Raymond Carver isn’t going anywhere. This is what you say to me, say, “You know, Raymond Carver isn’t going anywhere,” in lieu I guess of saying, “You’re driving too fast,” even though it’s my driving that you really want to comment on. It’s not because I’m concerned that Raymond Carver’s going anywhere that I’m driving too fast, and in fact don’t really think I’m driving too fast at all, maintaining a perfectly acceptable speed between 7 and 10 miles over the limit, which is, yes, over the limit but not enough to warrant a ticket and also going with the flow of traffic. I also don’t think Raymond Carver is going anywhere or for that matter is anywhere at all anymore, and even if he was somewhere certainly not there, not where we’re going, which is his grave and repository for the physical remains of what was Raymond Carver but isn’t Raymond Carver anymore, though I doubt you intend to get into a metaphysical debate and merely mean to just ask me to slow down.
Originally published November 11, 2016 in december, Volume 27.2.