Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Report: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Here's the rundown of Raymond Carver's story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love": Friends drinking gin & tonics in the kitchen discuss the meaning of love. Dangerous, violent, crazy love. Transitory, sweet, brand new love. Dedicated, serene, forever love. I can't say too much about Raymond Carver except that reading him makes me feel a connection with my fellow human beings that, honestly, I don't find everywhere I look. You will love him on the surface; you will love him on a subterranean level; you will love him even when you hate what he's telling you...

Outside in the backyard, one of the dogs began to bark. The leaves of the aspen that leaned past the window tickled against the glass. The afternoon sun was like a presence in this room, the spacious light of ease and generosity. We could have been anywhere, somewhere enchanted. We raised our glasses again and grinned at each other like children who had agreed on something forbidden.

"I'll tell you what real love is," Mel said. "I mean, I'll give you a good example. And then you can draw your own conclusions." He poured more gin into his glass. He added an ice cube and a sliver of lime. We waited and sipped our drinks. Laura and I touched knees again. I put a hand on her warm thigh and left it there.  -- Raymond Carver

For those of you who are either Carver newbies or longtime fans looking for some other killer short story writers, I'd like to recommend some of the genre heavies: Flannery O'Connor, Dan Chaon, Stuart Dybek, Tobias Wolff, and Breece D'J Pancake. Read them. Anything by them. It's all the best.

1. Guy at window, via The Gifts of Life; 2. Backyard dog, via Les Petites Choses; 3. Aspens in San Francisco, by Sunset; 4. Table & chair, by Aromas & Sabores; 5. Kitchen window, via RĂªves & Inspirations; 6. Shadows by Robert Greene, via At Home At Home; 7. Patched sleeve, by The Denim Industry; 8. Sweater, via A Well Traveled Woman; 9. Jeans, via The Pursuit Aesthetic; 10. via Wit & Delight; 11. Gin & Tonic, by Russ Hall; 12. 2nd Amendment Rights, by Sonoran Drifter. 

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