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For all you fellow book junkies out there,

Stephen King has a fascinating review of a new biography about and a new collection of stories by Raymond Carver. When I was in college, Carver was worshipped as immortal among my creative writing professors. So I find the revelations about how Carver wrote versus how much his editor Gordon Lish actually contributed to his trademark style.

I like that King describes the biographer as enamored of Carver the writer while pointing out how much the biographer avoids Carver the drunken asshole. Why are so many artists bad people? King may be a bit self-condemning in this way as he has struggled with the bottle himself. The alcoholism may have played a role in the whole editorial brouhaha as Carver needed publication and a rise in self-esteem since he quit drinking. Lish could get him those things, but only on his terms.

Anyway, the review is a fascinating read. I find it completely appropriate that King, who was not highly regarded by my literary establishment wannabe creative writing professors, writes very intelligently about Carver as a man and as a craftsman. I'm curious to read both the biography and the unedited versions of his stories.

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