Re: RARA-AVIS: RARA AVIS, Crumley, Hugo, carver

Date: 14 Jul 2000

Dennis McMillan published WHORES in his first incarnation as a publisher. Later, Dan Gerber published an extended version of essentially the same book when he had his Clark City Press, with a cover design by the incomparable Russ Chatham, under the title MUDDY FORK & OTHER THINGS. I mispoke a bit: In the intro to MUDDY FORK, "A Short but Interesting Literary History of Orphans," Crumley says he has had "the pleasure of long friendships with Raymond Carver, Andre Dubus, and Bill Kittredge, a sort of trinity of the American short story." Crumley was a student at Iowa while Carver was there; presumably they met in a classroom setting.

Certainly Dick Hugo was in part the model for Abraham Trahearne from THE LAST GOOD KISS, one of the finest post-World War II novels written by an American, in my humble opinion. Crumley also dedicated KISS to Hugo and used one of Hugo's poems as the inscription for the book. Interestingly enough, Hugo was also one of the persons to whom Crumley dedicated MUDDY FORK. Hugo was a top American poet teaching at Missoula when Crumley settled there. It was well known that Hugo was a lover of crime fiction and wrote a topnotch mystery novel himself, DEATH AND THE GOOD LIFE (also reprinted in a terrific Clark City Press edition, with an introduction by James Welch). I suspect that Crumley, at his core a literay writer, and Hugo had some interesting conversations as the snows fell on Missoula during the dark days of winter.


"Kip" wrote:

>Both Crumley and Jackson came through the University of Iowa Writers
>Workshop at the time Carver was teaching there. Jackson profiles Carver
>in his brief memoir, RIDIN' WITH RAY -- and it's not a very pretty
>profile. I believe that it is in the interview in WHORES/MUDDY FORK

Dixon Chandler Wrote: I have Whores (although I can't lay my hands on it right now, it's somewhere around here...), and I don't think there's such an essay in there. I don't know MUDDY FORK, is it a reprint of Whores? Alternate title w/ different contents? Or maybe I'm wrong about Whores--the memory will do that to you.

In any case, I'd also like to toss out the question: hasn't Crumley mentioned he was influenced by the poet Richard Hugo as well (whom, I believe, taught at Iowa for awhile)? Any comments on this connection?

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