Sunday, January 29, 2017

Where Water Comes Together with Other Water / Raymond Carver

Joris Iven, composed, translated and introduced this new and fascinating book about Raymond Carver, born on July 2nd in 1938 in Clatskanie, a small town in the northwestern state of Oregon. His father kept the saws sharp for the sawmill. So he is a kid from an American working class family. The books opens with the line "I have had two lives. My first life ended in June 1977, when I stopped drinking." He wrote this in a autobiographical note. His first life, was the longest and without a doubt the least fortunate. His writing feels dark and threatening, probably because money and health were extremely precarious. He met Maryann, then 15 and they got married two years later. They had two children. It was usually Maryann who brought in the money. They were always studying, but is was Raymond's goal to become a writer. He followed a lot of writing workshops, creative writing courses and such. They were extremely poor, and it wasn't easy to get his work published.
The moved around a lot, he was a notorious drunk, the bottle of Vodka always under the front seat of his car. In 1977 he met Tess Gallagher whom he married not long before his death. In 1987 he was diagnosed with lung cancer, too late for a surgical intervention and soon afterwards a brain tumor was found. Radiation didn't work, the cancer kept coming back. He passed away on august 2nd, 1988. After his death A new path to the waterfall (1989) came out.
I like Joris Iven's translation into Dutch, keeping the dark feeling of thread.
Joris's introduction was also very helpful.

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