Often hailed as the most influential American short story writer since Hemingway, Raymond Carver leads us into the homes, hearts and minds of working class men and women. No other author has so incisively captured the hopes, fantasies, disappointments and triumphs that comprise the American dream. Through his minimalist, understated works, we will investigate such themes as disillusionment, alcoholism, financial struggles, love, bitterness, the thirst for meaning (even when we do not recognize it as thirst), and the cynicism that seems to have swallowed the American Dream whole. Through weekly round-table discussions of Carver’s stories and poems, we will wade into uncomfortable realities we would sometimes rather forget, knowing all the while that, through his brilliance, we shall come out the wiser.
Course Number: LIT-40081 Credit: 2 units