Raymond Carver on his past

INTERVIEWER

Do you regret a lot of things that happened back then when things were so bad?

CARVER

I can’t change anything now. I can’t afford to regret. That life is simply gone now, and I can’t regret its passing. I have to live in the present. The life back then is gone just as surely—it’s as remote to me as if it had happened to somebody I read about in a nineteenth-century novel. I don’t spend more than five minutes a month in the past. The past really is a foreign country, and they do do things differently there. Things happen. I really do feel I’ve had two different lives.

rest of the interview at the Paris Review