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POLL: Is It a Shame About Ray?

Motoko Rich writes in today’s NYT arts section about the controversy over Raymond Carver‘s earliest short stories, which were heavily edited by Gordon Lish before Knopf published them as What We Talk About When We Talk About Love in 1981—with Carver’s widow, Tess Gallagher, now pressing for a published edition of the stories the way he wrote them. “I just think it’s so important for Ray’s book, which has been a kind of secret, to appear,” Gallagher tells Rich, although “I would never want to take What We Talk About out of publication.” (Based on what I imagine it continues to sell in paperback, I wouldn’t either if I were her.)

Gawker sees this as an interesting case of authorial intent vs. editorial expertise, while Vulture says it’s time to let the stories out: “Everyone who cares about this already has an opinion about what Gordon Lish did to Carver’s stories,” their blogger writes. “Wouldn’t it be better if those opinions were based on something besides conjecture?” What do you think?

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