Saturday, November 18, 2006


Continuing on the tail of several posts over the last week or so that I’ll call “Me Posts” where I discussed the various work I have done, my education, my spiritual (or lack there of) ideas and how I was inspired by Alan Watts and Les Krims.

I grew up as a reader. My early years were filled with Jean Shepherd, of whom I will blog about on another day. Today I want to talk about the writer who inspired me most. Richard Brautigan opened my eyes and mind to reading and creative writing. I’ll never forget the pictures he would paint with words.

He would write of love, yet he always seemed strangely lonely. My favorite statement of declared love was when he wrote the phrase, “I’d walk 10 miles barefoot on a frosty morning just to stand in her shit.” Christ, haven’t we all been that in love once in our lives? Nothing matters, only the emotion in its purest form.

This short article will barely hint at the complex person Brautigan was. I constantly re-read his books even to this day, and with each reading I glean just a little more.

I once went to San Francisco and had my photograph taken on the steps where he was photographed for the cover of his book The Abortion, the Historical Romance of 1966(see photo above). I was photographed by the statue in Washington Square Park where the cover of Trout Fishing in America was shot. I took a photo of the house on Beaver Street where he wrote Trout Fishing in America.

I cried the night I when I read in the paper that Brautigan had taken his own life. I was on the West Coast at the time (not living here yet). I called all my other Brautigan devotee friends on the East coast. It was 2am for them when I called. They knew I would take it badly. I still get choked up when I think about it and the circumstance of his death.

There was some light at the end of the tunnel, though. Previous forgotten works (Pun not intended, but pretty damn good if you ask me) were published since his death, and his daughter Ianthe wrote a book about him called, “You Can’t Catch Death.”

Fortunately Richard left behind a good body of work. When I’m feeling Mellon collie, there is always something on my book shelf that tells me I have a brother in angst waiting to guide me in another journey .

Brautigan once wrote, "All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds."


Blogger Boo7 said...

Sounds like an interesting, complex man....after reading your post I went in search of some more about him on the internet. Very tragic ending, even more so considering some sources are saying he might have been laying in his cabin dead for a month!!

I love this quote........

Brautigan once wrote, "All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds."

10:44 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

The two books of his that I would say are must reads are In Watermellon Sugar and So The Wind Dosen't Blow It All Away,(Dust, American Dust).

It is said that hes answering machine sounded freakish which lead people to search him out after he was dead.

1:50 PM  

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