"There Is Absolutely No Way To Tell Whose Hand Swiped That Black Marker Over Page After Page Of That Manuscript"

Emily Gould · 10/17/07 03:00PM

In response to our take on the tug of war over the publication of early drafts of Raymond Carver's best-known stories came a small excellent email: "As a grad student, I sat for a week in the Lilly Library at Indiana University poring over Gordon Lish's papers, after exactly what Tess Gallagher is/was/will be forever after—to expose Lish as the man behind the curtain and Caver as an unsullied genius. I read hardly anything in grad school but Carver and Faulkner (I know) and read anything I could get my hands on looking for the holy grail that is Authorial Intent. As I went through the Lish papers, reading manuscript copies of "The Bath"/"A Small, Good Thing" (where in the first Lish-edited version you don't know if Scotty dies and where in the second Carver reinstated the ending) I found lots of black ink, and a good 2000+ plus words of scenes and dialogue that didn't make it into any published draft I saw, but that significantly changed the story."