Story-geek: ‘Raymond is no longer with us—Carver is dead’ by Ognjen Spahic, vs. Little Things by Raymond Carver

In both stories, a couple is arguing. In the Carver story a couple argue over which of them should get custody of their baby when they split up. In the Spahic story, a man goes out drinking, and borrows a book by Raymond Carver for his pregnant wife, but decides he does not want her to read it – it is depressing. They argue over the book.

The final lines of both stories are very similar:

Carver ‘Little Things’

In the near-dark he worked on her fisted fingers with one hand and with the other hand he gripped the screaming baby up under an arm near the shoulder.

She felt her fingers being forced open. She felt the baby going from her.

No! she screamed just as her hands came loose.

She would have it, this baby. She grabbed for the baby’s other arm. She caught the baby around the wrist and leaned back.

But he would not let go. He felt the baby slipping out of his hands and he pulled back very hard.

In this manner, the issue was decided.

Raymond is no longer with us—Carver is dead. (Ognjen Spahic)

In the near-dark he worked on her fisted fingers with one hand. With the other he gripped the book. She felt Carver going from her.

“No!” she screamed just as her hands came loose.

Today she would read. She would have this damn book.

She caught one of the covers and a dozen pages and leaned back. But he would not let go. He felt the book slipping out of his hands and he pulled back very hard.

In this manner, the issue was decided.

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Incidentally, Spahic’s novel Hansen’s Children came out in English recently.

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