The Gordon Lish Effect: The Bath Vs. A Small Good Thing

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b) - The Gordon Lish´s effect : "The Bath" versus "A Small, Good Thing"

In 1970, after working at several low paid jobs Raymond Carver finally got his first white-collar job as textbook editor in Palo Alto. It was then, after sending some stories to Esquire, when he met Gordon Lish, who was the fiction editor for the magazine (Carver, Collected Stories 744). It was in Esquire wherein 1971; Carver had his first story published in a national magazine. The title of the story was originally “The Neighbors”, but Lish renamed the story by deleting the article to “Neighbors”. Gordon Lish became his editor and mentor and made an important contribution to the development of Carver´s writing style. In the collection What We Talk When We Talk About Love, Lish became more involved in the editing process, reducing the size of the stories and the name of the titles. As Carver was so unconfident after years of alcohol abuse, he accepted the heavy edition that Lish made to his original
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This act is purifying for her as "it is as physical and overpowering as nausea that succeeds it, and the emotion and the sensation are as honest and undeniable as her recognition that her son´s death was not fair" (Facknitz 292). In this moment, the baker realises his mistake and after apologies to the parents offers them coffee and cakes. While eating he tells them about his own loneliness and desolation, sharing some kind of spiritual communion. As Raymond Carver said "The couple is able to accept the death of their child. That´s Positive. There´s a communion of sorts" (Carver, Stories Don 't Come Out of Thin Air). Also the baker, who appears from the beginning of the story as a soulless character, finally achieves humanity by telling the couple about his own bleak life. The story ends at dawn in a hopeful tone for the
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