Brautigan > Obituaries, Memoirs, Tributes

This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about obituaries, memoirs, and tributes written for Richard Brautigan after his death in 1984. Use the menu tabs below to learn more.

Background

Praise written for individuals following death often takes one of three forms: obituaries, memoirs, or tributes. Such praise seeks to honor the dead, reflect upon their life achievements, and assure their memory.

Many obituaries, memoirs, and tributes were written for, and about, Richard Brautigan following his death in 1984. Some reflect personal experiences shared with Brautigan. Others seek to affix his place in American literature. All provide insights into Brautigan's life and writing.

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Obituaries

Obituaries generally summarize a person's life. Obituaries were, according to Brautigan, all that remains of a person after death, a summary of that person's life. He enjoyed reading obituaries and wondered what his would say.

Reflections
"God, all the shit
that is going to be written
about me
after I am dead."
Tokyo, 2/10/84

Anonymous. "Bernard Brautigan." Detroit Free Press, 29 Oct. 1984, p. 14F.

Bernard Brautigan, 76, is one surprised man. He only just learned he was the father of author Richard Brautigan after Richard's apparent suicide last week. A retired laborer in Tacoma, Brautigan was divorced from his wife, Mary Lula Folston [sic; should be Lulu Mary], who never revealed she was pregnant when the couple split. Brautigan got the news via his sister-in-law. Only the proof of birth records and confirmation from his ex-wife convinced him. Said a shaken Brautigan, "I don't know nothing about him. He's got the same last name, but why would they wait 45 to 50 years to tell me I've got a son."

Anonymous. "Body Discovered in California Is Believed to Be Brautigan's." The New York Times, 26 Oct. 1984, Sec.2, p. 6.

"A body discovered yesterday by the police in a house in Bolinas, Calif., was believed to be the remains of Richard Brautigan, a quixotic counterculture poet and writer, his publisher said.

"The police who entered the house in the seaside town 16 miles north of San Francisco discovered the body of a man who appeared to have been dead for several weeks, the Marin County Sheriff's office said. But the police said they were not yet releasing the identity of the deceased.

"According to Seymour Lawrence, Mr. Brautigan's publisher at Delacorte Press in New York, the body was Mr. Brautigan's. Among his books were: "Trout Fishing in America," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," and "In Watermelon Sugar.""

Anonymous. "Brautigan." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 27 Oct. 1984.

Writer Richard Brautigan was found dead in his home and apparently had committed suicide, but the coroner's office says it will not announce its findings until

The body of Brautigan, 49, was found Thursday by friends who became concerned because they had not heard from him for several weeks.

Investigators said he had been dead for a long time, making it difficult to fix the cause of his death, but a pistol was found near the body and the wall was splattered with blood.

However, the Marin County Coroner's office said it would announce its official findings Monday.

David Fechheimer, a San Francisco private investigator who knew the long-haired writer well, said Brautigan had been preparing his death in recent weeks, getting his affairs in order.

"Ironically," said Fechheimer, "he seemed to be in better shape in the last few months than he had for a long time. He had a difficult divorce four or five years ago, and it seemed as though he had finally got over it.

"In retrospect, I guess it was plain he thought he was coming to the end. He had deep emotional problems," Fechheimer said. "He complained about his back hurting him and he had problems with his teeth, for example.

"If they say it was suicide, there is no question but that I believe it."

Brautigan was an unknown Haight-Ashbury poet in San Francisco when he wrote "Trout Fishing in America" in 1967 and became a best-selling author and guru to the hippie movement.

Anonymous. "Brautigan." UPI News. Dateline: Tacoma, WA, 27 Oct. 1984.

The death of author Richard Brautigan shocked a Tacoma man who learned for the first time he was the 49-year-old writer's father.

Bernard Brautigan, 76, a retired laborer, discovered his relationship to the Tacoma-born writer Friday in a telephone call from his ex-sister-in-law.

The novelist's body was discovered Thursday with a pistol nearby in his secluded home near Bolinas, Calif., and investigators said the death was an apparent suicide.

The author attained fame with his novel, "Trout Fishing in America," which sold 2 million copies, and other works giving voice to the counter-culture of the 1960s.

Bernard Brautigan was formerly married to an Eugene, Ore., woman who gave birth to Richard on Jan. 30, 1935, the Tacoma-News Tribune reported Saturday.

But Mary Lula Folston, who moved from Tacoma to Eugene 40 years ago, did not tell the elder Brautigan that Richard was his son until he died this week.

Folston asked her sister, Evelyn Fjetland of Tacoma, to contact the elder Brautigan and tell him of the death.

"I hadn't heard from Evelyn since before we were divorced," Brautigan said.

At first he did not believe the story and he said he called his ex-wife, whom he had not seen in 50 years. The Brautigans separated shortly after she became pregnant.

The newspaper confirmed Brautigan's relationship to the author by obtaining a copy of the author's birth certificate at the Pierce County Health Department.

Folston, who later remarried and had three children, told the paper her ex-husband had "asked me if Richard was his son, and I said, no. I told him I found Richard in the gutter. I just packed my things in a bag and left. Richard never questioned who his father was and never was interested in it."

Bernard Brautigan said he knew nothing about his famous son, whose face adorned with a droopy moustache and wire-rim glasses was familiar to vast numbers.

"I never read any of his books," he said. "When I was called by Evelyn, she told me about Richard and said she was sorry about his death. I said, 'who's Richard?'

"I don't know nothing about him. He's got the same last name, but why would they wait 45 to 50 years to tell me I've got a son."

Anonymous. "Brautigan Death." AP News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 27 Oct. 1984.

Richard Brautigan, the author laureate of the hippie generation whose apparent suicide was discovered last week, had been preparing for death for some time and was want to "get drunk and shoot things," friends said.

"Toward the end of summer he seemed to be taking care of a number of housekeeping details," said David Fechheimer, a private investigator in San Francisco who was one of the friends who found Brautigan. Fechheimer said the writer cleaned out his office in San Francisco and put the belongings in storage.

He said Brautigan, 49, who reached the height of his fame during the 1960s with a collection of vignettes called "Trout Fishing in America," had a particularly hard time four or five years ago after his second divorce.

"It seemed as though he had finally gotten over it," Fechheimer siad, but like many of the writer's other friends, he added that Brautigan had a long history of heavy drinking and depression."

"He had deep emotional troubles," Fechhmeier said.

Ken Kelley, a fellow writer and friend, said Brautigan's lifestyle at his 80-acre ranch in Montana gave an indication of the sometimes depressed and violent nature of the 49-year-old author.

"The house was full of bullet holes . . . Richard liked to get drunk and shoot things," Kelly said.

Kelly said he has spoken with Brautigan's neighbors in Montana, including actor Peter Fonda, since the apparent suicide.

"Up there you had a bunch of artistic weirdos living in rancher country. And the artists seemed compelled to compete in macho terms against the cowboys, and then tried to out-macho each other," Kelly said.

"Every night seemed to be boy's night out. You had to get drunk and get your gun and shoot off more bullets than the other guy," he added.

He said the books Brautigan wrote in Montana were much more violent than the hippie-era novels that first gained him literary attention. "Trout Fishing" sold 2 million coipies and has remained a cult favorite.

The coroner's office in Marin County said a positive identification of the body found in Brautigan's Bolinas home last week would have to wait until dental records were obtained Monday.

The boody had been dead for about a month, they say, and the sheriff's office said a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head appeared to be the cause of death and that they were treating the incident as a suicide.

Anonymous. "Brautigan Death Called Self-Inflicted." Great Falls Tribune 28 October 1984, p. 3C.

Richard Brautigan, a literary idol of the 1960s, who eventually feel out of fashion, was found dead Thursday at his secluded house in Bolinas, Calif. The Marin County coroner's office reported that the author of "Trout Fishing in America" apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound four or five weeks ago. He was 49 years old.

"He told everyone he was going away on a hunting trip," Helen Brann, Brautigan's literary agent, said Friday. "He did disappear from time to time when he was working on a new novel, as he was at the time, so we never worried." Brautigan's body was discovered by two of the writer's friends.

Brautigan had been troubled and drinking heavily, according to Seymour Lawrence, who published a number of Brautigan's books, and Thomas McGuane, the novelist.

None of his early books sold well in the beginning, including "Trout Fishing in America," his second novel.

Brautigan became a familiar figure in the Bay Area of California, handing out copies of his poetry in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury and Berkeley.

But Brautigan began developing a reputation in the literary underground. "In 1968, a client of mine phoned from the West Coast and said this writer is enormously talented and you should take him on," Brann said. She promptly offered three of his books at an auction, at which Lawrence bid the most.

The sincerity and the disconnected, elliptical style that so charmed critics and readers in those days eventually began to pall. For example, reviewing "The Tokyo-Montana Express," a Brautigan novel published in 1980, Barry Yourgrau, a poet, wrote in The Times Book Review: "He is now a longhair in his mid-40s, and across his habitually wistful good humor there now creep shadows of ennui and dullness, and too easily aroused sadness."

Brautigan did not care about the opinion of critics, Brann said. "But what he couldn't bear was losing the readers. He really cared about his audience. The fact that his readership was diminishing was what was breaking his heart."

Brautigan, born in Spokane, Wash., moved to Bolinas about a year ago. Previously he divided his time between San Francisco and a small ranch near Livingston, Mont.

Married and divorced twice, Brautigan is survived by a daughter, Ianthe Swenson of Los Angeles.

Anonymous. "Brautigan-Obit." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 25 Oct. 1984.

Author Richard Brautigan, whose 1967 novel, "Trout Fishing in America" turned him from an unknown Haight-Ashbury poet to best selling author, was found dead in his home Thursday. He was 49.

Authorities said the body was found by two friends who had become alarmed because they had not seen or heard from the long-haired writer in several weeks.

The Marin County coroner's office said Brautigan had been dead for some time and began an investigation into the cause of his death.

Brautigan was a struggling writer in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district until he published "Trout Fishing in America." It sold 2 million copies. He followed that with "Confederate General from Big Sur."

Other novels included "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn" and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance."

But Brautigan had been criticized in recent years for failing to live up to his early promise and friends said his latest years had not been happy ones and that he had been drinking heavily.

Brautigan was born in Spokane, Wash., and suffered complications from appendicitis that nearly cost him his life when he was 8 years old.

Asked if [he] was afraid of death when he was 45, Brautigan replied, "I have no fear of it at all. I'm interested in life. People wouldn't take life seriously if they didn't know it would turn dark on them."

Brautigan spent much of his time in recent years in Japan and also had a ranch in Livingston, Mont., where his neighbors included author Tom McGuane, actor Peter Fonda and artist Russell Chatham.

Brautigan is survived by a daughter from his marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970.

Anonymous. "Brautigan-Obit." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 Oct. 1984.

Author Richard Brautigan, whose 1967 novel "Trout Fishing in America" made him a literary hero of the 1960s counterculture, is dead, the apparent victim of suicide. He was 49.

The body was discovered Thursday in the secluded house where he lived alone near Bolinas by two friends who were concerned because Brautigan had not been seen or heard in several weeks.

Close to the body was a pistol. The Marin County coroner's office reported an apparent gunshot wound that was "apparently self-inflicted" four or five weeks ago. Decomposition was so advanced a dental chart will be needed to make identification certain.

Brautigan was a unknown San Francisco poet when he published "Trout Fishing in America," which sold two million copies. Another work, "Confederate General from Big Sur," gave voice to the hippie generation.

The whimsy, satire, humor and strange and detailed observations in his style made his works underground favorites that managed to climb into the mainstream.

But in recent years Brautigan was criticized for not living up to his promise. He spent much time in the San Francisco area, in Japan and at a ranch he owned in Livingston, Mont. Friends said he was unhappy and was drinking heavily.

He maintained the long hair, droopy moustache and wire-rimmed glasses he favored in the 1960s.

He was born in Spokane, Wash., where at age 8 he suffered complications of appendicitis that nearly killed him, and recalled that "at the hospital they talked of my autopsy."

Brautigan is survived by a daughter, Ianthe, from his marriage to Virginia Dionne that ended in divorce in 1970.

Anonymous. "Brautigan-Obit." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 Oct. 1984.

Author Richard Brautigan, an unknown poet who became a guru to the nation's hippies, was found dead of unknown causes in his home. He was 49.

Publisher Seymour Lawrence said the body was found Thursday by two friends who became alarmed because they had not seen or heard from him in several weeks.

The Marin County coroner's office said Brautigan had been dead for some time. An investigation was begun into the cause of his death.

Lawrence and author Tom McGuane, who also knew him well, said that the last years of Brautigan's life had been troubled and that he had been drinking heavily.

But author Don Carpenter, another friend, said he saw Brautigan two months ago and found him "in good spirits."

Brautigan was an unknown poet in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district until he published "Trout Fishing in America" in 1967. It sold 2 million copies. He followed that with "Confederate General from Big Sur."

Other novels included "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn" and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance."

But he fell out of favor with American critics, who criticized him in recent years for failing to live up to his early promise.

Tall and rangy, he was the sterotypical-looking hippie writer with long hair, wire-rimmed glasses and droopy moustache.

Carpenter said Brautigan "writes about simple things. Love. Death. Hunger. Empty lives. Bees. Men and women, and all the trouble they can get into with each other."

McGuane called him "a gentle, troubled, deeply odd guy."

Lawrence said, "Brautigan felt at the end of his life that he wasn't appreciated. But he was still revered by the Japanese and the French. His books sold very well there.

"I think he is yet another artist who died of what I call American loneliness. He was quite alone at the end," Lawrence said.

Born in Spokane, Wash., Brautigan spent much of his time in recent years in Japan and also had a ranch in Livingstone, Mont.

He is survived by a daughter from his marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970.

Anonymous. "Brautigan, Richard (Gary) 1935-1984." Contemporary Authors. Edited by Hal May. Gale Research Company, 1985. Vol. 113, pp. 65-66.

Born January 30, 1935, in Spokane (one source says Tacoma), Wash.; died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, c. September, 1984, in Bolinas, Calif. Poet and author. Brautigan, eulogized by publisher and friend Seymour Lawrence as "a true American genius in the tradition of [Mark] Twain and [Ring] Lardner," became a counterculture hero during the 1960s because of his ability to articulate with humor and imagery the growing disillusionment with the American Dream that characterized that era.

Brautigan's literary odyssey began in the late 1950's with the publication of several collections of his poetry by small San Francisco presses. During the 1960's he became a familiar figure among the Flower Children of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, passing out copies of his poetry and giving readings of his work. 1n 1965 A Confederate General From Big Sur [sic], Brautigan's first published novel, apperared. But it was not until 1967, with the publication of Trout Fishing in America, that Brautigan began to gain recognition for his writing. The novel, along with In Watermelon Sugar and a collection of poems, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, was originally published in San Francisco by the Four Seasons Foundation.

Brautigan's critical and commercial success peaked with Trout Fishing in America and began to decline following the 1971 publication of The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966. Brautigan's close friend novelist Tom McGuane succinctly summarized the collapse of Brautigan's career with the observation that "when the 1960s ended, he was the baby thrown out with the bathwater." Brautigan continued writing throughout the 1970's, producing such books as Sombrero Fallout and Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942, but friends of the author reported he had grown increasingly withdrawn and depressesd over his fading career. He apparently committed suicide in September of 1984, but his body was not discovered until October 25 of that year.

There is an ironic epilogue to Brautigan's life. His father, Bernard Brautigan, did not know he was Richard's father until he learned of the author's death. The elder Brautigan, described as "shaken" in a Detroit Free Press article, claimed to have no knowledge of his son's existence" "He's got the same last name, but why would they wait 45 to 50 years to tell me I've got a son." The author's parents divorced before Brautigan's mother told his father that she was pregnant.

Anonymous. "Ferlinghetti." UPI News. Dateline: San Francisco, CA, 26 Nov. 1984.

General news article about Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet-publisher whose City Lights Books was the literary center of San Francisco's Beat Era during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Ferlinghetti says the writers of the Beat Generation: Kenneth Rexroth, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neil Cassady, Kenneth Patchen, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Ken Kesey, and Richard Brautigan set the stage for the activists of the 1960s.

Anonymous. "Friends Find Author Brautigan Dead at his Home in California." Billings Gazette, 26 Oct. 1984, p. B7.

Author Richard Brautigan, who owned a ranch in Paradise Valley near Livingston, Mont., was found dead Thursday at his home in Bolinas, a beach community north of San Francisco, his publisher said.

Brautigan, whose offbeat novels and poetry made him a hero of the '60s counterculture, was 49.

The body of the author of such popular works as "Trout Fishing in America" and "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster" was discovered by two friends who became concerned after not hearing from him, said publisher Seymour Lawrence of Delacorte Press in New York.

Sheriff's investigators said they had not identified the decomposed body found in Brautigan's house. The person apparently had been dead for several weeks, according to a lieutenant who asked not to be identified. The lieutenant said there was evidence the man died of a gunshot wound.

A close friend, novelist Don Carpenter of nearby Mill Valley, said he was sure the body was that of Brautigan. "He wasn't away. He was canned in," Carpenter said. "He was in the place. The last time we talked he wasn't going to go away."

Brautigan's Paradise Valley ranch was near one owned by his longtime friend and fellow author Thomas McGuane.

Brautigan roamed San Francisco's famed Haight-Ashbury section during the height of the flower-child era, and was unknown until the release of "Trout Fishing in America" in 1967. The novel sold 2 million copies. Other works included "Confederate General From Big Sur," "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn," and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance," and "The Tokyo-Montana Express."

"He was a great artist," Carpenter said. "I don't think his work has ever been really recognized for its impact. He's unique. His ability to compress emotion into such small space was second to none."

Lawrence and McGuane both said Brautigan had been extremely troubled and had been drinking heavily.

"When the 1960s ended, he was the baby thrown out with the bath water," McGuane said.

Writer Curt Gentry, a friend for 25 years, said Brautigan "was always a heavy boozer. Obviously, he wasn't happy, but he'd always managed to pull himself out of depression before. Whatever agonies he was suffering this time, I don't know."

Carpenter said he saw Brautigan five weeks ago. He said the author was working on "several projects" and "was full of good cheer and optimistic about doing good work."

Anonymous. "Milestones." Time 5 Nov. 1984, p. 80.

DIED. Richard Brautigan, 49, gently low-key novelist and poet of the California underground, whose offbeat books, including A Confederate General from Big Sur (1965), The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968) and Trout Fishing in America (1967), offered countercultural youth of the hippie era a kind of "natural high" with intense evocations of humor, romance and nature, of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; in Bolinas, Calif. A badly decomposed body identified at week's end as Brautigan's, was found in his home by two friends who had become worried about not hearing from him for several weeks.

Anonymous. "Obits." UPI News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 Oct. 1984.

Author Richard Brautigan, an unknown poet who became a guru to the nation's hippies, was found dead of unknown causes in his home. He was 49.

Brautigan was an unknown poet in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district until he published "Trout Fishing in America" in 1967. It sold 2 million copies. He followed that with "Confederate General from Big Sur." Other novels included "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn" and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance."

Born in Spokane, Wash., Brautigan is survived by a daughter from his marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970.

Anonymous. "Obit-Brautigan." AP News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 Oct. 1984.

Richard Brautigan, whose offbeat novels and poetry about love, death and empty lives captured the imagination of the 1960s hippie generation, was found dead at home, his publisher and friends said.

The 49-year-old author of such popular works as "Trout Fishing in America" and "In Watermelon Sugar" was found Thursday by friends who became concerned after not hearing from him, said Seymour Lawrence of Delacorte Press in New York.

Sheriff's investigators, however, had not positively identified the decomposed body found in Brautigan's house, according to a lieutenant who asked not to be identified. The lieutenant said there was evidence the man had died of a gunshot wound.

But friends, including David Fechheimer, a San Francisco private detective who said he found the body, were sure it was the gangly author who appeared on book covers with long, blond hair, bushy moustache and wire-rimmed glasses.

"I believe it was suicide," Fechheimer said.

Positive identification of the body, which had been in the house about a month, would have to await dental chart comparisons, said coroner's investigator William Thomas.

"He wasn't away," said long-time friend, writer Don Carpenter of nearby Mill Valley. "He was in the place. The last time we talked he wasn't going to go away."

Brautigan, a native of Spokane, Wash., was an unknown writer living among the flower children in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district when "Trout Fishing in America" was published in 1967. It sold 2 million copies and made him a literary celebrity.

His other novels included "Revenge of the Lawn," "The Abortion: An Historical Romance" and "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster."

"He was a great artist," Carpenter said. "I don't think his work has ever been really recognized for its impact. He's unique. His ability to compress emotion into such small space was second to none."

Carpenter once wrote that "Brautigan writes about simple things. Love. Death. Hunger. Empty lives. Bees. Men and women, and all the trouble they can get into with each other."

He said he had seen Brautigan five weeks ago and he was working on "several projects . . . was full of good cheer and optimistic about doing good work. He was in good spirits."

But Lawrence and another friend, San Francisco writer Curt Gentry, said Brautigan had led a troubled life, and had been drinking heavily.

"Richard was always a heavy boozer. Obviously, he wasn't happy, but he'd always managed to pull himself out of despair before. Whatever agonies he was suffering this time, I don't know," Gentry said.

"I think he is yet another artist who died of what I would call American loneliness," Lawrence said. "He was quite alone at the end."

"When the 1960s ended, he was the baby thrown out with the bath water," said long-time friend, Tom McGuane, who lives near Brautigan's Livingston, Mont., ranch.

"He was a gentle, troubled, deeply odd guy," McGuane said. "He once told me that because of a childhood illness he had to grow up in darkness. I guess his mind became his only toy during that time."

Brautigan, who almost died when he was eight years old from appendicitis complications, recalled his hospitalization in an interview a few years ago.

"They talked of my autopsy," he said. "I went to a place . . . It was dark without being scary." Asked if he were afraid of death, he replied, "I have no fear of it all. I'm interested in life. People wouldn't take life seriously if they didn't know it would turn dark on them."

Lawrence said that while Brautigan's books still sold well in Japan and France, "he felt at the end of his life, that he wasn't appreciated."

Brautigan is survived by a daughter, Ianthe, from his first marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970. His second marriage also ended in divorce.

Anonymous. "Obit-Brautigan." AP News. Dateline: Bolinas, CA, 26 Oct. 1984.

Richard Brautigan, whose emotion-packed writing touched millions and made him a hero to the 1960s hippie generation, apparently shot himself in the head weeks before his decomposed body [was] found, authorities said Friday.

A gun was lying next to the body of the 49-year-old author when sheriff's deputies entered his home Thursday, and a coroner speculated he may have been dead for a month.

"The scene is consistent with Mr. Brautigan inflicting a gunshot wound to his head with a large-caliber handgun," said Sgt. Rich Keaton of the Marin County Sheriff's Department.

Brautigan was author of several novels and books of poetry. His best-known work was "Trout Fishing in America."

The Marin County coroner's office said a positive identification may not be made until Monday because the body was so badly decomposed and the author's dental records were not immediately available.

But several friends said they were certain it was the body of the gangly author with long, blond hair, bushy mustache and trademark granny glasses and Confederate general hat.

The body was discovered by two of Brautigan's friends, who climbed through a window of his house after not hearing from him in several weeks.

Kenneth Holmes, an assistant coroner, said the body had probably been there about a month.

Brautigan had no telephone and was last reported seen on Sept. 15, Keaton said.

A native of Spokane, Wash., Brautigan was an unknown writer living among the flower children in San Francisco's famed Haight-Ashbury district when "Trout Fishing in America," which sold 2 million copies, made him a literary celebrity.

His other novels include "Confederate General from Big Sur," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," "In Watermelon Sugar," "Revenge of the Lawn" and "The Abortion: An Historical Romance."

Brautigan is survived by a daughter, Ianthe, from his first marriage to Virginia Dionne, which ended in divorce in 1970. His second marriage also ended in divorce.

Don Carpenter, a writer and friend of Brautigan, said he saw the author five weeks ago and he was working on "several projects . . . was full of good cheer and optimistic about doing good work. He was in good spirits."

But other friends said the writer was troubled.

San Francisco Curt Gentry, a friend for 25-years, said Brautigan "wasn't happy, but he'd always managed to pull himself out of despair before. Whatever agonies he was suffering this time, I don't know."

Seymour Lawrence, of Delacorte Press in New York, said Brautigan's books still sold well in Japan and France, but "he felt at the end of his life that he wasn't appreciated . . . He was quite alone at the end."

"When the 1960s ended, he was the baby thrown out with the bath water," said another long-time friend, Tom McGuane. "He was a gentle, trouble, deeply odd guy."

Anonymous. "Obituary Notes." Publishers Weekly, 9 Nov. 1984, p. 20.

Trout Fishing in America was first published in 1967 by Four Seasons Foundation in San Francisco, where Brautigan distributed his poems in the streets of Haight-Ashbury and where his underground reputation had its start. Alerted to that reputation, literary agent Helen Brann offered Trout Fishing in America and two other books at an auction won by Seymour Lawrence, who published the three in one volume in 1970 and who has been Brautigan's publisher since. Although Brautigan's audience in the U.S. has declined in recent years, his works are particularly popular in Japan and France and have been translated into 12 languages.

Anonymous. "Obituaries." Chicago Tribune, 28 Oct. 1984, Sec. 4, p 17.

Richard Brautigan, 49, an author whose offbeat novels Trout Fishing in America and A Confederate General from Big Sur made him a celebrated figure in the 1960s; his books blended comedy, satire, odd bits of information and outrageously freewheeling style; in the last years of his life, his work fell out of favor with critics, who considered it old hat; found Oct. 25 in his Bolinas, Calif. home.

Anonymous. "Poet-Novelist Richard Brautigan Found Dead." Detroit Free Press, 27 Oct. 1984, p. 6B.

Author Richard Brautigan, known best for his 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America, is dead, an apparent suicide. He was 49.

Anonymous. "Richard Brautigan." The Times (London), 27 Oct. 1984, p. 12.

Richard Brautigan, the American novelist, short story writer and poet has died at the age of 51. [Note that other news sources give his age as 49.] There was a kind of quality, suppressed but evident, in those early books [of fiction] which promised much. But Brautigan seemed not to have been able to go beyond it, or to develop. . . .His poems received little critical attention. . . .In later years, feeling that he had been unfairly discarded by public and critics alike, he became depressed and began to drink heavily.

Anonymous. "Richard Brautigan." Washington Post, 27 Oct. 1984, p. B4.

Richard Brautigan, 49, the author whose 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America made him a literary hero of the 1960s counterculture, was found dead of a gunshot wound Oct. 25 at his secluded home in Bolinas, Calif. The Marin County Coroner's Office said his death was an apparent suicide. Mr. Brautigan, whose body was found by friends who were concerned because he had not been seen in several weeks, was an unknown San Francisco poet when he published Trout Fishing in America, which sold two million copies. Another work, A Confederate General from Big Sur, gave voice to the hippie generation.

Anonymous. "Transitions." Newsweek, 5 Nov. 1984, p. 94.

Novelist and poet Richard Brautigan, 49, who became a campus hero in the 1960s with his whimsical novel, "Trout Fishing in America"; reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, at his home in Bolinas, Calif. His works, which included "A Confederate General from Big Sur" and "In Watermelon Sugar," blended satire, extended metaphors and odd bits of information in a free-wheeling style that came to symbolize the hippie era. Later Brautigan lost favor with American critics (though he remained popular in France and Japan) and spent his last years emotionally troubled.

Barabak, Mark Z. "Brautigan's Suicide Rekindles Bad Feelings." San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Oct. 1984, p 3.

READ this obituary.

Folkart, Burt A. "Brautigan, Literary Guru of the '60s, Dies." Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 1984, Sec. 2, p. 7.

"Although critics generally had difficulty grasping the thrust of Brautigan's diverse characters (one of whom sat by passively as tigers devoured his parents), the street people of the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco and other areas of the country where the Flower Children had settled hailed him as their literary guru. . . . Generally, his works melded free association, satire, comedy and outrageous situations into an abstract melting pot in which instinctual behavior is held to be of higher value than environment or societal pressures."

Hinckle, Warren. "The Big Sky Fell In on Brautigan." San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Oct. 1984, p. 4.

READ this obituary.

Liberatore, Paul. "Richard Brautigan Dies in Bolinas." San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Oct. 1984, pp. 1, 18.

READ this obituary.

Reprinted
"To the Memory of Richard Brautigan 1935-1984." The Bolinas Hearsay News, 26 Oct. 1984, p. 1.
Reprints a portion of the same-day story. Includes the photograph by Erik Weber of Brautigan used on the back dust jacket cover of A Confederate General from Big Sur and Brautigan's poem "A Good-Talking Candle."

McDowell, Edwin. "Richard Brautigan, Novelist, A Literary Idol of the 1960s." The New York Times, 27 Oct. 1984, Sec. 1, p. 33.

READ this obituary.

Reprinted
The New York Times Biographical Service, vol. 15, no. 10, Oct. 1984. University Microfilms International. 1297.

Polman, Dick. "A '60s Hero's Pained Soul Is Finally Bared, in Death." Philadelphia Inquirer, 3 Dec. 1984, pp. E1, E5.

Reviews Brautigan's rise to fame, and fall. Provides commentrary from several of Brautigan's friends. Concludes by saying, "[T]here is something quite sad about an artist who bares himself so willingly for an unresponsive audience." READ this obituary.

Snyder, George. "Brautigan Prepared for Death Since Summer, Friend Says." San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Oct. 1984, pp. 1, 14.

READ this obituary.

Close

Memoirs

Memoirs generally reflect or focus on shared time or experiences with their subject. Memoirs written for Richard Brautigan following his death in 1984 speak to his life, his writings, or his place in American literature.

Abbott, Keith. "In the Riffles with Richard: A Profile of Richard Brautigan." California Fly Fisher, Mar./Apr. 1998, pp. 44-45, 47, 69.

Published in San Francisco, California. Edited by Richard Anderson. Profiles Brautigan from a fishing perspective. Uses material from Abbott's well-known Downstream from Trout Fishing in America and new memoirs. READ this memoir.

Abbott, Keith. "August Dream of Richard Brautigan 1985." Poetry Flash, 1989, p. 17.

A short memoir of an evening with Brautigan at a cafe. The full text of this memoir reads, "Richard and I were at a seaside outdoor cafe. Everything was painted white, the walls, the sidewalks and the poles holding up a yellow awning over us. He was poor, as if at the very end of his life, cadging drinks and food. After I ordered him some hot dogs, we stood at the lunch counter in the shade by a brilliant green lawn, waiting for a seaman's white mess jacket to be delivered. Richard was going on a cruise, and it was clear from his comments that this cruise was simply a metaphor for his passage through death.

"When the mess jacket arrived, Richard put it on and instantly looked like a different, much younger person even though he remained his old self, quarrelsome, vain and proud. He was very sad, too, claiming the coat wasn't right. But once he had undergone the change, he couldn't go back. He began to bicker about the hot dogs—they weren't, he implied, up to his status. There was no way to tell him that he was no longer a famous writer, but a mess orderly.

"A young woman came by and took me on the lawn. Once we were in the sun, her skin seemed radiant, supple and beautiful. We stood looking at Richard on a bar stool, dissatisfied, unhappy and fretful. When I made a move to go back to him, the woman brushed a finger ever so lightly on my arm, holding me back easily with a paralyzing, almost magnetic touch. I knew then she was my muse and she had other things for me to do."

Reprinted
Kumquat Meringue, vol. 1, Apr. 1991, n. pg.
The literary magazine Kumquat Meringue is dedicated to the memory of Richard Brautigan.

Abbott, Keith. "Going around with Richard Brautigan." San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Mar. 1989, This World section, p. 12.

An excerpt from Downstream from Trout Fishing in America.

Abbott, Keith. Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan. Capra Press, 1989.

A memoir of experiences shared with Brautigan in San Francisco and Montana from 1966-1984. Also includes interesting anecdotes and insights into Brautigan's life and works. Concludes with commentary on Brautigan's writing and his place in American literature.

Says, "[Brautigan's] writing has been relegated to the shadowland of popular flashes, the peculiar American graveyard of overnight sensations. When a writer dies, appreciation of his work seldom reverses field, but continues in the direction that it was headed at the moment of death, and this has been true for Brautigan. Even during Brautigan's bestseller years in the United States, critical studies of his work were few. Those there were never exerted a strong influence on the chiefs of the American critical establishment" (147).

Feedback from Keith Abbott
I've just done a partial tour of the American Dust and I am pleasantly surprised by the things I did not know. My congratulations on the website. It really is a marvel.
— Keith Abbott. Email to John F. Barber, 7 February 2008.

Second Edition
Downstream from Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan
Astrophil Press. 2009.
ISBN 978-0-9822252-2-6 (paperback)
Features much updated material, a new final chapter reflecting on Brautigan's legacy, and previously unpublished photographs by Erik Weber of Brautigan. An article about this book at the Astrophil Press website.

Abbott, Keith. "Brautigan in Bolinas." Exquisite Corpse, vol. 4, no. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1986, pp. 12-13.

Recounts experiences the author had with Brautigan at his Bolinas, California home. Reprised as Chapter V, "Bolinas" in Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan. READ this memoir.

Abbott, Keith. "When Fame Puts Its Feathery Crowbar under Your Rock." California Magazine, Apr. 1985, pp. 90-94, 102-108, 126.

Subtitled "Reflections on the Life and Times of Richard Brautigan," this article recounts several experiences Abbott shared with Brautigan in California and Montana. Includes a photograph by Erik Weber of Brautigan. Used later in Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan. READ this memoir.

Reprinted
The Best of California: Some People, Places and Insitutions of the Most Exciting State in the Nation as featured in California magazine, 1976-1986. Santa Barbara: Capra Press. 1986. 176-186.

Abbott, Keith. "Garfish, Chili Dogs, and the Human Torch: Memories of Richard Brautigan and San Francisco, 1966." Review of Contemporary Fiction, vol. 3, no. 3, Fall 1983, pp. 214-219.

First publication for material that later appeared in Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan. Contends that "there is only one way to become well-known in America as a writer. That is to have your work represent something sociological. . . . Brautigan's work was said to represent the [sociological] chaos [in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district in 1968]." Says Brautigan was catapulted to fame by the efforts of the media to find a writer who represented, through style and subject, the developing hippie philosophy. READ this memoir.

Abbott, Keith. Skin and Bone. Tangram, 1993.

Pamphlet, 8 pages, sewn into wrappers. Limited to 150 copies. A reminiscence about an experience with Richard Brautigan and Tom McGuane in Montana. Tangram Press, Berkeley, California, is run by Jerry Reddan, a printer for Andrew Hoyem.

See Also
"Keith Abbott: Brilliant Naropa Writing Teacher; Writer; Calligrapher" at Elephant Journal

"12 or 29 Questions: with Keith Kumasen Abbott interview by Rob McLennan.

Allen, Beverly. My Days with Richard. Serendipity Books, 2002.

28 pages, 9.5" x 12.5"
Published by Peter Howard at Serendipity Press, Berkeley, California.
Printed by Alastair Johnston, Poltroon Press, Berkeley, California.
200 copies printed in three versions: 170 copies in red wrappers, 15 copies in purple wrappers, and 15 copies in yellow wrappers.

Copies of the purple wrapper version are number 1-15 and signed by Peter Howard, the publisher. Copies of the yellow wrapper version are lettered I-VX and signed and corrected by Allen, signed by Alastair Johnston, the printer, and signed by Howard, the publisher.

A short memoir about the author's relationship with Richard Brautigan. They met in San Francisco, December 1969, just prior to publication of Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt. Allen posed for the front cover photograph. Includes transcripts of letters she wrote to Brautigan and three photographs of Allen by Edmund Shea, including the one used as the cover for Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt.

Akiyoshi Nosaka. "Nichibeisakegassen [Japan-USA Drinking Battle]." Bungei Shujyu, Dec. 1979.

A lengthy essay based on a two-day, one-night trip taken October 30-31 1979 by Japanese writer Nosaka and Brautigan. Nosaka records their open discussion throughout the trip. The core of their discussions was youth, their conceptions of war and death, and the identity of the writer. Bungei Shuiyu is a monthly literary magazine.

The trip, arranged by the American Centre, in Kyoto, began in Tokyo, 30 October, with the pair traveling by bullet train, "Hikari #6," to Kyoto where, at Mineyama, they transferred to a local train, "Tango #8," bound for Yonago where Nosaka delivered a lecture at the local hospital. According to Nosaka, Brautigan, referred to as "QJ" in the essay, sang "Rock around the Clock" and "Buttons and Ribbons" at a karaoke bar following Nosaka's lecture. On 31 October, they returned from Yonago to Kyoto where, perhaps shaken after witnessing a suicide at the hospital, and the train striking an 8-year-old boy at a crossing, they decided to go separate ways. They parted company on the Mineyama train platfrom. Brautigan was to deliver a lecture at the American Centre in Kyoto. Nosaka went home to Tokyo.

Reprinted
"Nichibeisakegassen [Japan-USA Drinking Battle]." Uncollected Novels by Akiyuki Nosaka. Volume 4. Genki-Shobo, 2010, pp. 361-380.

Feedback from Masako Kano
"During his last visit to Tokyo, around the end of April 1984, Richard brought this essay by Nosaka, copied from the magazine Bungei Shujyu, and asked me to translate it completely, orally. Richard was very anxious to know what Nosaka had said about him. It took a long time to translate the details, but Richard wanted me to finish, so we decided not to go out and called the room service at the Keio Plaza Hotel.

"Richard's nervousness may have been based on his knowledge of "Shishousetsu" (private "I" novel), a Japanese literary genre since the beginning of the 20th Century, where the author lives on the borderline between fiction and real life. The author can include as many fictional elements as wanted, including characters, who could also reflect this blurring between the two worlds. Such fabrication by the author is not pursued as a moral question of truth, as is often the case with western critics. Richard's friend, Shuji Terayama, was a writer who told "false" facts about his life to his readers. For example, in his writings and television appearances, he always said his mother was dead. But, people were surprised when his mother appeared at his funeral. Richard talked with me about this as if he knew about this technique of Shuji.

"Perhaps Richard was concerned whether Nosaka would practice the same technique with regard to their conversations during their trip. As part of their conversations, Brautigan (QJ in Nosaka's essay) told Nosaka details about his youth. For example, when asked what he did during the spring of 1945, Richard replied, "Spring of 1945. Well, I remember I was invited to the fireman's dance party in Minnesota that spring. The air was still cold. On the way to the dance hall, there was a bridge overlooking a lake with a small flock of geese, and I wished I brought a 16-guage shotgun from home to shoot them" (Uncollected Novels by Akiyuki Nosaka, Vol. 4, Genki-Shobo, 2010. 371.) Then Richard gestured to Nosaka as if he was holding a gun. This gave Nosaka a great shock because his memory of the spring of 1945 was of a ruined and burned city, riddled by bullets from "the avenger, the North American P51 Mustang. When I was collecting burned pieces of corrugated metal roof," Nosaka recalled with anger, "this fellow (QJ; Richard) was dancing with the music 'come to my garden in Italy, only five minutes more, give me five minutes more'" (371).

"When asked by Nosaka if he had ever served in the military, Brautigan replied, "I went to Europe. I was working with a newspaper."

"The Stars and Stripes?" Nosaka asked.

"No, the troop newspaper. I worked as a photographer" (369).

"From there the conversation focused on war planes and weapons.

"Perhaps Richard was very interested to know what Nosaka said about him, and was insistent that I translate the details, because he was going to be interviewed by Tamio Kageyama for the magazine called Brutus during his visit and wanted to know what had already been written about him in Japan.

"And perhaps there is another reason for his concern. Nosaka concluded his essay with an account of witnessing, with QJ (Richard) two deaths during their travels together. The first was that of a 50-year-old cancer patient who committed suicide by leaping from a window at the hospital in Yonago. The second was the accidental death of an 8-year-old boy killed in his toy car at a railway crossing during the return trip from Yanago to Kyoto. In both instances, Nosaka said Richard witnessed the death closely. Knowing Richard, and him being alone in Kyoto, I was sure he wrote something about those traumatic experiences, of witnessing death so closely, especially that of a little boy. I asked if he had written about the death of the boy and he replied, vaguely, that he had. He asked me to read Nosaka's last paragraph in his story, again.

"He (QJ; Richard) became pale again. When he turned so pale, the red spots on his skin were very noticeable. It's not my fault, pal. We continued to drink heavily. At Mineyama, I said goodbye to QJ. He nodded as if it was a natural departure, and mumbled something. But I did not understand what he meant" (380).

"So, another way to interpret Richard's interest in Nosaka's memoir was his interest to learn what Nosaka had written about events they both witnessed.

"In the end, it is perhaps valuable to see this essay as an attempt by Nosaka, who did not communicate so well in English, to communicate with an American contemporary about how, as writers, to face death. In this same essay, Nosaka wrote two sentences about the death of his 9-month-old sister during the American bombing of Kobe, Japan, during World War II. "My first so-called 'live' experience with death was when I was 11 years old and my 9-months-old baby sister died. After one day passed, the skin of her body changed completely and I think this brought me the real feeling of death" (377). Eight years later he finished the story in his novel, Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies). Perhaps Richard had a similar traumatic experience and Nosaka sniffed it from Richard's writings by instinct and this resulted in his invitation for the trip together and the chance to talk. In my opinion, Richard never had the chance to dig deep at his wound like Nosaka did when he wrote his cathartic novel because before maturity came to release Richard from his darkness he just left the world.
— Masako Kano. Email to John F. Barber, 28 September 2011.

Aste, Virginia. 'Freedom?' Richard Brautigan's First Wife, Virginia Aste, Speaks in a New Interview. Arthur Magazine, 25 Dec. 2009.

Interview by Susan Kay Anderson. Published at Arthur magazine website. Aste recalls meeting Brautigan, the 1961 Idaho camping trip during which he wrote Trout Fishing in America, and about how Brautigan's drinking led to their separation. Along the way she provides interesting background details regarding the 1960s in San Francisco, and her life with Brautigan. Introduction by Mike Daily who also interviewed Greg Keeler about his book Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan. READ this memoir.

Brautigan, Ianthe. You Can't Catch Death: A Daughter's Memoir. St. Martin's Press, 2000.

176 pages; ISBN 0-312-25296-X; First printing May 2000
A memoir by Brautigan's daughter, Ianthe, about coming to grips with her father's death and memory.

The front cover photograph by Michael Abramson, taken in 1980, shows Ianthe and Brautigan sitting in front of the barn at his Pine Creek, Montana, ranch. The window of Brautigan's writing room is visible at the top of the barn.

A similar photograph, taken at the same time by Abramson, appeared in James Seymore's eulogy to Brautigan.

Bishoff, Don. "Author's Life Was Shaped in Eugene." The Register-Guard, 25 Aug. 1993, pp. 1B, 2B.

An article about author William R. Hjortsberg's trip to Eugene, Oregon, researching information about Brautigan's early life there for a forthcoming biography. READ this memoir.

Blei, Norbert. "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan." Milwaukee Journal, 11 Nov. 1984, p. E9.

Says, ". . . [H]e was a writer in his time who attracted considerable attention. [H]e was our [Guillaume] Appolinaire ([Charles] Baudelaire, [Arthur] Rimbaud) and then some. [e.e.] Cummings' whimsy. [William] Saroyan's mustache. The shadow of [Maxwell] Bodenheim. Variations on [Kurt] Vonnegut. He was all your eggs in one basket. . . .Wizard of weird metaphor. Savant of smiling similes. . . .You won't rest in peace, Richard. Promise? READ this memoir.

See Also
Blei's memoir and other thoughts at the Bashõ's Road website.

Bond, Peggy Lucas. "Richard Brautigan 1935-1984." St. Petersburg Times, 2 June 1985, p. 7D.

Speaks of personal connections to Brautigan's works, as well as the author himself. Provides a nice overview of Brautigan's time in Montana. READ this memoir.

Brissie, Carol. "Memories of Rich." Christian Science Monitor, 1 Feb. 1985, Sec. B, p. 2.

Brissie worked with Helen Brann, Brautigan's literary agent, in New York. Recalls experiences shared with Brautigan. Says Brautigan "resembled his writing: often gentle and beautiful, sometimes harsh, usually whimsical, and always imaginative. . . . And that's how I shall remember Richard." READ this memoir.

Caen, Herb. "What Goes On." San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Oct. 1984, p. 21.

The full text of this memoir reads, "Another footnote to a headline: It now develops that poet-novelist Richard Brautigan killed himself with a Smith & Wesson .44 magnum he borrowed last March—not for that purpose—from Jimmy Sakata, owner of the Cho-Cho Japanese restaurant on Kearny, for years a favorite Brautigan hangout. "He said he liked to have a gun around," recalls Jimmy, "and would return it in a few months. Last time I saw him, about a month ago, he said he wouldn't be around for awhile. 'too much work to do.' He was in such a turmoil—the divorce, the publishing problems. I guess now I'll get my gun back."

Caen, Herb. "Here Today." San Francisco Chronicle, 29 Oct. 1984, p. 17.

The full text of this memoir reads, "Richard Brautigan, the late novelist-poet, was a man of delightful whimsy. The first time I met him, he was standing at a Powell St. cable car stop, handing out seed packets on which he had written poems, a different one on each packet. "Here," he'd say, handing one to a bemused passenger, "please plant this book." . . . Over the weekend, he was still very much a topic in the local literary world. There appears little doubt now that he shot himself—his long-dead body was found Thurs. in his Bolinas home—but whether he was depressed or drunk or both was a subject of long conjecture among his peers. "Richard's problem," said one writer, "was that his readers grew up but he didn't." "A guy who drinks that much shouldn't keep a gun around the house," said another. "Nobody should keep a gun around the house. Many's the night I was drunk and depressed enough to shoot myself." . . . "Last time I ran into him at Enrico's," said a third, "he was way down because nobody wanted to publish him anymore," which brings up an irony. His N. Y. agent, not having heard from Richard for an alarmingly long time, hired the S. F. private eye who found Brautigan dead. The agent had news that might have saved Brautigan's life: an offer of a two-book contract."

Carpenter, Donald. "My Brautigan: A Portrait from Memory." Unpublished manuscript.

Don Carpenter often said he considered Richard Brautigan his best friend. This poignant memoir recounts their first meeting and several shared experiences. READ this memoir. This memoir at Don Carpenter's website.

Chappel, Steve. "Brautigan in Montana." San Francisco Chronicle Review, 2 Nov. 1980, pp. 4-5.

Recounts fishing with Brautigan on the Yellowstone River, in Montana, and an evening drinking and talking in Brautigan's kitchen. Features several interesting quotes from Brautigan regarding his life and writing. READ this memoir.

Chatham, Russell. "Dust to Dust." Dark Waters. Clark City Press, 1988, pp. 28-34.

A book of essays detailing fishing, drinking, and eating experiences enjoyed by Chatham and his friends, including Brautigan. Chatham builds a discussion of guns, hunting, and machismo around memories of Brautigan in relation to these topics. He says Brautigan did not hunt, and was not macho but fragile and sensitive. A photograph of Chatham and Brautigan fishing Armstrong Spring Creek, Montana, illustrates this essay. excerpted as "Dust to Dust." Bolinas Hearsay News, Circa 2000. READ this memoir.

Chronicle Staff, The and the Associated Press. "Brautigan Dead: Poet-Author Who Had Ranch Near Livingston Found in Calif. Home." Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 26 Oct. 1984, pp. 1, 2.

Incorporates Associated Press material and quotes from Bozeman residents who knew Brautigan. READ this memoir.

Reprinted
"Poet-Writer Brautigan Found Dead in Home." Bozeman Daily Chronicle Extra, 31 Oct. 1984, p. 6.
Omits last eight paragraphs of original.

Condon, Garret. "Locals Remember Brautigan in '60s." Hartford Courant, 3 Nov. 1984, pp. D1, D8.

Three Hartford residents remember Brautigan. READ this memoir.

Cook, Stephen. "A Weekend of Memories of Brautigan." San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle, 28 Oct. 1984, pp. A1, A24.

Written two days after Brautigan's death was first announced, this article quotes extensively from interviews with Tom McGuane, Becky Fonda, Curt Gentry, and Don Carpenter, all of whom note Brautigan's talents as a writer, and troubled last days. They agree that Brautigan was undone by lost fame. The last they saw of Brautigan was 13 Sept. 1984, in Deno & Carlo, a North Beach bar located at 728 Vallejo Street. READ this memoir.

Delattre, Pierre. "Brautigan Done For." Episodes. Graywolf Press, 1993, pp. 53-54.

A distilled memoir of Brautigan. Delattre remembers Brautigan's fishing talents, his ability to "get drunk on anything," his inspiration to write Trout Fishing in America from immediate experience rather than memory of the past, and his comments about writing.

The full text of this memoir reads "I never knew as great a fisherman as Richard. One time we parked along a little stream. I opened the back for the station wagon and got to work preparing my gear. By the time I had finished selecting a fly and tying it on, Richard was already trudging back with his limit in the creel. He gave half to me and we waded upstream until we came to an encampment of picnickers. A mother and three kids were splashing in the water. Brautigan bet me he could cast his fly right into the middle of those people and pull out a trout. He did, and so deftly they didn't even notice. Brautigan had another talent. He could get drunk on anything. In our tent that night, he got drunk on water. He began to lament about his trout fishing book. He just couldn't get the magic down on paper. He read me some of the stories and asked for a frank opinion. "Boring", I confessed. Then one afternoon back in North Beach we went into a hardware store so that he could buy some chicken wire for his bird cage. Suddenly he seized the pen from my pocket, the notebook from my shoulder bag, ran out and over to a park bench, and started to scribble a story about a man who finds a used trout stream in the back of a hardware store. The next day, we stopped to chat with a legless-armless man on a rollerboard who sold pencils. Brautigan called him "Trout Fishing in America Shorty" and wrote a story about him. From then on, trout fishing ceased to be a memory of the past, but the theme of immediate experience and Brautigan's book made him a rich and famous writer. He didn't handle this well and finally blew his brains out while working on a novel in his Bolinas cabin. I don't know what was bothering him, but here's a possible clue: The last time I saw him, we were walking past the middle room of his house. There was a table in there with a typewriter on it. "Quiet", he whispered, pushing me ahead of him into the kitchen. "My new novel's in there. I kind of stroll in occasionally, write a few quick paragraphs, and get out before the novel knows what I'm doing. If novels ever find out you're writing them, you're done for." (53-54)

Reviews
Anonymous. "Episodes." Publishers Weekly, vol. 240, no. 19, 10 May 1993, pp. 67-68.
Says, "Poet, street minister, traveler and lover, Delattre (Tales of a Dalai Lama) has lived a rich life, and he recounts it in 92 two-page vignettes. Though the episodes stand on their own and Delattre encourages browsing, some readers may wish for a more developed narrative. Still, he tells amusing tales about his childhood and about people like the pest who prompted his friends to hold a fund-raising "Get Rid of Richard Night." He opened "an experimental coffeehouse ministry" in San Francisco and, as "the beatnik priest," was featured in Time and Newsweek. In Mexico, he barely escaped from two thugs and also met an Aztec-featured shoeshine boy who read Proust with his Francophile sailor father. Delattre married, divorced, found new love, studied and taught yoga, believes in UFOs and reports having a spontaneous orgasm after viewing a full moon. He has encountered the famous: he recalls concert promoter Bill Graham's beginnings, how author Richard Brautigan "could get drunk on anything" and how Neal Cassady died with Delattre's address in his pocket. In reaction to the latter news, Delattre decided, "I wanted to burn a slow flame, and last a long time." (67-68)

Donovan, Brad. "Food Stamps for the Stars." Firestarter, June 1996, pp. 4-5.

Accounts of parties at Brautigan's Pine Creek, Montana, home are legendary: movie stars, gun practice off the back porch, drinking, lots of drinking, wild conversations, and spaghetti. Although tongue-in-cheek, Donovan, a fishing friend of Brautigan's, captures the wide-open spirit associated with a Brautigan party. READ this memoir.

Dorn, Edward. "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan." The Denver Post, Empire Magazine, May 19, 1985, pp. 22-23, 25, 27.

Edward Dorn says there is no history of morbidity in Brautigan's writing and that he saw himself and often referred to himself as a humorist. READ this memoir.

Reprinted
This Recording 19 November 2009.
Retitled: "The Dreamer" and adds various photographs not included in the original.

Way West: Stories, Essays, and Verse Accounts: 1963-1993. Black Sparrow Press, 1993, pp. 205-212.
Featured a companion article by Jennifer Dunbar Dorn titled "The Perfect American" (see below).

Exquisite Corpse, vol. 4, no. 1-2, Jan.-Feb. 1986, p. 13.
Retitled: "Richard Brautigan: Free Market Euthanasia." Edited by Andrei Codrescu. Published by the English Department at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Featured a companion article by Jennifer Dunbar Dorn titled "The Perfect American" (see below).

Reviews
Burkman, Greg. "Way West: A Roundup of Stories, Essays and Verse Accounts, 1963-1993." Booklist, vol. 90, no. 4, 15 Oct. 1993, p. 409.
Says, "From its scathing satires of academics, Republicans. and a new West "shining its noble light on Real Estate" to its immaculately researched, heartbreaking observations concerning the situations of Native Americans and its unsentimentalized memoriam to Richard Brautigan, Way West is a ghastly, funny tour de force rodeo of cultural clowns, moral imperatives, and all manner of riff-raff. Way out."

Dorn, Jennifer Dunbar. "The Perfect American." The Denver Post, Empire Magazine, May 19, 1985, pp. 23, 31.

A companion article to Edward Dorn's "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan" both in this magazine and Dorn's Way West: Stories, Essays, and Verse Accounts: 1963-1993. READ this memoir.

Feedback from Jennifer Dunbar Dorn

Your website looks really good. Lots in there.
— Jennifer Dunbar Dorn. Email to John F. Barber, 7 March 2002.

Foote, Jennifer. "An Author's Long Descent. Richard Brautigan: The Troubled Cult Hero and His Path to Suicide." Washington Post, 23 Jan. 1985, pp. D8-D9.

"Reprinted from yesterday's early editions." Recounts Brautigan's literary career through the rememberances of friends. Provides biographical and bibliographical details. READ this memoir.

Fujimoto, Kasuko. Richard Brautigan. Shinchosha, 2002, pp. 224-229.

Fujimoto, translator of several of Brautigan's books in Japanese, wrote this memoir, which has not been translated into English. She included a short memoir by Takako Shiina, owner of "The Cradle" Bar and long time friend to Brautigan, who called her "my Japanese sister." This translation was provided by Masako Kano. READ this memoir.

Hayward, Claude. "Glimpses of Richard Brautigan in the Haight-Ashbury." Richard Brautigan: Essays on the Writings and Life. Edited by John F. Barber. McFarland, 2007, pp. 113-120.

Claude Hayward recounts the formation of The Communicaton Company with Chester Anderson, Brautigan's role in the Invisible Circus, printing early broadside poems for Brautigan, and All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. READ this memoir.

Feedback from Claude Hayward
Your Brautigan site was a fine surprise to encounter. Seeing the [Robert] Crumb listing right after the ComCo [Communication Company] listing reminded me of the great untold story of the time Crumb came to me at the Communication Company pad on DuBoce. He had some rather strange comics he wanted published, or printed so he could try to sell them. I dearly wanted to help him, but, in all honesty I had to tell him that I just couldn't produce the correct format for a comic with our equipment. Of course I would have died to be able to put his stuff out, but the Digger mentality was pretty strong upon me at the time and I would have had to give the stuff away. Crumb was destined for greater things. He did do some things with us, including the poster for our benefit concert on March 5th, 1967.

Richard [Brautigan] came around often, and he was easy to work with. His tastes pushed me to experimentation with the equipment. Mostly, while I would be deviling away with the machinery, he would hang out and talk with H'lane [Resnikoff], my partner in those days. Thanks for providing this site.
— Claude Hayward. Email to John F. Barber, 16 December 2003.

Heilig, Steve. "Ianthe Brautigan Interview." Bolinas Hearsay News, 28 Jan. 2004, pp. 1-4.

An interview on the occasion of Brautigan's birthday. READ this memoir.

Reprinted
Beat Scene, Summer 2004, pp. 45-47.

Hershiser, Deanna. "From a Damselfly's Notebook." Rosebud, Oct. 2011, p. 76.

An essay by Hershiser about her father, Peter Webster, and his fishing adventures with Richard Brautigan. READ this memoir.

Hjortsberg, William. "The Bard of Rivers and Bars: Richard Brautigan and 'The Montana Gang'." Big Sky Journal, Arts Issue 2002, pp. 72-78.

Three essays excerpted from Hjortsberg's forthcoming biography of Brautigan. Features several photographs by Erik Weber.

Keefer, Bob and Quil Dawning. "Beauty, Pain and Watermelon Sugar." The Register-Guard, 30 Jan. 2000, pp. 1H, 2H.

An accounting of the authors' search for Brautigan's ghost in Eugene, Oregon. READ this memoir.

Keeler, Greg. Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan. Limberlost Press, 2004.

A collection of stories about experiences shared with Richard Brautigan from 1978 to 1984. Illustrated with photographs and Keeler's own cartoon drawings. Keeler, an English professor at Montana State Universitiy in Bozeman, Montana, recalls Brautigan saying he felt split in two, "that there was the Richard Brautigan, the famous author, and there was Richard, the guy who lived day to day, the guy sitting in the car next to me who had to deal with the public's responses to the famous author." These stories attempt to get at both Brautigan's through their accounting of funny as well as poignant experiences Keeler shared with Brautigan. . . . I'm just hoping to give another perspective . . . and try to get a more complete picture of the leviathan that posed as the funny, disturbing, cruel, lovable and, especially, vulnerable man who rode in the car with me" (1-3).

Feedback from Greg Keeler
I was Richard's friend for a few years here in Montana. We did some pretty crazy stuff together, and I miss him tremendously. It's good to see folks like you keeping his candle lit.
— Greg Keeler. Email to John F. Barber, 18 February 2002.

See Also
Information about Keeler's book at the Limberlost Press website

Letters exchanged between Keeler and Brautigan

Keeler's Troutball website, which features an interview conducted by FM Tokyo and facsimilies of letters letters written by Brautigan to Keeler.

Keeler, Greg. "Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan." Beat Scene, Summer 2004, pp. 42-44.
An interview with Greg Keeler conducted by Beat Scene editor Kevin Ring. Discusses Keeler's relationship with Brautigan and his new collection of stories about Brautigan.

Keeler, Greg. "Stories about Richard Brautigan."Beat Scene Summer 2003, pp. 16-24.
Excerpts from Keeler's memoir, Waltzing with the Captain Front cover photographic portrait of Brautigan wearing a sheepskin by Christopher Felver that originally appeared in Felver's book, The Poet Exposed. Several publicity photographs of Brautigan throughout the article, most taken from his books. Also includes Jack Kerouac, the Diggers, Charles Bukowski, Kirby Doyle, Ted Joans, Jack Hirschman, KULCHUR magazine, defining Beat moments, etc.

An interview with Greg Keeler was published on Monday, 19 Dec. 2005 at the Mick O'Grady" website maintained by Mike Daily. Daily also wrote the introduction to an interview by Susan Anderson with Virginia Aste, Brautigan's first wife.

Manso, Peter and Michael McClure. "Brautigan's Wake." Vanity Fair, May 1985, pp. 62-68, 112-116.

A re-evaluation of Brautigan, after his death, by his peers: Peter Manso (writer), Michael McClure (poet), Ron Loewinsohn (poet), Don Carpenter (novelist), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (poet and publisher, City Lights Books), Donald Merriam Allen (editor and publisher), Helen Brann (literary agent), Richard Hodge (confidant and California Superior Court judge), Bobbie Louise Hawkins (poet and performer), David Fechheimer (private investigator and friend), Ianthe Brautigan (daughter), Peter Berg (founder, with Emmett Grogan and Peter Cohen(Coyote) of the Diggers), Tom McGuane (novelist), Dennis Hopper (actor), Siew-Hwa-Beh (girlfriend), Peter Fonda (actor), John Doss (doctor and friend), Margot Patterson Doss (writer and columnist), Joanne Kyger (poet), Tony Dingman (friend), Ken Holmes (assistant coroner, Marin County), and Anthony Russo (detective sergeant, Marin County Sheriff's Office). READ this memoir.

McClure, Michael. "Ninety-one Things about Richard Brautigan." Lighting the Corners: On Art, Nature, and the Visionary. University of New Mexico Press, 1993, pp. 36-68.

Thoughts, memories, and observations about Brautigan from someone who knew him during his early days in San Francisco. McClure says, "these are notes written at typing speed as I reread all of Richard's writings (68). These notes were for his article "Brautigan's Wake," written with Peter Manso and published in Vanity Fair (1985). They were not included in the article and were first published in Lighting the Corners. READ this memoir.

Mergen, Barney. "A Strange Boy." San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Jan. 1985, "This World" section, p. 20.

Mergen recounts "the memory of a warm June day in 1956 when [Brautigan] appeared at my door in Reno, Nev., introducing himself, 'Hello, I'm Richard Brautigan and I'm a poet,' and scaring my grandmother half to death." Brautigan, then 21, was traveling from Portland, Oregon to San Francisco, California. Brautigan found Mergen's name in Brushfire, the University of Nevada literary magazine and thought he "might be sympathetic to a homeless poet." READ this memoir.

Plymell, Charles. "Remembering Richard Brautigan." Hand on the Doorknob: A Charles Plymell Reader. Water Row Press, 2000, pp. 102-103.

REMEMBERING RICHARD BRAUTIGAN

That's Reba, Richard
you know, the kid
who arrived with flowers in her hair
At the Greyhound station
go 69'ers from the senior class
across the land of coffee-tonk cafes
with hard neon illuminating bacon and eggs
grabbed her bags from the locker
headed for the baths at Big Sur
via the head shop in the Haight.

Reba's name written wildly where
cameramen cowboy oracles ride
Reba ready
Reba right on
Reba rid of speed
Reba ready hip
Reba arriba arriba
Reba rich girl reading
Richard Brautigan on the beach
Reba tough
Reba together
Reba danced with Joan Baez
Hey that's my bag
Reba pop art rock
Reba wrote a poem for Allen Ginsberg
Reba saw Brautigan dance naked at the end party
Reba coke collage digs dope dancing
from Fillmore West to Fillmore East.

Scratch your name on East Village brick
and let your belly shine
your breasts still pure from the Big Sur baths
the Pacific's spray of Saturn and Sun
where the air pierced your pores and tongues
Redwood lips bursting with rapture.
News shops hawk reality of The Morning Sun
of faded type, Berkeley, to buy a gun
to blow the windows out of time
watch the tanks all in a line
troops on the roof ready and aim.

(She packed her long dresses
and threw the I Ching,
drove over the bridge in a limousine.

Plymell, Charles. "Reba." Forever Wider: Poems New and Selected: 1954-1984. The Scarecrow Press, 1985, pp. 69-71.

An earlier version of "Remembering Richard Brautigan" (see above).
REBA

The highway cast a spell on my veins
And the sea,
The sea shouted to Reba on the beach.

I am set in mind to wandering
when leaves turn brown
and the wind puts a chill in the air
Names of cities ring in my brain
like San Francisco! San Francisco
far across the land of coffee-tonk cafes

With hard neon lights and bacon and eggs
for when I travel its with suitcase and beer
with trees and faces wildly in the air

To the city's heart and dim lit jewels
where Reba's name is written wildly
and cameramen cowboy oracles ride

Just
Reba
On the San Francisco Beach
in 69
Go 69
Reba ready
Reba right on
Reba ready hip
Reba rid of speed
Reba arriba arriba
Reba rich girl reading
Richard Brautigan on the beach
Reba tough
Reba tougher
Reba is an Indian
Reba California bird
Reba danced with Joan Baez
Reba wrote a poem for Allen Ginsberg
Reba rock art
Reba with your balls
Reba coke collage
Reba fairy
Reba shipwrecked on the silent water
Reba collective ball of eternity

Scratch your name on East Village brick
Let your belly shine
And your breasts drink of Coca, Saturn, and Sun.

We'll see the fortune teller's lips burst with rapture
We'll cry in the blackout of language
We'll sell pages of our life at the Greyhound station
We'll smash the windows out of Time
We'll follow Attila over the rooftops
We'll catch the chemistry of Cortez's lips
We'll sing withcraft [sic] frenzy to the dead scent of time
We'll hear telegraph messages crash in the mountains
We'll hear mad laughter swell in California smog
We'll see newsboys sell hard reality in the Morning Sun
We'll go to Berkeley to buy a gun
We'll see the clock of crystal on the global wall
We'll watch Gypsy clairvoyant superstars sift omens from
   thought

(She wore long dresses
and threw the I Ching
and arrived in a big silver coach.)

Roiter, Margaret. "Death of A Poet: String Was Cut between Brautigan and the World." Bozeman Chronicle, 31 Oct. 1984, p. 3.

Discusses experiences in Brautigan's creative writing class at Montana State University and his death. READ this memoir.

Shulman, Ernie. The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan. Artist Inlet Press. Nov. 2010.

Many have offered theories for why Brautigan took his own life. Ernie Shulman, a suicide researcher specializing in suicidal celebrities, is working on a book titled Thirty Famous Suicides. In what appears to be an excerpt from the chapter about Brautigan, Shulman describes Brautigan as suffering from alcohol-induced paranoia and suicidal tendencies resulting from an inability to deal with weaknesses and grief.

Smith, Barb. "Friends Say Stories Sensationalize Brautigan's Life after His Death." Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 7 Nov. 1984, p. 29.

Brautigan's Montana friends defend him against charges of a violent lifestyle made by Ken Kelley in a story by Warren Hinckle in the San Francisco Chronicle. READ this memoir.

T. B. [sic] "New West Notes: Letter from the North." California Magazine, Jan. 1985, p. 116.

ss of North Beach, California characters. Recounts a conversation with Herb Gold, "North Beach doyen," about Brautigan. READ this memoir.

Tamio Kageyama. "The Story of Brautigan in Big Sur." Brutus, no. 91, 1 July 1984, pp. 59-65.

Kageyama visited Big Sur, California, twice, in 1970 and 1984, hoping to find and interview Brautigan. On the second visit, he learned that Brautigan was in Tokyo, and so traveled there and interviewed Brautigan in The Cradle, a bar owned by Shiina Takako and patronized by writers and artists. Takako appears with Brautigan in the back cover photograph for The Tokyo-Montana Express. Brutus is an arts/literary magazine.

Thomas, John. "Richard Brautigan: A Memoir." Transit, no. 10, Spring 2002, pp. 18-20.

A memoir written years after the fact and therefore lacking some accuracy. But, the anecdotes create an interesting portrait of Brautigan. Thomas, age 71, died just a few days before publication of this issue. The front cover features a photograph of Brautigan and Michael McClure (on motorcycle), taken on Haight Street in San Francisco, California, in 1968 by Rhyder McClure, Michael's cousin.

Also includes work by Charles Plymell, Jack Kerouac, Michael McClure, Aram Saroyan, Charles Bukowski, Anne Waldman, Billy Childish, and A.D. Winans. READ this memoir.

Feedback from Rhyder McClure
"I'd been chatting with Richard when Michael (he's my cousin) pulled up on his chopper. I saw Michael last month—he did a reading here in New York City. I was packing a camera and commented, "Maybe this picture will be better than the one of you and Richard." He responded, "No one will ever take a better picture than that!"

"Richard and I were friends in SF—we used to sit at Enricos and watch the world (mainly girls) go by. The only thing he ever said to me about writing has served me well for forty years: (because it was so long ago, this is a paraphrase) "If you're going to write, buy the best typewriter money can buy. It's something you're going to be spending a lot of time with, so make that part as easy on yourself as you can."
— Rhyder McClure. Email to John F. Barber, 8 April 2004.

Torn, Rip. "Blunder Brothers: A Memoir." Seasons of the Angler. Edited by David Seybold. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988, pp. 127-139.

A memoir that recounts fishing and drinking with Brautigan and in a larger sense a relationship with him over a period of years. READ this memoir.

Wright, Lawrence. "The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan." Rolling Stone, 11 Apr. 1985, pp. 29, 31, 34, 36, 38, 40, 59, 61.

Wright incorporates comments and memories of family and friends as he follows the reasonably well known facts of Brautigan's life and death. He provides some interesting insights into the psychological pressures perhaps working on Brautigan as he sought fame as a writer then struggled with its loss. READ this memoir.

Wright's memoir features four photographs of Brautigan, one each by Baron Wolman, Erik Weber, Roger Ressmeyer, and Edmund Shea.

The first photograph of Brautigan, taken by Baron Wolman in San Francisco, in 1967, shows Brautigan seated on the front bumper of an old truck, typewriter in his lap. This is a black and white version of the original color photograph published in the Rolling Stone article.

The second photograph of Brautigan, by Erik Weber, taken in Montana, during Brautigan's first visit in 1972, shows members of "The Montana Gang" gathered in a kitchen. Tom McGuane jams with Jimmy Buffett while Brautigan cooks. Marian Hjortsberg looks on.

The third photograph of Brautigan, by Roger Ressmeyer, taken in San Francisco, in 1981, shows (L-R) Curt Gentry, Don Carpenter, Brautigan, and Enrico Banducci, owner of Enrico's Cafe, a popular gathering spot at Broadway and Kearney, near City Lights Books. This photograph also illustrated Cheryl McCall's article "A Happy But Footsore Writer Celebrates His Driver's Block" (People Weekly, 8 June 1981, pp. 113, 116, 120).

The fourth photograph of Brautigan, by Edumund Shea, is a black and white portrait of Brautigan standing in front of wooden wall or fence, probably in San Francisco, circa late 1950s.

Close

Tributes

Tributes are meant to honor their subjects. Tributes written for Richard Brautigan following his death in 1984 speak to his life, his writings, or his place in American literature.

Anonymous "Richard Brautigan 1935-1984." Poetry, Dec. 1984, p. 178.

Features Brautigan's poem "Wood" as a tribute:
We age in darkness like wood
and watch our phantoms change
   their clothes
of shingles and boards
for a purpose that can only be
   described as wood.

Anonymous. "The Talk of the Town." New Yorker, 3 Dec. 1984, p. 39.

READ this tribute.

Anonymous. "Vintage Brautigan: A Fresh Perspective." Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 26 Oct. 1984, p. 1.

A tribute composed of quotations from In Watermelon Sugar, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, Rommel Drives On Deep into Eqypt, and The Tokyo-Montana Express dealing with death and the consolation of grief for a dead friend.

Auster, Paul, Marc Chénetier, Philippe Dijan, and others. Le Moule à Gaufres. Paris: Éditions Mé'réal. Nov. 1993.

This issue, Number 7, is subtitled "Retombées de Brautigan [Repercussions of Brautigan]." It is a special issue focusing on Brautigan.
Essays by Paul Auster, Marc Chénetier, Philippe Djian and sixteen other authors.
Front cover illustration by Véronique Baccot
ISBN 2-909310-06-X

Barber, John F. "Looking Back at Richard Brautigan." Poetry Digest, Oct. 1994, pp. 58-64.

Drawn from 1990 "Prologue" in Richard Brautigan: An Annotated Bibliography.

Barber, John. "Prologue." Richard Brautigan: An Annotated Bibliography. McFarland, 1990, pp. 1-6.

Recounts experiences shared with Brautigan.

Barker, David. "Once in a While I Drive by the State Mental Hospital." Microbe #9, Jan. 2002, n. pg.

This poem notes the hospital where Brautigan spent some time was the site for filming Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Concludes saying, "somehow, it's fitting that my home town/ is know for its nuthouse." Published in Belgium. Edited by Éric Dejaeger.

Barone, Dennis. "It Was A Very Sad Day." Exquisite Corpse, vol. 4, no. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1986, pp. 13-14.

A poem noting the deaths of three unrelated people, one of whom was Richard Brautigan.

Berger, Kevin. "The Secrets of Fiction." San Francisco Magazine, Sep. 1999, p. 50.

Writes about his father discovering and reading Brautigan's novels shortly before dying of cancer, and the pleasure involved. READ this tribute.

Brann, Helen. "A Tribute." Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1984. Edited by Jean W. Ross. Gale Research Company, 1985, p. 168.

Included with "Richard Brautigan" by Michael P. Mullen. Brann says, "Richard Brautigan was a writer I was honored to represent as his literary agent from 1968 on. I think Richard was an American genius, a pure artist, an original voice out of the West from which he came. I believe Richard's work will last, not only because of his brillant style so individual, spare, and alternately sharp and gentle, but because . . . he explored the funny, phony, violent, romantic America he loved enough to see with open-eyed vision" (168).

Buda, Janusz K. "Richard Brautigan 1935-1984." Otsuma Review, July 1985, pp. 20-26.

In addition to eulogizing Brautigan, Buda, a Professor of English at the Waseda University School of Commerce, Tokyo, also provides general criticism of Brautigan and his literary work. Buda'a tribute at his university faculty website. READ this tribute.

Cohen, Allen. "Sitting in North Beach Cafes."

Cohen wrote this poem as a tribute to his friend, Richard Brautigan. Cohen, San Francisco poet and founder of The San Francisco Oracle, helped orginate The Human Be-In held 14 January 1967 in Golden Gate State Park. Cohen's tribute within the "Allen Cohen Poetry" portion of the S.F. Heart website. READ this tribute.

Creeley, Robert. "The Gentle on the Mind Number." Rolling Stock, no. 9, 1985, p. 4.

Part of a tribute titled "Richard Brautigan Remembered" (pp. 4-6) featuring writing by Creeley, Brad Donovan, Greg Keeler, and Anne Waldman. Included a front cover photograph of Brautigan. This essay collected The Collected Essays of Robert Creeley (University of California Press, 1989, pp. 333-335). READ this tribute.

Feedback from Robert Creeley
That's a wonderful website you have managed—thanks!
— Robert Creeley. Email to John F. Barber, 10 February 2002.

Curran, David. Brautigan, Richard: A Pilgrimage, August 1982. David Curran, 1986.

In August 1982, following clues he found in The Tokyo-Montana Express, Curran, a freelance journalist, located Brautigan's ranch in Pine Creek, Montana. He was invited back for coffee the next day. This self-published, brief book, patterned very much like a Brautigan novel, records that meeting. Of truth and fiction in his writing, Brautigan said "I don't write about myself. The person in the books is not me. . . . I live in the real world. I have to write about something" (15). Brautigan said he started writing "when I was 17" and "wrote for 15 years, supporting myself with different jobs, before Trout Fishing in America was published" (17). Brautigan told tales of San Francisco and Boston, provided advice for the author's upcoming visit to Yellowstone National Park, and consented to have his picture taken on the steps of his barn. Said Curran, "I take two photos of Richard sitting on his barn steps. I'm annoyed by the face-in-the-hands pose he insists on" (Curran 33).

Dawson, Patrick. "Appreciation Can Give A Meaning to Endings." Great Falls Tribune, 28 Oct. 1984, p. 3C.

Talks about Brautigan's lack of literary appreciation in the United States saying his work was appreciated far more in "Japan and France. . .he became more of an ignored national resource. . . .Today, all we can say is thanks to Richard Brautigan, for giving us so much of himself, for helping us to laugh at ourselves and feel things a bit more keenly." READ this tribute.

de Boer, Geordie. "Trout Fishing with Richard Brautigan." SNReview, vol. 10, no. 2, Summer 2008.

After a "mental breakdown" the author rediscovers Brautigan and is inspired by Brautigan's eccentric nature and view of the world. Says, "While I don't think you must be crazy or eccentric to understand Richard Brautigan. The only effective tonic for mankind is plate tectonics, so to appreciate Richard Brautigan you must be able to see the plates of the earth move; being crazy or eccentric helps. So does being older and having survived being crazy to emerge as simply eccentric. . . . Richard Brautigan could see the plates of the earth move, and I'm sure he could feel them move beneath his feet. He mixed up the solid parameters of the world, stirred them around, bent them, and used them in his unique way to his own unique ends." The memoir concludes with a series of fictional interactions with Brautigan and calzones. de Boer's memoir at SNReview website

Feedback from Geordie de Boer
As a big Brautigan fan, I read your website often. In fact, I found Brautigan's poem for Gary Snyder there ("Third Eye"), which inspired my own poem in tribute to Richard (see below). I write a lot of what I call "Brautigans". Now I see posted on your site my tribute to RB published by SNReview. That pleases and humbles me.

The California-New Mexico Express
   for Richard Brautigan

someone's walked away from
a motorcycle
in New Mexico
   (appeared in the beatnik, January 2011)
— Geordie de Boer. Email to John F. Barber, 2 June 2011.

Djian, Philippe. Ardoise. Pocket Best, 2003, pp. 109-117.

Paperback edition of earlier hardback.
126 pages; ISBN 2-266-12696-2
Paperback, with printed wrappers
An homage book by French novelist Djian about his favorite authors. Devotes a chapter titled "Richard Brautigan—Tokyo-Montana Express," to Brautigan. Says, "Most writers are anvils. From time to time, one of them chooses lightness . . . i.e. Richard Brautigan who could put a Greek tragedy in a thimble" (109).

Dijan, Phillippe. "One Reason to Love Life." Crocodile, ***, 1989.

A tribute to Brautigan. Translated by Ramona Koval and Mireille Vignol.

Reprinted
Headspace, no. 25, Mar. 2006.
The Australian Broadcasting corporation's monthly Arts and Culture magazine. Dijan's tribute at the Headspace website. READ this tribute.

Donlon, Helen. "Richard Brautigan: Shooting Up the Countryside." Beat Scene, no. 3, Autumn 1988, pp. 1-9.

Published in England
6" x 8"
Also includes "The Real Dharma Bums," an article by Thea Snyder Lowry, sister of Gary Snyder, about her relationship with Jack Kerouac; a three-page review of an exhibition of late work (1953-1972) by Picasso; a review of a film by Charles Bukowski titled Barfly; and an article about Lew Welch. READ this tribute.

Feedback from Helen Donlon
Delighted to hear Rich is being resurrected (again!).
— Helen Donlon. Email to John F. Barber, 22 February 2002.

Donovan, Brad. "Brautigan & The Eagles." Rolling Stock no. 9, 1985, pp. 4, 6.

Part of a tribute titled "Richard Brautigan Remembered" (pp. 4-6) featuring writing by Robert Creeley, Brad Donovan, Greg Keeler, and Anne Waldman. Included a front cover photograph of Brautigan. READ this tribute.

Dorn, Edward. "There's only one natural death, and even that's Bedcide: For the post-mortem amusement of Richard Brautigan." Abhorrences: A Chronicle of the Eighties. Black Sparrow Press, 1990, p. 50.

A poem full of puns about different varieties of death. Printed in May 1990 in Santa Barbara, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan, by Graham Mackintosh and Edwards Brothers Inc. Limited edition of 300 hardcover copies. One hundred fifty copies were numbered and signed by Dorn. Twenty six copies were bound in hardcover by Earle Gray and were lettered and signed by Dorn. The full text of this poem reads:
Abhorrences
November 10, 1984

There's only one natural death,
     and even that's Bedcide

For the post-mortem amusement of Richard Brautigan

Death by over-seasoning: Herbicide
Death by annoyance: Pesticide
Death by suffocation: Carbon monoxide
Death by burning: Firecide
Death by falling: Cliffcide
Death by hiking: Trailcide
Death by camping: Campcide
Death by drowning: Rivercide
                          Lakecide
                          Oceancide
Death from puking: Curbcide
Death from boredom: Heartcide
Death at the hands of the medical profession: Dockcide
Death from an overnight stay: Inncide
Death by surprise: Backcide
Death by blow to the head: Upcide
Death from delirious voting: Rightcide
Death from hounding: Leftcide
Death through war: Theircide & Ourcide
Death by penalty: Offcide
Death following a decision: Decide

Previous Publication
Fell Swoop, 6 [Feb.?] 1986, p. 2.
8.5" x 11"; Green card covers; stapled
Also called "the wrong planet issue." Appeared with three other poems by Dorn all later published in Abhorrences, along with Clark's drawing. Also included was President Ronald Reagan's favorite recipe sent by The White House (macaroni and cheese) and writing by Randall Schroth, Tom Whalen, Heidi Furr, Richard Martin, Clara Talley-Vincent, and Robb Jackson.

Abhorrences: A Chronicle of the Eighties, Limberlost Press, 1989
An eight-page letterpressed and handsewn postcard-sized pamphlet. Limited edition of 150 copies issued as an excerpt from, and prior to, the larger work in progress. Cover art by Ray Obermayr. Twenty-six lettered copies signed by Obermayr and Dorn. Along with this poem, five others collected: "Another Springtime in the Rockies," "Martyrs Opera," 'Progress: slow but inexorable," "Don't just stand there, get something!", and "Thou shalt not kill: Oh Yes I Will."

Bloody Twins Press, 1986.
Broadside, 19" x12", limited edition of 200 copies signed by Tom Clark, artist.

Doubt, Bryan. "Baudelaire Meets Brautigan." The Antigonish Review, no. 27, 1976, p. 64.

A poem written prior to Brautigan's death.
having turned left with
an image instead
of right Baudelaire
finds himself on
Market Street in
far-west San Francisco
present (and all-but
inciting this coming) a man
too gaunt to be young as
blond as the husk of sin
as dry and scaly as
life without remorse
says Baudelaire "Bonjour"
(plums dropping from his
every letter) "Now Master
say it like it's at"
the man rejoins (rebukes?)
through limp moustaches
itchy birds for eyes.

Haslam, Gerald. "A Last Letter to Richard Brautigan." Western American Literature, vol. 21, no. 1, May 1986, pp. 48-50.

Tribute written as a personal letter. READ this tribute.

Heilig, Steve. "BoHowl (from a work in progress, with apologies to Allen Ginsberg)." Bolinas Hearsay News, 13 Aug. 2003, p. 5.

Set to Allen Ginsberg's famous poem "Howl," this poem focuses on the changes apparent in the coastal village of Bolinas, California. Updated, retitled "Howlinas," and submitted to West Marin Review. READ this tribute.

Feedback from Steve Heilig
This poem makes an obscure reference to Brautigan in the line "who saw and felt the ghosts of renowned writers drowned in alcohol and fame and fickle fates."
— Steve Heilig. Email to John F. Barber, 14 August 2003.

Heilig, Steve. "Closing Time (or, Déja Buk)." Sonoma County Independent, 13-19 May 2003, p. ***?***.

This poem about Charles Bukowski, the second place winner in The 2nd Annual Bukowski Poetry Contest, sponsored by the Sonoma County Independent, Black Sparrow Press, and Copperfield's Books contains a brief reference to Richard Brautigan:
On a strange unbidden whim,
I went looking:
Auden, Bowles, Brautigan . . .
Bukowski: "Tales of Ordinary Madness."

Heilig's poem at the Sonoma County Independent website.

Hogg, Brian. "Boo, Forever: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan." Strange Things Are Happening, vol. 1, no. 2, May-June 1988, pp. 9-12.

Reviews and critiques each of Brautigan's publications released in Great Britian. Also provides basic biographical information regarding Brautigan's life, and thorough bibliogaphical information about his work. Says, "Those who loved his work mourned his passing and recalled the simple warmth of his fragile style" (9). READ this tribute.

A website titled Marmalade Skies offers more information about Strange Things Are Happening magazine.

Horvath, Terrence. "Whatever Happened to Richard Brautigan", [1999].

8.5" x 5.5" chapbook
No date of publication; No table of contents; No preliminary pages

Front Cover
Front cover features title, "Whatever Happened to Richard Brautigan," in quotation marks, but without the "?", a sketch of Brautigan, and author's credit: "by Terrance Horvath."

Title Page
Title enclosed in quotation marks. The "?" at the end of the title is included. Title page reads, below title and author: "For copies/comments: 11565 Algonquin Pickney, MI. 48169

Author's Note
A note from Horvath associated with one copy examined states in part, "Whatever Happened to R.B. was publish [sic] in 1999, limited to only 20 copies."

Keeler, Greg. "Fishing the Tenses With Captain Richard." Rolling Stock, 1985, pp. 5-6.

Part of a tribute titled "Richard Brautigan Remembered" (pp. 4-6) featuring writing by Robert Creeley, Brad Donovan, Greg Keeler, and Anne Waldman. Included a front cover photograph of Brautigan. READ this tribute.

Incorporated several letters from Brautigan to Keeler. Included as the chapter "Fishing" in Keeler's memoir Waltzing with the Captain. Keeler maintains quotes and letters by Brautigan, as well as his own stories and poems about Brautigan, at his Troutball website.

Feedback from Greg Keeler
I was Richard's friend for a few years here in Montana. We did some pretty crazy stuff together, and I miss him tremendously. It's good to see folks like you keeping his candle lit.
— Greg Keeler. Email to John F. Barber, 18 Feb. 2002.

Kinsella, William P. "Introduction." The Alligator Report. Coffee House Press, 1985, pp. 5-8.

Kinsella dedicated this book
In memory of Richard Brautigan
1935-1984

citing Brautigan's inspiration for many of the short writings (which Kinsella calls "Brautigans") collected therein. Kinsella repeated many of these remarks in a 1991 essay titled ". . . Several Unnamed Dwarfs" (Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Vol. 7. Gale Research, 1991, p. 107). Kinsella is well known as an author of baseball fiction. His novels include Shoeless Joe (1982), which was made into the movie "Field of Dreams," and The Iowa Baseball Confederacy (1986). READ this tribute.

Lillvik, Larry. "Winter Rates Presents . . . Richard Brautigan Day." 23 Dec. 2009. DC's blog.

Lillvik, writing as "Winter Rates," recalls his discovery of Brautigan and makes several associations in this entry to a blog maintained by Dennis Cooper. Bibliographical and biographical sections provide a good overview of Brautigan and his writings. Most of the information is culled from American Dust. An accessible and rewarding memoir.

Lynch, Dennis. "Tribute to a Friend and the Books That Might Have Been." Chicago Tribune, 12 Nov. 1984, Sec. 5, pp. 1, 8.

Says, "The unexpected death of a respected writer evokes our sadness for the loss of life and for the loss of books that might have been. . . .To do the seemingly impossible and to make it appear easy—"to load mercury with a pitchfork"—is the writer's job, Brautigan's work tells us and he was a master of that art." See also Lynch's article "Brautigan, Richard" in Contemporary Poets.

Feedback from Dennis Lynch
I logged onto your site and was both impressed and moved by what I saw and read. Since 1985 I've been a college professor of literature and film at a community college here in Illinois. Over the past decade, there have been times where I have probably gone weeks without thinking of Richard. But reading through your site really touched me by reminding me what a sad, hilarious, troubled, fascinating, aggravating guy he was. Thanks again for your wonderful work.
— Dennis Lynch. Email to John F. Barber, 26 February 2005.

Lindsey, Rich. "'Playing with gentle glass things': An appreciation of Richard Brautigan." Media Funhouse, 2 July 2010.

A lengthy blog posting in which Lindsey comments on Brautigan's stories, novels, and voice recordings. Includes images and video files. Lindsey's blog posting at the Media Funhouse website.

Moore, Michael. "Enduring Works, Tortured Life of Author Richard Brautigan Recalled." Missoulian.com, 2 Oct. 2004.

Says, "The writer Richard Brautigan burst onto the nation's literary scene in 1967 with the quirky, utterly original novel, Trout Fishing in America." READ this tribute.

Myers, Ben. "The Out-of-Step Beat." Guardian Unlimited, "TheBlogBooks," 14 Sep. 2007.

A tribute to Brautigan on the date of his death. Says each of Brautigan's books has been, and continues to be, inspirational for contemporary writers. Rather than being out of step (behind or ahead of his time) Brautigan is "beside it, look in and laughing quietly into his moustache." READ this tribute.

Reynolds, Sean. "Forever Watched Over By Loving Grace." Entertainment Today, 26 May 2006, p. 4.

READ this tribute.

"Richard Brautigan." All Things Considered. National Public Radio, 26 Oct. 1984.

A segment of the All Things Considered program noting Brautigan's death the previous day. Includes two sound files of Brautigan. The first is taken from an interview in New York, New York, four years earlier in which Brautigan defends his writing style. The second is Brautigan reading from the first chapter of his In Watermelon Sugar.

Listen to the "Richard Brautigan" segment.

Ring, Kevin. The Sad and Lonely Death of Richard Brautigan. The Beat Scene Press, 2007.

Limited edition chapbook; 100 numbered copies
Number 7 in The Beat Scene Press Pocket Books Series
Incorporates "West Coast Dreamer: The Lonely Death of Richard Brautigan" (Beat Scene, 1998).

Ring, Kevin. "West Coast Dreamer: The Lonely Death of Richard Brautigan." Beat Scene no. 31, 1998, pp. 12-16.

A tribute to Brautigan by way of revisiting his life.

Seymore, James. Author Richard Brautigan Apparently Takes His Own Life, But He Leaves a Rich Legacy. People Weekly, 12 Nov. 1984, pp. 40-41.

Comments by Brautigan's publisher. Illustrated by a photograph of Brautigan and daughter Ianthe by Michael Abramson, taken in 1980, at Brautigan's Montana ranch. READ this tribute.

Shorb, Terril. "This Fisher of Words Had Many A Winning Catch." Billings Gazette, 7 Dec. 1984, Sec. D, p. 4.

READ this tribute.

Splake, T. K[ilgore]. "Memoriam Richard Brautigan 1984." Gypsy 3 1985, pp. 61-63.

Subtitled Die sympathische Alternative. Published in Schwabach, West Germany. Edited by Belinda Subraman and S. Ramnath. Published by Vergin' Press.

Splake (from Battle Creek, Michigan) uses selections from Trout Fishing in America, The Hawkline Monster, In Watermelon Sugar, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt, So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away, and The Tokyo-Montana Express to note his connection with Brautigan and to build a possible context for Brautigan's death. Concludes by saying, "My brief Memoriam is only partial payment for the larger debt I owe Richard Brautigan." An interview with Splake by David F. Hoenigman at the Word Riot Archive website. READ this tribute.

Standish, Craig Peter. Poor Richard: A Poem about the Life and Death of Richard Brautigan, 1935-1984. M. A. F. Press, 1986.

A letter/poem from a Brautigan fan that recounts waiting for each new novel and collection of poetry, laments Brautigan's death—"Why poor Richard, why?" (16), expresses anger—"It was a slap in the face to all who loved your work" (17), and offers some consolation—"Perhaps we do not realize/ how painful it can sometimes be/ to actually realize your dreams." (19). The first edition was limited to sixty-four copies, each signed by Standish, and distributed privately to his friends and relatives. Lawrence Ferlinghetti contributed an introduction. Illustrated by John Dunic and Marc Wilson.

Swensen, Ianthe. "My Disneyland." The 23, vol. 1, no. 2, Mar. 1991, pp. 1, 6.

Brautigan's daughter (her married name is "Swensen") writes of her father in this newsletter, published quarterly by the Brautigan Library in Burlington, VT. She recalls childhood experiences fishing and walking with Brautigan.

Says, of her father, "He was able to see life through his blue eyes in a way that put a trust and delight in all he saw. It was a Brautigan world of his own creation. It was a world that made us feel bright and shiny as a new penny, as though we are important and what we see and say and write is also [sic].

"But as in all myths there was an end. But as in all myths, his story, his stories, will live on and on and on. As in some myths we all know where the weakness is and the end is a sad one, but the end never overshadows the gift that was given. To the reader his gift is there waiting to be grasped forever like the fish he caught for a moment and then unhooked to live on for future generations. Whoever opens one of his books can hear him and he is theirs for the moment. For a moment is all some of us have. I think everyone needs to have a moment of my father."

Torpedo, vol. 4, 2009.

A literary magazine published in Melbourne, Australia
Part of the Falcon vs. Monkey enterprise
Chris Flynn, editor
Volume 4 is a tribute to Brautigan.

Released 17 January 2009
Front cover by Kristian Olson
Features 26 selections of tribute fiction by international contributors, 13 poems ("All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace," "My Insect Funeral," "It's Raining in Love," "But," "The Octopus Frontier," "A Boat," "Propelled by Portals Whose Only Shame," "Up Against the Ivory Tower," "Deer Tracks," "We Meet. We Try. Nothings Happens, But," "Homage to the Japanese Haiku Poet Issa," "Taxi Drivers Look Different from Their Photographs," and "The Pumpkin Tide") and eight fiction selections ("Women When They Put Their Clothes on in the Morning," "A Need for Gardens," "1/3, 1/3, 1/3," "A Sea of February Orchard Blood," "Red Lip," "In Watermelon Sugar," "Motorcycle," and "Hawaii Revisited") by Brautigan selected by Flynn and Ianthe Brautigan.

An envelope, with an image of a fish designed and hand-printed by Eirian Chapman on a miniature Japanese Gocco printing device, contains 8 double-sided color A5-size prints of art interpreting the selected Brautigan poems and fiction.

Introduction by Ianthe Brautigan. Foreward by Chris Flynn. Conclusion by Radiohead illustrator Stanley Donwood.

The 20 April 2009 broadcast of The Book Show an offering of Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, featured an interview with editor Chris Flynn, Ianthe Brautigan, and contributors Jon Bauer, Caren Beilin, and Adam Ford.

Listen to this interview:

Feedback from John Holton
I'm one of the contributors. I first came across Brautigan's writing several years after his death in 1989. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife of 17 years) found a copy of Revenge of the Lawn on the bookshelf at a holiday house where she was staying. She was so blown away by it that she felt compelled to take the book (which she later replaced). I was studying literature and philosophy at the time and Brautigan's work made a huge impression on me. I was dabbling with short stories at the time, and Brautigan made fiction writing seem like something achievable. I loved (and still love) the naivety of the writing—his ability to capture the essence of a situation or a relationship in a simple sentence, or a startlingly original metaphor. I can honestly say, I don't think I would have begun my journey as a writer and editor without the early influence of Brautigan. My favourite books are still Revenge of the Lawn and The Tokyo Montana Express. The piece I wrote for Torpedo is called "Pickles." It's a story about longing—, about trying to capture an incredible evening of love and connection in a pickle jar. But, of course, all you're left with is something that smells like pickles.
— John Holton. Email to John F. Barber, 27 April 2009.

See Also
Information about Torpedo at the Falcon vs. Monkey website

"Fishing for Richard Brautigan", the 20 April 2009 radio program of The Book Show, an offering of Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Listen to and audio file of the complete 30-minute show featuring an interview with editor Chris Flynn, Ianthe Brautigan, and contributors Jon Bauer, Caren Beilin, and Adam Ford.

"The Library", a digital version of the comic strip by Paul O'Connell adapted from Brautigan's The Abortion, and included in the special Torpedo tribute to Brautigan.

Vonnegut, Kurt. "A Tribute." Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1984. Edited by Jean W. Ross. Gale Research Company, 1985, pp. 168-169.

Included with "Richard Brautigan" by Michael P. Mullen. Vonnegut says, "I never knew Richard Brautigan, except through his writings. . . . At this great distance from the man himself, I will guess that he, like so many other good writers, was finally done in by the chemical imbalance we call depression, which does its deadly work regardless of what may really be going on in the sufferer's love life or his adventures, for good or ill, in the heartless marketplace" (168-169).

Waldman, Anne. "Brautigan." Rolling Stock, no. 9, 1985, p. 2.

A poem to Brautigan by Waldman
Beyond yourself
this life
solipsistic,
egotistical
White ghost
you focused
on words
Spin a yarn!
Works' lightness
flat Zen deadpan
touches irony
& always peculiar
romantic places:
Montana, Japan
It's still true
to be drinking
& talking
with you or
showing your kid
a good time a
long time ago
Xmas, skating
cold Rockefeller
Center you were
fragile country
boy, loping & fun
Shot yourself
to kill a
darker self
High premium
for gloom
Adios traveler

Part of a tribute titled "Richard Brautigan Remembered" (pp. 4-6) featuring writing by Robert Creeley, Brad Donovan, Greg Keeler, and Anne Waldman. Included a front cover photograph of Brautigan.

Wells, Tim, editor. Hardest Part Rising, no. 22, ***late 1990s?***).

Published in London, England by poet and editor Tim Wells.
A special Brautigan issue. Says Wells, "We've a few poems, articles, and interviews from people whose lives have been touched by Brautigan's writing. He is currently undergoing somewhat of a renaissance in Britain at the moment, and some of that interest is filtering through to a new generation of American writers previously unfamiliar with his work.

"Though some of his poetry is decidedly 60s his writing is a delightful insight to the world. Brautigan's economy and distillation of worlds particularly impress me. Brautigan was there in the Hemingway, Greek Anthology way of doing things. Let it say what it's got to say, then shut the hell up. It's great to read American writers who know how to contain a thought. It's great to read writers from wherever come to that. Rising has always appreciated concise writing.

"The idea for this issue came from a 19 yearl old who got excited about a Brautigan book I'd taken to a poetry reading. It was great to see such enthusiasm from a writer currently not topping the best seller lists nor writing about vampires."

Features Brautigan's story "An Unlimited Supply of 35 Millimeter Film" and his poem "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster." Contributions by Jim Chandler ("A Quarters Worth of Brautigan," first published in Planet Detroit circa 1984), Tim Wells ("So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away"), Steve Cannon ("Pale Marble Movie"), Arlis Mongold ("The Ghost Children of Tacoma"), Bette O'Callaghan ("Hook, Line & Sinker"), Nathan Penlington ("Almost Nearly"), Nina Penlington ("A Study in Roads"), Alan Catlin ("Richard Brautigan's Last Hurrah"), and Gerald Locklin ("The Big Easy') refer specifically to Brautigan or his works. Other contributions may be inspired by Brautigan or written as tributes to him. Illustrated with photographs of some of the contributors holding copies of Brautigan's books.

Witman, Schuyler. "Episode: Richard Brautigan's Trunk." Beginnings: A Story

Part of a hypertext writing course taught by Daniel Anderson at The University of Texas. Students produced a hyperfiction that weaves multiple episodes into an ongoing narrative. Says, "It seems that for Richard Brautigan only the memories of things lost and the dreams of things that didn't really exist vibrated with the jelly-like eclat which things that are alive move in. Richard moved though the orgasmic meaninglessness of alive things like someone lost or waiting."

Wright, F. N. A Tribute: In Memory of Richard Brautigan. Sketchbook, vol. 2, no. 4, Oct. 2007.

A poem tribute entitled "It Was An Autumn Month" accompanied by four original watercolor paintings by Wright of Brautigan.
Richard Brautigan was a writer
& a poet who wrote whimsy
Mixed with wistfulness.
To read him you would
Never suspect that he lived
A lonely & sad life,
Haunted by childhood demons
That he couldn't shake.
Best known for his novel
Trout Fishing In America,
Which had nothing to do
With trout fishing—
Which was a passion of his—
He found his popularity dwindling
Here in America as it continued
To blossom in Japan.
One day or evening,
He put a .44 to his head
In his Bolinas, California home
& pulled the trigger.
His body wasn't discovered for some time.
It was an autumn month.

Sketchbook is "A Journal for Eastern & Western Short Forms" published monthly, online. The poem, "It Was An Autumn Month," reads

Yates, Brett. People I Admire: Richard Brautigan. The Mountain Times, 1 Sep. 2011.

Yates, a columnist for this weekly central Vermont newspaper, notes Brautigan's "off-kilter similes" and writing style, especially as demonstrated in Trout Fishing in America, provides a brief biography and bibliography, and concludes, "What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that Brautigan was an inimitable original. His was a minor voice in literature, but the purity of his work—everything in his books is fresh and unadorned—is sort of inspiring to me. It makes me want to write a little less turgidly, a little more openly." READ this tribute.

Yoshimura, Hiroshi. Concert on Paper: Scenic Event. Japan: Hiroshi Yoshimura, 1976.

A folded 10" x 14" 10 page photographic documentary of a "concert" happening or event. Brautigan is featured in three of the photographs. One photograph shows Brautigan kneeling to the side of a [An upright stone or slab with an inscribed or sculpted surface used as monument or commerative tablet] stele with seven kanji characters on it. Above the photograph appears the title/translation: "a monument of water melon sugar."

Feedback from Keith Abbott
I was told this [caption] was written by Brautigan, after his friends showed him the stele and told him the stele commemorated the sweetness of watermelons.
— Keith Abbott. Email to John F. Barber, 11 May 2002.

Zangari, Michael. "Author Brautigan Is Gilded As Counterculture Hero." Daily Nebraskan, 17 Nov. 1980, p. 10.

An article about Brautigan's appearance in Lincoln, Nebraska, to promote The Tokyo-Montana Express. Includes a photograph by Mark Billingsley of Brautigan signing books at Nebraska Bookstore. READ this tribute.

A note on Zangari's website adds further detail to his meeting with Brautigan. "The evening I spent with Richard Brautigan was by far the most important encounter of my life as a journalist and writer. Most of the evening was off the record. We went drinking at a local bar. I'd never seen anyone drink like that before. He downed tumbler after tumbler of Jack Daniels and never got drunk. He said he had an expense account with his publisher that paid for them. I had to leave at midnight to go to the radio station where I worked for my midnight show. Brautigan asked if he could go along. I thought he'd go on the air. But he did not want to. We just played music and talked. He spent half the night down at the studio. He sensed I needed something as a novelist, and gave me the best advice of my life. He said "Any success in the market place is luck. If you're not enjoying what you're doing, don't do it." I'll never forget him."

Zangari provides additional details about his meeting with Brautigan in a series of email messages. Also, information about a poster advertising Brautigan's appearance at the Nebraska Bookstore on Friday, 14 November 1980.

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