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Cathedral Essay & Criticism

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Critical Overview

The short story "Cathedral" first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in 1981. The story was very well-received and was selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories, 1982 before appearing as the title story in the 1983 collection, Cathedral. The story became the most widely anthologized story by Carver, and critics continued to find reasons to discuss its merits during the years following its publication.

Early reviewers of the collection singled out "Cathedral" as a story that broke new ground for Carver. Bruce Allen, for example, in a review for The Christian Science Monitor argued that the story was "the best example so far of the way Raymond Carver's accomplished miniaturist art is stretching itself, exploring new territories." Likewise, Josh Rubins in The New York Review of Books found, that unlike many of Carver's earlier stories, "'Fever' and 'Cathedral' are tales of salvation, uplift wrested from the most unpromising human...

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This section contains 669 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Cathedral Study Guide
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Cathedral from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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