A story about a "crazy" old lady who fills her house with vases of flowers ends with a sententious bit of irrelevance: Overheard remarks, incongruous occurrences, sense impressions, the shape of buildings or the look of people, the color of the weather—all this mixed in with memories, girls, places, jotting in a notebook, made by a man with nothing pressing on him, no compulsion to put it all in perspective, interpret it, drive it to the wall and ask "What does it mean?
For several years now, Richard Brautigan has been offering us his own peculiar tour of America: In each of his modes—as poet, novelist, or short story writer—Brautigan is essentially an anecdotist, delivering bundles of bizarre incidents that strike him as funny, or touching, or stark and unsettling.
Occasionally someone will slip off to an outlying province called Mexico for new sandals, dope, or an abortion. America has been damned by its writers before for its materialism, but seldom has that indictment been put with such charming and amusing simplicity, and with such daring in paradox.
In that material realm, as Auden put it, "poetry makes nothing happen. Once in a while a piece will rise to poetry.
The protagonist virtually lives in the bathroom of the YMCA, talking to himself "with the light out. Why else would it occur to him to replace his plumbing with poetry?
If the protagonist is a birthright millionaire, we can similarly take it for granted that he will wind up living in a room at the San Lawn boy returns book report YMCA. It is raining and they are getting soaked, but they stand there, staring, silent. His mad insistence is that poetry cannot be "real" unless it is materially useful; that is, that spiritual values count for nothing unless they can be converted into material values.
A sudden sight, on a beach near Monterey, of a group of "frog people," boys and girls dressed in black rubber suits with yellow oxygen tanks, eating watermelon. A man who "looked if life had given him an endless stream of two-timing girlfriends, five-day drunks and cars with bad transmissions.
Tinting With Literature Brautigan has a good feeling for the American past, for small towns and the erosion of life styles, that is surprising in a man only in his middle thirties. Edited by Peter Freese.
The Pacific Northwest is a recurrent setting for his work; indeed, the rugged landscape of that countryside and such local activities as trout-fishing and deer-hunting are often the subjects of his fiction. That is, physical beings who just like himself need toilets but who are capable of creating the spiritual contradiction that is poetry would be hard to understand for this one-track mind.
His malaise is succinctly explained by his retreat to the YMCA. Most mornings, there was a guy named Dick in the next booth, reading The New York Times and chuckling over little items he found in it that amused him.
Thus he returns to the theme of Trout Fishing in Americawhere distant waterfalls turn out to be white staircases and where ten-room trailers from New York fill the Challis National Park.
In fact Brautigan pushes their eccentricities to the brink of caricature. The image of a girl returns to him "like a pale marble movie. Madness is the point here.
In its insistent reality, poetry is always a little presumptuous in this way. Somebody in the town has shot two bear cubs and a practical joker dresses them up—one in a white silk negligee—and sits them in a car.
Tracking the ghost of his childhood through that Pacific mist, Brautigan tends to sound more like the Hemingway of the Nick Adams stories than like Mark Twain.
This confusion of levels of reality is not surprising in one who profits in insanity. While Brautigan first began to establish his reputation as a poet, often gave poetry readings at universities, and for a time was poet-in-residence at Cal Tech University, it was a curious novel titled Trout Fishing in America.
For obviously the hare-brained protagonist of this story has heard something of that sort. Whereas the poetry fails to become literal plumbing, religion has made the transformation successfully, in a sense, and is now more plumbing than not.
The insane asylum, for example, "was one of those places that do not look like an insane asylum. Despite the strongly autobiographical tone of his poems, short stories, and novels, Richard Brautigan remains an elusive figure.
He moved to San Francisco in and quickly became known to such local writers as Laurence Ferlinghetti, Robert Duncan, and Michael McClure, beginning to establish for himself a modest reputation as a poet.
The "typical" Brautigan tale would have to be a mongrelization of all these modes. No sweat, man, you take it as it comes. Finally be tosses a coin and the book loses.Get the latest breaking news across the U.S.
on ultimedescente.com Lawn Boy Returns [Gary Paulsen] on ultimedescente.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Gary Paulsen’s funny follow-up to Lawn Boy is full of big surprises and big laughs. Lawn Boy says: The summer I was twelve.
Lawn Boy was one of a number of Summer reading books chosen for reading by our 10 year old prior to 6th grade; a grade or two above or below would be this book.
Brautigan > Revenge of the Lawn. This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about Richard Brautigan's collection of stories, Revenge of the Lawn: StoriesPublished inthis collection of sixty-two stories was Brautigan's first published book of stories.
Publication and background information is.Download