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This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

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7

[...] we could see a garden with green things the size of baseballs hanging from the vines.

"What's that?" I said.

"How should I know?" she said. "Squash, maybe. I don't have a clue."

"Hey, Fran," I said. "Take it easy."

She didn't say anything. She drew in her lower lip and let it go. She turned off the radio as we got close to the house.

noted for the emotion (petulance, tension) communicated solely through dialogue, not adjectives

—p.7 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

[...] we could see a garden with green things the size of baseballs hanging from the vines.

"What's that?" I said.

"How should I know?" she said. "Squash, maybe. I don't have a clue."

"Hey, Fran," I said. "Take it easy."

She didn't say anything. She drew in her lower lip and let it go. She turned off the radio as we got close to the house.

noted for the emotion (petulance, tension) communicated solely through dialogue, not adjectives

—p.7 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago
20

After a time, Olla came back with it. I looked at the baby and drew a breath. Olla sat down at the table with the baby. She held it up under it arms so it could stand on her lap and face us. She looked at Fran and then at me. She wasn't blushing now. She waited for one of us to comment.

"Ah!" said Fran.

"What is it?" Olla said quickly.

"Nothing," Fran said. "I thought I saw something at the window. I thought I saw a bat."

"We don't have any bats around here," Olla said.

"Maybe it was a moth," Fran said. "It was something. Well," she said, "isn't that some baby."

obviously ugly baby

—p.20 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

After a time, Olla came back with it. I looked at the baby and drew a breath. Olla sat down at the table with the baby. She held it up under it arms so it could stand on her lap and face us. She looked at Fran and then at me. She wasn't blushing now. She waited for one of us to comment.

"Ah!" said Fran.

"What is it?" Olla said quickly.

"Nothing," Fran said. "I thought I saw something at the window. I thought I saw a bat."

"We don't have any bats around here," Olla said.

"Maybe it was a moth," Fran said. "It was something. Well," she said, "isn't that some baby."

obviously ugly baby

—p.20 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago
23

Olla watched Fran with the baby. She said, "When Harold's grandpa was sixteen years old, he set out to read the encyclopedia from A to Z. He did it, too. He finished when he was twenty. Just before he met my mama."

"Where's he now?" I asked. "What's he do?" I wanted to know what had become of a man who'd set himself a goal like that.

"He'd dead," Olla said. [...]

—p.23 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

Olla watched Fran with the baby. She said, "When Harold's grandpa was sixteen years old, he set out to read the encyclopedia from A to Z. He did it, too. He finished when he was twenty. Just before he met my mama."

"Where's he now?" I asked. "What's he do?" I wanted to know what had become of a man who'd set himself a goal like that.

"He'd dead," Olla said. [...]

—p.23 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago
24

It was an ugly baby. But, for all I know, I guess it didn't matter that much to Bud and Olla. Or if it did, maybe they simply thought, So okay if it's ugly. It's our baby. And this is just a stage. Pretty soon there'll be another stage. There is this stage and then there is the next stage. Things will be okay in the long run, once all the stages have been gone through. They might have thought something like that.

this hits me really hard for some reason

—p.24 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

It was an ugly baby. But, for all I know, I guess it didn't matter that much to Bud and Olla. Or if it did, maybe they simply thought, So okay if it's ugly. It's our baby. And this is just a stage. Pretty soon there'll be another stage. There is this stage and then there is the next stage. Things will be okay in the long run, once all the stages have been gone through. They might have thought something like that.

this hits me really hard for some reason

—p.24 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago
25

Later, after things had changed for us, and the kid had come along, all of that, Fran would look back on that evening at Bud's place as the beginning of the change. But she's wrong. The change came later - and when it came, it was like something that happened to other people, not something that could have happened to us.

[...]

Fran doesn't work at the creamery anymore, and she cut her hair a long time ago. She's gotten fat on me, too. We don't talk about it. What's to say?

—p.25 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

Later, after things had changed for us, and the kid had come along, all of that, Fran would look back on that evening at Bud's place as the beginning of the change. But she's wrong. The change came later - and when it came, it was like something that happened to other people, not something that could have happened to us.

[...]

Fran doesn't work at the creamery anymore, and she cut her hair a long time ago. She's gotten fat on me, too. We don't talk about it. What's to say?

—p.25 Feathers (3) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago
54

t came to him that he didn’t want to see the boy, after all. He was shocked by this realization and for a moment felt diminished by the meanness of it. He shook his head. In a lifetime of foolish actions, this trip was possibly the most foolish thing he’d ever done. But the fact was, he really had no desire to see this boy whose behaviour had long ago isolated him from Myers’ affections. He suddenly, and with great clarity, recalled the boy’s face when he had lunged that time, and a wave of bitterness passed over Myers. This boy had devoured Myers’ youth, had turned the young girl he had courted and wed into a nervous, alcoholic woman whom the boy alternately pitied and bullied. Why on earth, Myers asked himself, would he come all this way to see someone he disliked? He didn’t want to shake the boy’s hand, the hand of his enemy, nor have to clap him on the shoulder and make small-talk. He didn’t want to have to ask him about his mother.

—p.54 The Compartment (47) by Raymond Carver 11 months, 2 weeks ago

t came to him that he didn’t want to see the boy, after all. He was shocked by this realization and for a moment felt diminished by the meanness of it. He shook his head. In a lifetime of foolish actions, this trip was possibly the most foolish thing he’d ever done. But the fact was, he really had no desire to see this boy whose behaviour had long ago isolated him from Myers’ affections. He suddenly, and with great clarity, recalled the boy’s face when he had lunged that time, and a wave of bitterness passed over Myers. This boy had devoured Myers’ youth, had turned the young girl he had courted and wed into a nervous, alcoholic woman whom the boy alternately pitied and bullied. Why on earth, Myers asked himself, would he come all this way to see someone he disliked? He didn’t want to shake the boy’s hand, the hand of his enemy, nor have to clap him on the shoulder and make small-talk. He didn’t want to have to ask him about his mother.

—p.54 The Compartment (47) by Raymond Carver 11 months, 2 weeks ago
88

“Let me say how sorry I am,” the baker said, putting his elbows on the table. “God alone knows how sorry. Listen to me. I’m just a baker. I don’t claim to be anything else. Maybe once, maybe years ago, I was a different kind of human being. I’ve forgotten, I don’t know for sure. But I’m not any longer, if I ever was. Now I’m just a baker. That don’t excuse my doing what I did, I know. But I’m deeply sorry. I’m sorry for your son, and sorry for my part in this,” the baker said. He spread his hands out on the table and turned them over to reveal his palms. “I don’t have any children myself, so I can only imagine what you must be feeling. All I can say to you now is that I’m sorry. Forgive me, if you can,” the baker said. “I’m not an evil man, I don’t think. Not evil, like you said on the phone. You got to understand what it comes down to is I don’t know how to act anymore, it would seem. Please,” the man said, “let me ask you if you can find it in your hearts to forgive me?”

It was warm inside the bakery. Howard stood up from the table and took off his coat. He helped Ann from her coat. The baker looked at them for a minute and then nodded and got up from the table. He went to the oven and turned off some switches. He found cups and poured coffee from an electric coffee-maker. He put a carton of cream on the table, and a bowl of sugar.

“You probably need to eat something,” the baker said. “I hope you’ll eat some of my hot rolls. You have to eat and keep going. Eating is a small, good thing in a time like this,” he said.

He served them warm cinnamon rolls just out of the oven, the icing still runny. He put butter on the table and knives to spread the butter. Then the baker sat down at the table with them. He waited. He waited until they each took a roll from the platter and began to eat. “It’s good to eat something,” he said, watching them. “There’s more. Eat up. Eat all you want. There’s all the rolls in the world in here.”

They ate rolls and drank coffee. Ann was suddenly hungry, and the rolls were warm and sweet. She ate three of them, which pleased the baker. Then he began to talk. They listened carefully. Although they were tired and in anguish, they listened to what the baker had to say. They nodded when the baker began to speak of loneliness, and of the sense of doubt and limitation that had come to him in his middle years. He told them what it was like to be childless all these years. To repeat the days with the ovens endlessly full and endlessly empty. The party food, the celebrations he’d worked over Icing knuckle-deep. The tiny wedding couples stuck into cakes. Hundreds of them, no, thousands by now. Birthdays. Just imagine all those candles burning. He had a necessary trade. He was a baker. He was glad he wasn’t a florist. It was better to be feeding people. This was a better smell anytime than flowers.

a different ending to the story about the boy & his birthday cake

think about this in the context of: the baker just wanting to make ends meet, versus rebelling against the alienation of his labour and instead embracing his connections with other people

—p.88 A Small, Good Thing (59) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

“Let me say how sorry I am,” the baker said, putting his elbows on the table. “God alone knows how sorry. Listen to me. I’m just a baker. I don’t claim to be anything else. Maybe once, maybe years ago, I was a different kind of human being. I’ve forgotten, I don’t know for sure. But I’m not any longer, if I ever was. Now I’m just a baker. That don’t excuse my doing what I did, I know. But I’m deeply sorry. I’m sorry for your son, and sorry for my part in this,” the baker said. He spread his hands out on the table and turned them over to reveal his palms. “I don’t have any children myself, so I can only imagine what you must be feeling. All I can say to you now is that I’m sorry. Forgive me, if you can,” the baker said. “I’m not an evil man, I don’t think. Not evil, like you said on the phone. You got to understand what it comes down to is I don’t know how to act anymore, it would seem. Please,” the man said, “let me ask you if you can find it in your hearts to forgive me?”

It was warm inside the bakery. Howard stood up from the table and took off his coat. He helped Ann from her coat. The baker looked at them for a minute and then nodded and got up from the table. He went to the oven and turned off some switches. He found cups and poured coffee from an electric coffee-maker. He put a carton of cream on the table, and a bowl of sugar.

“You probably need to eat something,” the baker said. “I hope you’ll eat some of my hot rolls. You have to eat and keep going. Eating is a small, good thing in a time like this,” he said.

He served them warm cinnamon rolls just out of the oven, the icing still runny. He put butter on the table and knives to spread the butter. Then the baker sat down at the table with them. He waited. He waited until they each took a roll from the platter and began to eat. “It’s good to eat something,” he said, watching them. “There’s more. Eat up. Eat all you want. There’s all the rolls in the world in here.”

They ate rolls and drank coffee. Ann was suddenly hungry, and the rolls were warm and sweet. She ate three of them, which pleased the baker. Then he began to talk. They listened carefully. Although they were tired and in anguish, they listened to what the baker had to say. They nodded when the baker began to speak of loneliness, and of the sense of doubt and limitation that had come to him in his middle years. He told them what it was like to be childless all these years. To repeat the days with the ovens endlessly full and endlessly empty. The party food, the celebrations he’d worked over Icing knuckle-deep. The tiny wedding couples stuck into cakes. Hundreds of them, no, thousands by now. Birthdays. Just imagine all those candles burning. He had a necessary trade. He was a baker. He was glad he wasn’t a florist. It was better to be feeding people. This was a better smell anytime than flowers.

a different ending to the story about the boy & his birthday cake

think about this in the context of: the baker just wanting to make ends meet, versus rebelling against the alienation of his labour and instead embracing his connections with other people

—p.88 A Small, Good Thing (59) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago
97

Patti said, 'Vitamins.' She picked up her glass and swirled the ice. 'For shit sake! I mean, when I was a girl this is the last thing I ever saw myself doing. Jesus, I never thought I'd grow up to sell vitamins. Door-to-door vitamins. This beats everything. This blows my mind.'

'I never thought so either, honey,' I said.

'That's right,' she said. 'You said it in a nutshell.'

'Honey.'

'Don't honey me,' she said. 'This is hard, brother. This life is not easy, any way you cut it.'

—p.97 Vitamins (91) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

Patti said, 'Vitamins.' She picked up her glass and swirled the ice. 'For shit sake! I mean, when I was a girl this is the last thing I ever saw myself doing. Jesus, I never thought I'd grow up to sell vitamins. Door-to-door vitamins. This beats everything. This blows my mind.'

'I never thought so either, honey,' I said.

'That's right,' she said. 'You said it in a nutshell.'

'Honey.'

'Don't honey me,' she said. 'This is hard, brother. This life is not easy, any way you cut it.'

—p.97 Vitamins (91) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago
112

[...] But some days he didn't drink any coffee. He forgot, or else he just didn't feel like coffee. One morning he woke up and promptly fell to eating crumb doughnuts and drinking champagne. There'd been a time, some years back, when he would have laughed at having a breakfast like this. Now, there didn't seem to be anything very unusual about it. In fact, he hadn't thought anything about it until he was in bed and trying to recall the things he'd done that day, starting with when he'd gotten up that morning. At first, he couldn't remember anything noteworthy. Then he rembered eating those doughnuts and drinking champagne. Time was when he would have considered this a mildly crazy thing to do, something to tell friends about. Then, the more he thought aobut it, the more he could see it didn't matter much one way or the other. He'd had doughnuts and champagne for breakfast. So what?

—p.112 Careful (111) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

[...] But some days he didn't drink any coffee. He forgot, or else he just didn't feel like coffee. One morning he woke up and promptly fell to eating crumb doughnuts and drinking champagne. There'd been a time, some years back, when he would have laughed at having a breakfast like this. Now, there didn't seem to be anything very unusual about it. In fact, he hadn't thought anything about it until he was in bed and trying to recall the things he'd done that day, starting with when he'd gotten up that morning. At first, he couldn't remember anything noteworthy. Then he rembered eating those doughnuts and drinking champagne. Time was when he would have considered this a mildly crazy thing to do, something to tell friends about. Then, the more he thought aobut it, the more he could see it didn't matter much one way or the other. He'd had doughnuts and champagne for breakfast. So what?

—p.112 Careful (111) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago
184

[...] "[...] For a while, my wife and I loved each other more than anything or anybody in the world. And that includes those children. We thought, well, we knew that we'd grow old together. And we knew we'd do all the things in the world that we wanted to do, and do them together." He shook his head. That seemed the saddest thing of all to him now - that whatever they did from now on, each would do it without the other.

[...]

[...] he backed up and started at the beginning, back when Eileen was eighteen and he was nineteen, a boy and girl in love, burning with it.

—p.184 Fever (157) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago

[...] "[...] For a while, my wife and I loved each other more than anything or anybody in the world. And that includes those children. We thought, well, we knew that we'd grow old together. And we knew we'd do all the things in the world that we wanted to do, and do them together." He shook his head. That seemed the saddest thing of all to him now - that whatever they did from now on, each would do it without the other.

[...]

[...] he backed up and started at the beginning, back when Eileen was eighteen and he was nineteen, a boy and girl in love, burning with it.

—p.184 Fever (157) by Raymond Carver 1 year ago