“The Fiction Responding to Fiction series considers the influence that a short story has on another writer; previous entries can be found here. Raymond Carver insisted that his iconic masterpiece….”

Source: Fiction Responding to Fiction: D.H. Lawrence and Raymond Carver

Proxy Christs and Purple Spaghetti

Three items tonight:

1) If Christ lives, why is it that so many Christians treat the Bible as his proxy?  If we have access to the Divine, why this divination?

2) My friend Nathan Key told me a joke long ago called “Purple Spaghetti.”  There are some versions on line, but none of them capture Nate’s sick 6th grade raconteur style.  If you know this joke, I want to see your best attempt at it.  The longer and more drawn-out, the better.

3) Dzanc has a new on-line journal up.  Check out The Collagist. Gordon Lish is in the house.