The readers of Raymond Carver’s selected stories “Where I’m Calling From” is likely to spend 500 pages wondering is this writer is the American Chekhov of suburbia, and is never sure. Until the reader reaches the very last story. The first word in “Errand” is “Chekhov”, and as we progress in the reading we can notice that this narrative is about the Russian writer. Then it is time all doubts are dissipated and we can only conclude that Carver’s work is a sort of homage to or influence by Chekhov.
Either case, it is a good thing, since that Russian writer is one of the biggest masters of short stories. But, even being under Chekhov’s spell, Carver is still a writer of his own. Actually one of the best short story writers of the XX century. Too bad he died so young, one can only imagine what he would have produced more.
In this book of selected stories, the reader can have a vast tableau of Carver’s themes, style, approach, and sensibility. There are 30 texts that were previously published, and seven new stories. In these 30-plus tales, the writer is able to dissect with beauty and witty the American psyche — or yet, soul.
It is not difficult to be seduced by his dry style in which he doesn’t try to make beautiful sentences — but better yet, he reaches deeper depths in the soul of his characters. Carver is not after poetic moments, but he brings up some poetry from everyday life, from banal moments that are important only to those who are the main character of them.
His stories are usually short, and at the same time very efficient. The characters Carver portrays could be living in the same neighborhood, and at the same time they have very different lives. From his stories, we can realize that every life has its own beauty.
And these aspects are very close to those that made Chekhov one of the best, and we still read him, admire his work and consider his texts vanguard a hundred years later they were produced. Carver is very likely to have the same reward in the future. He does deserve it.
Originalmente publicado em www.Amazon.com em 14/04/06