On Raymond Smith

Mark Sarvas reports the death of Raymond Smith, husband of Joyce Carol Oates. Oates’ wrote about their relationship often in her diary: here’s the entry for November 24, 1979, taken from her collected diary entries published last year:

Yesterday, the nineteenth anniversary of our engagement. Since we had been seeing each other every day for a month, having meals together, studying together in Ray’s apartment, we came to the conclusion that we might as well get married: which necessitated becoming engaged. It all happened rather quickly, yet not dizzyingly, I had anticipated from the first that we would be married–though perhaps not so quickly–we planned originally for June, when my semester was over and I had my M.A. But it soon came to seem impractical. And so January–January 23–and that was it. (And I went about afterward thinking, and occasionally even saying aloud, how marvelous marriage was–how one couldn’t imagine, beforehand–simply couldn’t imagine. The transition from “I” to “we.” No, one simply can’t imagine…. And I rather doubt that I can imagine the reverse, either.

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