Monday, 16 November 2009

Chekhov & Carver

The book of Chekhov short stories I am dipping into contains the high recommendation at the back by Raymond Carver that Chekhov is "the greatest short story writer who has ever lived", thus helpfully distinguishing Chekhov from all the great short story writers who haven't ever lived.


Anonymous said...

It is indeed a helpful distinction: if he hadn't added 'who has ever lived' we'd all be saying 'Hang on, what about Pedro Calcavadaro?'

Andrew said...

Exactly. Many people imagine being a short story writer is necessarily contingent upon the quality of having lived & so not a point worth making - the having lived bit - but this, as Calcavadaro so emphatically proved, is nonsense.