#33: november - december 2002 

Raymond Carver

Raymond Carver Quiz

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If we’re lucky, writers and readers alike, we’ll finish the last line or two of a short story and then just sit for a minute, quietly. Ideally, we’ll ponder what we’ve just written or read; maybe our hearts or our intellects will have been moved off the peg just a little from where they were before. Our body temperature will have gone up, or down, by a degree. Then, breathing evenly and steadily once more, we’ll collect ourselves, writers and readers alike, get up, "created of warm blood and nerves," as a Chekhov character puts it, and go on to the next thing: Life. Always life.

Raymond Carver

1. Raymond Carver was born in 1938 in . . .
a. Aberdeen, Washington
b. Clatskanie, Oregon
c. Ukiah, California

2. Carver’s nickname when he was a young boy was . . .
a. Frog
b. Flip
c. Wolfie
d. Fish

3. The first short story that Carver published was "Furious Seasons" in 1963. It appeared in . . .
a. The Sewanee Review
b. Ploughshares
c. Toyon
d. December

4. For a while Carver attended a creative writing class at Chico State College taught by . . .
a. John Barth
b. John Gardner
c. John Updike

5. Carver taught creative writing at several universities. Which of the following was not among them?
a. Iowa Writers’ Workshop
b. University of California at Santa Cruz
c. University of Vermont
d. University of Texas
e. Washington State University at Spokane

6. One of Carver’s students was . . .
a. Lorrie Moore
b. Tobias Wolff
c. Jay McInerney
d. Bret Easton Ellis

7. The short story "A Small, Good Thing" was originally published in a much shorter, heavily edited version entitled . . .
a. "The Bath"
b. "The Baker"
c. "The Boy"

8. In which short story is a couple awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from a woman who is trying to reach a man named Bud?
Answer:  "Whoever Was Using This Bed"

9. In the short story "Cathedral" the narrator tries to describe a cathedral to . . .
a. a blind man
b. a young child
c. an elderly Vietnamese woman

10. Which one of the following stories was not drawn upon in Robert Altman’s film Short Cuts?
a. "Collectors"
b. "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?"
c. "They’re Not Your Husband"
d. "So Much Water So Close to Home"
e. "Elephant"

11. In his essay "Fires" Carver speaks of influences. Whom does he cite as "the prime movers and shapers of my life and my writing"?

a. John Gardner and Gordon Lish
b. his two children
c. his two wives

12. In which Carver poem does he capture an intensely emotional moment among salmon fishermen standing around a burning oil drum?
Answer: "Near Klamath"

13. The characters of Bill and Arlene Miller appear in which short story?

Answer: "Neighbors"

14. The sinister character of Nelson in "Vitamins" worked his way into the story after Carver’s writing was interrupted by . . .

a. a wrong number on the phone
b. a door-to-door salesman
c. a bill collector at his back door

15. In the short story "Feathers," Joey and Harold are the names of . . .
a. a bantam hen and a fireman
b. a parakeet and a car salesman
c. a peacock and a baby

16. "I was in my room one night when I heard something in the corridor. I looked up and saw an envelope slide under the door."
a. "A Serious Talk"
b. "Blackbird Pie"
c. "The Calm"

17. The last story that Carver wrote and saw published in his lifetime concerns the death of . . .
a. Chekhov
b. Dostoevsky
c. Tolstoy

18. Carver’s work has been translated into twenty languages. Which well-known Japanese novelist is his Japanese translator?
Answer:  Haruki Murakami

19. In 1996 a novel was written in which the author portrays an imaginary meeting between Carver and . .
a. Chairman Mao
b. Fidel Castro
c. Richard Nixon

20. In 2000 five previously unpublished Carver stories were released in a revised and expanded edition of "No Heroics, Please." In one of the new stories, written in the early 80s and anticipating an image in future work, a couple whose marriage is in trouble decide to spend the summer in Eureka. One night in their front yard they discover . . .
a. a pack of feral dogs
b. several white horses
c. two black swans
d. a gathering of elk

21.  And did you get what
      you wanted from life?
      I did.
      And what did you want?
      To call myself beloved, to feel myself
     Last line:  beloved on the earth

     Website of interest:
     Phil Carson's Raymond Carver Page

© 2002 The Barcelona Review

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 tbr 33           november - december  2002

Short Fiction

Adam Johnson:Trauma Plate
Pedro de Jesús:The Letter
Steve Aylett: Never Talk to Strangers
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Deirdre Heddon:Still Life
Mark Anthony Jarman:Cougar


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