Raymond Carver por Stephen King

Pocos imaginarían que el “amo del suspenso”, como se le conoce a Stephen King, pudiera ensayar acerca de la obra de uno de los escritores norteamericanos de culto más importante del siglo pasado. Aquí, y para disgusto de algunos eruditos que no toleran la literatura ni a los escritores Best Seller, dejo el fragmento de un artículo publicado hace algunos días en el New York Times Book Review donde King da su punto de vista sobre la vida y obra Carver.

Raymond Carver’s Life and Stories

Published: November 19, 2009

Raymond Carver, surely the most influential writer of American short stories in the second half of the 20th century, makes an early appearance in Carol Sklenicka’s exhaustive and sometimes exhausting biography as a 3- or 4-year-old on a leash. “Well, of course I had to keep him on a leash,” his mother, Ella Carver, said much later — and seemingly without irony.

Mrs. Carver might have had the right idea. Like the perplexed lower-middle-class juicers who populate his stories, Carver never seemed to know where he was or why he was there. I was constantly reminded of a passage in Peter Straub’s “Ghost Story”: “The man just drove, distracted by this endless soap opera of America’s bottom dogs.” //

Born in Oregon in 1938, Carver soon moved with his family to Yakima, Wash. In 1956, the Car­vers relocated to Chester, Calif. A year later, Carver and a couple of friends were carousing in Mexico. After that the moves accelerated: Paradise, Calif.; Chico, Calif.; Iowa City, Sacramento, Palo Alto, Tel Aviv, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Cupertino, Humboldt County . . . and that takes us up only to 1977, the year Carver took his last drink.

Through most of those early years of restless travel, he dragged his two children and his long-suffering wife, Maryann, the mostly unsung heroine of Sklenicka’s tale, behind him like tin cans tied to the bumper of a jalopy that no car dealer in his right mind would take in trade. It’s no wonder that his friends nicknamed him Running Dog. Or that when his mother took him into downtown Yakima, she kept him on a leash.

As brilliant and talented as he was, Ray Carver was also the destructive, ­everything-in-the-pot kind of drinker who hits bottom, then starts burrowing deeper. Longtime A.A.’s know that drunks like Carver are master practitioners of the geographical cure, refusing to recognize that if you put an out-of-control boozer on a plane in California, an out-of-control boozer is going to get off in Chicago. Or Iowa. Or Mexico.

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