Sunday, May 25, 2008

Carver vs. Altman

Finally getting to and through Raymond Carver's collection "What we Talk About When we Talk About Love" (perhaps because it is such perfect subway reading, I only read it there). I wish I had read it before, for a number of reasons, but I am finding myself really distracted by the adaptations that are included in Altman's Shortcuts. It's unfair to make comparisons, but I can't help myself - I thought "The Bath" and "Tell The Women We're Going" were more expansive and chilling in the film (having the obvious benefit of context) - but "So Much Water So Close To Home" hits it harder as a standalone. I haven't looked into it, but "After the Denim" feels like it could be a prototype of California Split. Curious what other people have to say.....

1 comment:

Betty & Bimbo said...

I haven't seen "Short Cuts" but I love that Carver collection so much -- the stories feel so intentionally placed together, variations on a theme, but not in a way that detracts from the individual power of each piece. Wasn't "Sacks" brutal?

I can't really even imagine them as films, they are so much about Carver's placing word after word on the page to me. But if anyone could do it, it's Altman. Even though I associate him with a loosey-goosey style, the collecting of memorable details and deceptive "realism" are perfect for Carver's sharp sad stories.