Raymond Carver‘s 1983 collection of short stories, “Cathedral,” is a powerful and deeply affecting work of fiction. The book is comprised of twelve stories, each one exploring the lives of ordinary people struggling to make sense of their own experiences and relationships.
At the heart of the collection is Carver’s remarkable ability to capture the nuances of human interaction and emotion. His characters are complex and flawed, and his prose is spare and evocative. Through his stories, Carver explores some of the most fundamental questions of human existence, from the nature of love and intimacy to the meaning of life itself.
One of the most striking aspects of “Cathedral” is its focus on the everyday struggles of ordinary people. Carver’s characters are not the wealthy and powerful, but rather the working class and the struggling. They are people who are trying to make their way in the world, often against great odds, and who are struggling to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
In the title story, “Cathedral.” a blind man comes to visit a couple, and the narrator, who is initially uncomfortable with the man’s presence, learns to see the world in a new and more profound way. Through this simple premise, Carver explores themes of isolation and connection and the ways in which our perceptions of the world around us can be limited by our own prejudices and preconceptions.
This collection of short stories, one of the best ever published in the American literary landscape is both powerful and poignant and offers insights into the human experience that are both profound and deeply moving.