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Reading Groups

In Short: Love in Raymond Carver's "Beginners" with Matilda Lin Berke


1 Session

In stock

Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT July 16, 2024

Online via Zoom

In the original manuscript of “Beginners”—a more vulnerable, sensitive, and arguably contemporary version of the story that went to print in 1981—Raymond Carver explores variations on the theme of love. This single-session “In Short” group situates “Beginners” in today’s context: a differently atomized world in which the dual processes of “understanding” and “engineering” love have become a taxonomic structure, a business model, and a mass paranoid fixation.

Participants should read the original draft of Carver’s short story “Beginners” ahead of the course (p. 179). The Gordon Lish-edited version of the same story—which initially appeared as “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”—is optional and interesting, but won’t be our focus.

What to Expect from This Group: While I will provide prompts throughout the discussion to structure and guide our thinking, the session will be relatively conversational—especially given the nature of this course, I’m interested in the perspectives you bring to the table.

Please Note: All virtual classes are recorded. Please click here for information about our recording policy. A link to the story will be sent upon registration.

Led by

  • Matilda Lin Berke copy

    Matilda Lin Berke

    Matilda Lin Berke

    Matilda Lin Berke is from Los Angeles. Now she lives in New York. She writes theory for Spike Art Magazine; you can find her short fiction and poetry in various places. She is working on a collection of machine essays; a novel, Industry Plant; and “Girlblogging,” a column at Filmmaker Magazine.