octubre 2019
« Sep    

Raymond Carver

[1938 – 1988]
¤   Cathedral   ←[read]   ⇓    Listen 

•  Plot Overview

The narrator says that his wife’s blind friend, whose wife has just died, is going to spend the night at their house. He is not happy about this visitor and the man’s blindness unsettles him. He explains that his wife met the blind man ten years ago when she worked for him as a reader to the blind in Seattle. He says that on the last day of her job there, the blind man touched her face and she wrote a poem about the experience. The narrator then describes his wife’s past. She married her childhood sweetheart and became an officer’s wife. Unhappy with her life, she tried to commit suicide one night by swallowing pills, but she survived. She and the blind man kept in touch by sending audiotapes back and forth to each other throughout her marriage, and she told everything to the blind man on tapes.

The narrator’s wife goes to pick up the blind man at the train station as the narrator waits at the house. The wife introduces the narrator to the blind man, whose name is Robert. They all sit in the living room. He pours scotch for the lot, and they talk about Robert’s trip. Robert smokes several cigarettes.  They sit down for dinner and eat ravenously, not speaking, eating so much that they are dazed. After dinner, they go back to the living room to drink more. The wife and Robert talk about things that have happened to them in the past ten years, while the narrator occasionally tries to join in. When Robert asks him questions, he makes only short responses. The narrator then turns on the television, irritating his wife, who goes upstairs to change clothes.

The narrator offers Robert some pot, and they have some smoke. His wife joins them when she comes back, but she immediately falls asleep. The narrator changes the channel and asks Robert if he wants to go to bed. Robert says he’ll stay up with him so that they can do some talking. There is a program about the Middle Ages on television; Robert says he likes learning things. When the TV speaker doesn’t describe what’s happening, the narrator tries to explain to Robert what’s going on. The TV speaker begins talking about cathedrals, showing different ones in different countries. The narrator asks Robert whether he has any idea what a cathedral looks like. Robert says he doesn’t and asks the narrator to describe one. The narrator tries, but he knows he doesn’t do a very good job.

Then Robert asks the narrator to find a piece of paper and pen. They both sit around the coffee table, and Robert tells the narrator to draw a cathedral. He puts his hand over the narrator’s hand, following the movement of the pen. The narrator draws and draws, getting wrapped up in what he’s doing. When his wife wakes up and asks what’s going on,  she just can’t understand.

Robert tells the narrator to close his eyes and keep drawing, and the narrator does so. Soon Robert tells him to open his eyes and see what he’s drawn, but the narrator doesn’t: he knows he’s in his own home, but he feels like he’s nowhere. With his eyes still closed, he says the drawing is “really something.”


Φ  Five short stories  ⇓  [esl-bits.net]

1) – I Could See the Smallest Things      

2) – Mr. Coffee & Mr. Fix-it  

3) – Sacks      

4) – So Much Water So Close To Home

5) – What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

≈  where water comes together with other water …  [poem]
I love creeks and the music they make.
And rills, in glades and meadows, before they have a chance to become creeks.
I may even love them best of all for their secrecy.
I almost forgot to say something about the source!
Can anything be more wonderful than a spring?
But the big streams have my heart too.
And the places streams flow into rivers.
The open mouths of rivers where they join the sea.
The places where water comes together with other water.
Those places stand out in my mind like holy places. 
But these coastal rivers!
I love them the way some men love horses or glamorous women.
I have a thing for this cold swift water.
Just looking at it makes my blood run and my skin tingle.
I could sit and watch these rivers for hours.
Not one of them like any other.
I’m 45 years old today.
Would anyone believe it if I said I was once 35?
My heart empty and sere at 35!
Five more years had to pass before it began to flow again.
I’ll take all the time I please this afternoon
before leaving my place alongside this river.
It pleases me, loving rivers.
Loving them all the way back to their source.
Loving everything that increases me.

Deja un comentario

Puede utilizar estas etiquetas HTML

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




Este sitio usa Akismet para reducir el spam. Aprende cómo se procesan los datos de tus comentarios.