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I believe the right question to ask, respecting all ornament, is simply this; was it done with enjoyment, was the carver happy while he was about it?
Black people have been qualified to be president for hundreds of years. George Washington Carver could have been president. I could go on with a list of black men that were qualified to be the president of the United States. So the Obama victory is progress for white people.
The problem with relegating black history to one really short month, the shortest month, is not only are we telling the same stories over and over again - which are amazing, George Washington Carver is incredible, there's nobody like Frederick Douglass - but there are so many.
The library of my elementary school had this great biography section, and I read all of these paperback biographies until they were dog-eared. The story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Madame Curie and Martin Luther King and George Washington Carver and on and on and on.
We're doing Circle of Snakes, we open up with Skin Carver and we are throwing in Skull Forest later on.
I am really into how words sound out loud, so I was always the kid who would, like, read the page of the book to herself in her room over and over and over. And Raymond Carver is great for that. Tobias Wolff is an author who is really good for that as well.
In our community here in Boston, we have had a tremendous influx of Russian Jews and Haitians. We call these people immigrants. But they come for the same reasons that William Bradford and William Brewster and John Carver came.
It's not a terribly original thing to say, but I love Raymond Carver. For one thing, he's fun to read out loud.
My short stories have always pushed twenty pages. That's no length for a short story to be. You either do them short like Carver or you stop trying.
Raymond Carver is good. I think he'll be appreciated more and more. He's an easy writer to imitate.
I read Carver. Julio Cortazar. Amis's essays. Baldwin. Lorrie Moore. Capote. Saramago. Larkin. Wodehouse. Anything, anything at all, that doesn't sound like me.
I read a lot of short fiction, like Kurt Vonnegut and Raymond Carver and Wells Tower.
I wanted to make comics that get at feelings that connect to the deepest moments of our lives, reading Tolstoy, Flaubert, Flannery O'Connor, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, Vladimir Nabokov and Carver to help gain the confidence to figure it out. I knew, however, the most doomed approach would be to simply create stories that felt 'literary.'
John Dos Passos, Raymond Carver, Flaubert and William Maxwell were all very influential when I first started writing. Now, the writers I'm most interested in are the writers who are most unlike me: for example, Denis Johnson.
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