Brautigan > References

This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about reference sources focusing on Richard Brautigan. Different reference sources are available. Information is provided below, with annotations and links to additional information. Use the menu tabs below to learn more.

Background

References and resources about Richard Brautigan's life and writing are spread around the world. Many are ephemeral, hard to access. This node of American Dust collects them in one place. Abstracts and often, full text, of references are provided.

SELECT the "Bibliographies" menu tab for references organizing and/or accounting for Brautigan's writing. SELECT the "Biographies" menu tab for references about Brautigan's life. SELECT the "Studies" menu tab for references that examine Brautigan's writing within the context of American literature. SELECT the "Literary" menu tab for literature resources that include Brautigan. SELECT the "Critiques" menu tab for rigorous assessments of Brautigan's writing.

Close

Bibliographies

Barber, John F. Richard Brautigan: An Annotated Bibliography. McFarland, 1990.
Issued without a dustjacket, in green cloth boards with white lettering. Contents include: Prologue, Introduction, Critical/Biographical Overview, Chronology, Keys to Abbreviations and Short Titles, Works by Brautigan (Poetry, Novels, Short Stories, Collections, Essays and Articles, Letters/Papers, Recordings), General Commentary about Brautigan (Book-Length Studies, Bibliographies, Theses and Dissertations, Parodies, Censorship Litigation, and Teaching Experiences), Criticism of Brautigan (General and International), Reviews of Works by Brautigan (Poetry, Novels, Short Stories, Collections), Mysterious And Erroneous Citations, Obituaries and Eulogies, Sources, and Index.

Reviews
American Reference Books Association 92.
"Barber deserves praise for locating much of Brautigan's early work, which was often published only in broadside form and given away or printed in unindexed underground newspapers. . . . Will be welcomed by researchers interested in Brautigan and 1960s fiction and poetry."

Asheville Citizen-Times, 16 Dec. 1990.
"Meant for scholarly research rather than casual readers, but Barber does offer a poignant forward that touches on his troubled friendship with the writer."

Gargan, H. M. Choice, Mar. 1991, p. 1091.
Both a primary and a secondary bibliography.

Moore, Steven. Review of Contemporary Fiction, Summer 1991, p. 259.
"Barber has uncovered an enormous amount of material on Brautigan and annotated it intelligently, making this an essential purchase for academic libraries as well as for Brautigan collectors and scholars."

North Carolina Literary Review, Summer 1992.
"[T]he first (nearly) complete bibliography of primary and secondary Brautigan sources . . . Barber . . . has managed a noble task well."

Reference & Research Book News, April 1991.
"Covering 1956-June 1989, includes the American writer's novels, poetry, and short stories; translations of his work; and as much of his early work as can be retrieved from broadsides and uncollected underground newspapers. The secondary bibliography includes reviews and criticism in the popular and scholarly press, and book-length bibliographies."

Sandall, Simon. "Dr. John Barber Talks about Richard Brautigan." ReadersVoice.com, Feb. 2004.
An interview with Barber. Read online at the ReadersVoice website.

Jones, Stephen R. "Richard Brautigan: A Bibliography." Bulletin of Bibliography, vol. 33, no. 1, Jan. 1976, pp. 53-59.

Feedback from Stephen Jones
"Wow, what a wonderful archive you have built. Reading your collected tributes to Richard Brautigan, I'm taken right back to Washington State University, where I wrote my little bibliography for Herr Professor Benzeler in 1976. He gave me a "B" for my work—not understanding or appreciating Brautigan in the least. Was fun the next term to bring in the publication acceptance notice—he had held Bulletin of Bibliography up as "the prime location" for a bibliographer to appear. Was sweet.

In Eugene, Oregon, I introduced myself to Brautigan as his bibliographer and shook his hand after his reading. He raised an eyebrow at me and smiled. He spent a great bit there sharing weird articles from the National Enquirer during his reading.

"Thank you for all your amazing work."
— Stephen Jones. Email to John F. Barber, 27 August 2007.

Lepper, Gary M. A Bibliographical Introduction to Seventy-Five Modern American Authors. Serendipity Books, 1976, pp. 81-85.

Wanless, James and Christine Kolodziej. "Richard Brautigan: A Working Checklist." Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction, vol. 16, no. 1, 1974, pp. 41-52.
Compiles secondary material on Brautigan through 1973. Lists novels (including their serial form), poetry, short stories, and uncollected pieces, as well as reviews and critical commentary on individual works.

Close

Biographies

Anonymous. "Brautigan, Richard." Britannica Biography Collection ***?***.
born Jan. 30, 1933, Tacoma, Wash., U.S.
died , before Oct. 25, 1984, Bolinas, Calif.

"American writer of pastoral, whimsical, often surreal works popular among readers in the counterculture of the 1960s and '70s.

"Brautigan's humorous first novel, A Confederate General from Big Sur, was published in 1964. His second novel, Trout Fishing in America (1967), a commentary on the state of nature in contemporary America, sold two million copies, and its title was adopted as the name of several American communes.

"Brautigan's novels are usually short and feature passive protagonists whose innocence shields them from the moral consequences of their actions. His later novels include In Watermelon Sugar (1968), The Abortion: An Historical Romance, 1966 (1971), The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western (1974), Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel, 1942 (1977), and The Tokyo-Montana Express (1979). Brautigan also published a short-story collection, Revenge of the Lawn: Stories, 1962-1970 (1971), and several poetry collections. His death was an apparent suicide."

Anonymous. "Richard Gary Brautigan (1935-1984)." Hutchinson's Biography Database ***?***.
"U.S. novelist. He lived in San Francisco, the setting for many of his playfully inventive and humorous short fictions, often written as deadpan parodies. He became a cult figure in the late 1960s with such works as A Confederate General from Big Sur 1964, his best-seller Trout Fishing in America 1967, and In Watermelon Sugar 1968. His last novels, before committing suicide, were The Tokyo-Montana Express 1980 and So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away 1982."

Appelo, Tim. "Slum Sparrow Millionaire." City Arts Tacoma, Apr. 2009, pp. 16-21.
Cover and article illustrations by Chandler O'Leary
Reprinted: City Arts Seattle, May 2009: 22-26.
"Our most famous poet, Richard Brautigan, started dirt poor, made millions, charmed the Beatles and innumerable hippie chicks, then took his own life. How Tacoma hurt him into genius, with an exclusive excerpt from a forthcoming biography." Features an excerpt from the forthcoming Brautigan biography by William Hjortsberg. The excerpt, "Brautigan's Tacoma Moonshiner Grandmother," focuses on Elizabeth "Bessie" Cordelia Ashlock (Keho) (Dixon). See Biography > Family > Maternal grandparents.

Biography Almanac. Third Edition. Vol. I. Ed. Susan L. Stetler. Gale Research Co., 1987, p. 230.
"American, Author, Poet. Became campus hero, 1960s with whimsical novel Trout Fishing in America. b. Jan. 30, 1935 in Tacoma, Washington. d. Oct. 25, 1984 in Bolinas, California."

Biography Index. Vol. 25 Sept. 1999-Aug. 2000. Edited by Charles R. Cornell. The H. W. Wilson Company, 2000, p. 50.
A cumulative index to biographical material appearing in books and magazines during this time period.

Biography Index. Vol. 24 Sept. 1998-Aug. 1999. Edited by Charles R. Cornell. The H. W. Wilson Company, 1999, p. 54.
A cumulative index to biographical material appearing in books and magazines during this time period.

Biography Index. Vol. 17. Sept. 1990-Aug. 1992. Edited by Charles R. Cornell. H.W. Wilson Co., 1992, p. 89.
A cumulative index to biographical material appearing in books and magazines during this time period.

Biography Index. Vol. 16. Sept. 1988-Aug. 1990. Edited by Charles R. Cornell. H.W. Wilson Co., 1990, p. 91.
A cumulative index to biographical material appearing in books and magazines during this time period.

Biography Index. Vol. 14. Sept. 1984-Aug. 1986. Edited by Charles R. Cornell. H.W. Wilson Co., 1986, p. 81.
A cumulative index to biographical material appearing in books and magazines during this time period.

Biography Index. Vol. 12. Sept. 1979-Aug. 1982. Edited by Walter Webb. H.W. Wilson Co., 1983, p. 93.
A cumulative index to biographical material appearing in books and magazines during this time period.

Biography Index. Vol. 10. Sept. 1973-Aug. 1976. Edited by Rita Volmer Louis. H.W. Wilson Co., 1977, p. 86.
A cumulative index to biographical material appearing in books and magazines during this time period.

Biography Index. Vol. 9. Sept. 1970-Aug. 1973. Edited by Rita Volmer Louis. H.W. Wilson Co., 1974, p. 84.
A cumulative index to biographical material appearing in books and magazines during this time period.

The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography. Edited by John S. Borman. Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 85.
"Brautigan, Richard
(?1935-84) writer; born in Tacoma, Wash. He became a cult figure in the 1960s as one of the San Francisco poets and embodiment of the 1960s counterculture. He wrote surrealistically random novels and poems about alienation. His books include the novel, Trout Fishing in America (1967), and the collection of poems, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968). Disheartened by public indifference to his later works, he committed suicide in 1984." (85)

Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1981. Edited by Karen L. Rood, Jean W. Ross, and Richard Ziegfeld. Gale Research, 1982, p. 311.
Notes that information about Brautigan appears in the 1980 Yearbook.

Hjortsberg, William. Jubiliee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan. Counterpoint, 2012.
896 pages. ISBN-1582437904; ISBN-13: 978-1582437903
Writer William R. Hjortsberg is known for his novel Falling Angel, the basis for the movie Angel Heart (1987). Three excerpted essays were published in Big Sky Journal (see Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Hjortsberg) and Richard Brautigan: Essays on the Writings and Life (John Barber 2007; See "Studies" menu tab > Barber). Another excerpt, "Brautigan's Tacoma Moonshiner Grandmother," focusing on Elizabeth "Bessie" Cordelia Ashlock (Keho) (Dixon) was included in Slum Sparrow Millionaire (Tim Appelo, Tacoma City Arts May 2009).

Press
Bishoff, Don. "Eugene Had Its Day as Sin City." The Register-Guard 16 Feb. 1991, p. 1B.
Brief mention of Brautigan during his high school days in Eugene, Oregon and Hjortsberg's quest to find information for his biography of Brautigan. Article includes Brautigan's high school yearbook photograph. Excerpts from this article pertaining to Brautigan and Hjortsberg include the following.
"Were you a student at the old Eugene High School 10 years later—in 1953? If so, you had a famous-writer-to-be for a classmate. And another writer would like to talk to you about him.

"Richard Brautigan, a flamboyant 'honorary hippie' who rose to literary fame about the same time as Springfield's Ken Kesey, was a 1953 grad of the school. He became a literary cult hero with such books as Trout Fishing in America and A Confederate General from Big Sur.

"But his popularity waned and he committed suicide in 1984 in Bolinas, Calif. Now a former neighbor from Montana, author William Hjortsberg, is writing Brautigan's biography.

"'He told friends he only went through the sixth grade,' Hjortsberg said by phone last week. 'But when they found his body in the bedroom where he shot himself, his diploma from Eugene High School was sitting propped up on a table.'

"And when Hjortsberg called South Eugene High Principal Don Jackson this week, Jackson found Brautigan's picture in the '53 yearbook. 'I had to say I'd never heard of the guy,' said Jackson, who became principal years later. Jackson's also never read him, although South's library has a copy of Trout Fishing in America.

"Jackson and librarian Joan Banfield couldn't find a yearbook clue that Brautigan belonged to school teams or clubs. That's where old grads come in.

"That year, 1953, was the last one the school was at 17th and Charnelton. If you remember anything about Brautigan there, Hjortsberg wants to hear from you. His address is Main Boulder Route, McLeod, Mont., 59052. His phone number is 406-932-6101.

"'I'm looking for anyone who would be willing to talk to me,' he said. 'I'm trying to write a fairly anecdotal book, with reminiscences about the time he stole hubcaps or burned down the goal posts.'

"'Even somebody like Richard must have been a teen-ager once.'"

Close

Studies

Agosto, Marie-Christian. Richard Brautigan: Les Fleurs de Néant [The Flowers of Nothingness]. Belin, 1999.
127 pages; ISBN 2-701-12499-9
First printing December 1998
Title borrowed from Brautigan's An Unfortunate Woman, published earlier, and first, in France, in 1994.

Barber, John F., editor. Richard Brautigan: Essays on the Writings and Life. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2006.
292 pages; ISBN 0-978-7864-2525-9 (Hardback), 0-7864-2525-3 (Softcover)
Front cover illustration by Kenn Davis.
A collection of thirty-two essays, many written for this volume, by friends and scholars that provide a forum for reflections about Brautigan and his contributions.

Contributors include Keith Abbott, Amy Arenson, Pierre Autin-Grenier, John F. Barber, Kevin Berger, Mark Bernheim, David Biasotti, Robert Creeley, Kenn Davis, Helen Donlon, Brad Donovan, Edward Dorn, Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, Joan Harvey, Gerald Haslam, Claude Hayward, Steve Heilig, William Hjortsberg, Greg Keeler, Joanne Kyger, Todd Lockwood, Eric Lorberer, Michael McClure, Steven Moore, Kevin Ring, Neil Schiller, Michael Sexson, Craig V. Showalter, Veronica Stapleton, Barnard Turner, Erik Weber, and F. N. Wright.

Includes previously unpublished photographs of Brautigan by Erik Weber and paintings and sketches of Brautigan by artist Kenn Davis. See full text of essays in this volume, below.

Reviews
McLennan, Rob. Rob McLennan's Blog, 5 Dec. 2006. READ this essay.

Reynolds, Sean. "Barber Brings Back Brautigan." Entertainment Today, 22-28 Sep. 2006, p. 6. READ this essay.


Abbott, Keith. "In the Riffles with Richard: A Profile of Richard Brautigan" (38-55)
One consistent theme in Richard Brautigan's life was fishing. By his own account he fished for trout in the streams around Tacoma, Washington, as a young boy. His best-known novel, Trout Fishing in America, although not about fishing, uses trout fishing as a many-leveled metaphor. He appeared in Tarpon, a film by Guy de la Valdéne, fishing for tarpon with fly-fishing equipment with Jimmy Buffett, Tom McGuane, and Jim Harrison in Key West, Florida. Kenn Davis sketched Brautigan fishing in the North Fork of the Yuba River, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Russell Chatham ("Dust to Dust," in Dark Waters. Livingston, MT: Clark City Press, 1988. 28-34), Pierre Delattre ("Brautigan Done For," in Episodes [St. Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1993. 53-54], and Rip Torn's "Blunder Brothers: A Memoir," in Seasons of the Angler: A Fisherman's Anthology (New York: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1988. 127-139) all wrote about Brautigan as a fisherman. Abbott's essay, "In the Riffles with Richard," first published in California Fly Fisher (Mar./Apr. 1998, pp. 44-45, 47, 69), also profiles Brautigan from a fishing perspective. READ this essay.


Abbott, Keith, Amy Arneson, Veronica Stapleton, Mark Bernheim, Joan Harvey. "Richard Brautigan and the Final Chapters in A Confederate General from Big Sur"
Abbott, Keith. "Introduction" (26-27)
Arneson, Amy. "Perceptual Rhythms: Realities and Truths in A Confederate General from Big Sur" (28-290)
Stapleton, Veronica. "Characters and Cycles in A Confederate General from Big Sur" (29-31)
Bernheim, Mark. "The Union Sergeant of Santa Cruz" (31-32)
Harvey, Joan. "Ah, fuck it. Where are the alligators?" (32-34)
"This essay is a unique collaborative effort between Amy Arenson, Veronica Stapleton, Mark Bernheim, Joan Harvey, and Keith Abbott. Arenson, Stapleton, Bernheim, and Harvey are students at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Keith Abbott is their teacher. Together, they explore the narrative techniques Richard Brautigan employed in the final chapters of his novel A Confederate General from Big Sur. Their evaluations and critiques are presented here as a symposium of different perspectives. The result is a multi-faceted view of Richard Brautigan and his writing. As academic scholarship, this work, along with that of Neil Schiller and Barnard Turner, both included in this anthology, represents the continued interest in Brautigan and his work by scholars seeking to understand Brautigan's unique narrative style and his place in American literature. This essay was written for this anthology." READ this essay.


Autin-Grenier, Pierre. "A Drop of Pouilly-Fuissé into The Pacific Ocean" (77-79)
"Brautigan's imagination and metaphorical flights of creativity, especially in his small, tight little stories, are what make his writing unique. Pierre Autin-Grenier's essay describes the futility of trying to write a story like Brautigan complete with the slight twist that turns the narrative away from the initial story and into an exploration unique and all its own. First published: Je ne suis pas un Heros [I'm Not A Hero] (Paris: Gallimard, 2002. 98-101). Translated from the original French by Éric Dejaeger." READ this essay.


Barber, John F. "She's Gone. It's Done" (80-87)
"By all accounts, and from my own observation, Richard Brautigan was a private person. He rarely allowed others into his private life. This shared experience was completely unexpected and even now, all these years later, I still feel honored. After the fact I wrote the evening's events in my journal. I showed it to Richard later and he said, 'If you ever show this to anyone before I die I will haunt you forever.' Well, I did and he does. After all these years, I do not think he would mind if I share this experience one more time. This memoir is excerpted from my prologue to Richard Brautigan: An Annotated Bibliography (McFarland, 1990, pp. 1-6)." READ this essay.


Berger, Kevin. "The Secrets of Fiction: Where Have You Gone Richard Brautigan?" (88-91)
"Even now, more than two decades after his death, Richard Brautigan is noted as an inspiration by artists, scholars, and writers, not to mention everyday readers. This memoir by Kevin Berger tells of the respite reading Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America gave his father from the inescapable news that he was dying of cancer. Berger's essay was first published San Francisco Magazine (September 1999: 50)." READ this essay.


Biasotti, David. "Just Like a Poem: Richard Brautigan and Mad River" (92-116)
"Listening to Richard Brautigan, a record album of Brautigan reading some of his work and conducting his life, is well known to fans and collectors. In another essay, F. N. Wright writes about his connection to this record album. Less known is the recording of Brautigan reading his poem "Love's Not the Way to Treat a Friend," which appeared on the second album, Paradise Bar and Grill, released by a San Francisco band named Mad River. The band's first album, Mad River, was dedicated to Brautigan, and rumors have long circulated about the connection between Brautigan and Mad River. In this essay, the first to explore this connection and provide a definitive history of the band Mad River, David Biasotti provides some interesting insights into how Brautigan and the members of the band helped each other pursue their dreams of being writers and musicians. This essay was written for this anthology." READ this essay.


Creeley, Robert. "The Gentle on the Mind Number" (117-121)
"Robert Creeley and Richard Brautigan were long-time friends and admired each other's writing. Creeley wrote a promotional blurb for Brautigan's Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork ("Weirdly delicious bullets of irresistible wisdom. Pop a few!"). Brautigan wrote a poem, first published inThe Octopus Frontier, titled "Sit Comma and Creeley Comma." Creeley's eulogy to Brautigan, "The Gentle on the Mind Number," was first published in Rolling Stock (9 1985: 4) and later reprinted in The Collected Essays of Robert Creeley (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989)." READ this essay.


Davis, Kenn. "Sketches of Richard Brautigan" (122-131)
"Kenn Davis and Richard Brautigan were good friends during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Davis drew the covers for Brautigan's poetry collections The Galilee Hitch-Hiker and Lay the Marble Tea. He also painted an original portrait of Brautigan and several non-posed pen and ink sketches that provide rare insights into the personal Brautigan, the man behind the author whose photograph appears on the front cover of his early books. In this essay Davis tells about his friendship with Brautigan and the background for his sketches. This essay was written for this anthology." READ this essay.


Donlon, Helen. "Shooting Up the Countryside" (132-145)
"At the time Helen Donlon wrote this essay, in 1988, four years after his death, little was known of Richard Brautigan's life. As a result, her essay can be read as a collection of information, observations, speculations, and extrapolations current at that time. It is also interesting as one of the first to attempt an overview and summation of Brautigan's life, his work, and his place in American literature. Donlon's essay was first published in Beat Scene (3 Autumn 1988: 1-9), a literary journal based in the United Kingdom, but has remained relatively unknown." READ this essay.


Donovan, Brad. "Foodstamps for the Stars" (146-153)
"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. Brad Donovan, a fishing friend of Brautigan's, tells a story of one party in this essay. Although tongue-in-cheek, Donovan's essay captures the wide-open spirit associated with a Brautigan party. Donovan's essay was first published in The Firestarter (June 1996: 4-5), a magazine 'celebrating the natural and cultural diversity of Southwest Montana.'" READ this essay.


Donovan, Brad. "Brautigan and the Eagles" (154-159)
"Brad Donovan and Richard Brautigan first met in Boulder, Colorado, in the kitchen of Edward and Jennifer Dorn. Brautigan invited Donovan to Montana to fish. Shortly afterwards, Donovan and his wife moved to Bozeman, Montana, where they lived in a small trailer park along the banks of the Gallatin River. Here, Donovan and Brautigan wrote a screenplay together, entitled Trailer. Donovan's memoir, "Brautigan and the Eagles" was first published in Rolling Stock (9 1985: 4, 6)." READ this essay.


Dorn, Edward. "In Memoriam: Richard Brautigan" (160-165)
"Brautigan visited with writers Edward and Jennifer Dorn for several weeks during the Summer of 1980. Dorn's memoir was first published in Empire Magazine (the magazine of The Denver Post) May 19, 1985: 22-23, 25, 27, and was later reprinted as "Richard Brautigan: Free Market Euthanasia" in Exquisite Corpse (4(1) January-February 1986: 13. Edited by Andrei Codrescu) and later in Dorn's Way West: Stories, Essays & Verse Accounts: 1963-1993 (Santa Rosa, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1993). It was accompanied in both publications by a companion piece written by Dorn's wife, Jennifer, titled "The Perfect American," which also appears in this anthology." READ this essay.


Dorn, Jennifer Dunbar. "The Perfect American" (166-169)
"First published in Empire Magazine (the magazine of The Denver Post), May 19, 1985: 23, 31. Reprinted in Edward Dorn's Way West: Stories, Essays & Verse Accounts: 1963-1993 (Santa Rosa, California: Black Sparrow Press, 1993)." READ this essay.


Haslam, Gerald. "A Last Letter to Richard Brautigan" (170-175)
"Many tributes and memorials were written for Richard Brautigan following his death in 1984. A few of the better ones, including this one by Gerald Haslam, are collected in this anthology. In their own way, each tribute attempts to reach some final pronouncements about Brautigan's life, and death. The success of Haslam's tribute centers around his ability to write so personally, as if conversing directly with Brautigan, but in the end focus on us, Brautigan's readers. Haslam's tribute to Brautigan was first published in Western American Literature (21(1) May 1986: 48-50)." READ this essay.


Hayward, Claude. "Glimpses of Richard Brautigan in the Haight-Ashbury" (176-189)
"Claude Hayward was one of the founders of the Communication Company, the street press serving San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury District during the 1960s. The Communication Company, or ComCo, printed several of Richard Brautigan's early poems as broadsides which were then given away on the streets of San Francisco. In his essay, written for this anthology, Hayward recounts meeting Brautigan, printing his poems, and his early poetry collection, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace. His account gives us an interesting insight into Brautigan's early career as a writer in San Francisco." READ this essay.


Heilig, Steve. "Dreaming Brautigan: An Appreciation" (190-195)
"Every day, somewhere in the world, someone discovers the writing of Richard Brautigan and feels that somehow, in some unique, often indefinable way, Brautigan's writing provides a touchstone or perspective that is intensely personal. Brautigan becomes one of their favorite writers. Heilig's essay, written for this anthology, describes the magic and inspiration he found in Brautigan's writing." READ this essay.


Hjortsberg, William. "Lit Crit," "Over Easy," and "R. I. P.: Three Vignettes" (196-206)
"William Hjortsberg is a well-known novelist. His Falling Angel (1978) was the basis for the film Angel Heart. Less known about Hjortsberg is that he and Richard Brautigan were neighbors for a number of years in Montana. As a result, Hjortsberg came to know Brautigan quite well. He is currently compiling that knowledge into a biography of Richard Brautigan. These three vignettes were first published in Big Sky Journal (Arts Issue 2002: 72-78)." READ this essay.


Keeler, Greg. "Dreaming Richard Brautigan" (207-214)
"Greg Keeler teaches English literature and creative writing at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. It was there, in 1978, that he first met Richard Brautigan. Keeler and Brautigan shared many experiences together until Brautigan's death in 1984. Keeler's memoir, Waltzing with the Captain: Remembering Richard Brautigan (2004) recounts many of these adventures. Keeler's accounts of Brautigan are deeply personal and provide us one of the very few images of the man behind the author. This essay was first published in Gargoyle 50 (May 2005: 5-9) aptly illustrates Keeler's point." READ this essay.


Keeler, Greg. "Richard's Miraculous Mistakes" (215-218)
"'Here's the main thing I feel about Richard's work,' says Keeler. 'It's strictly between the reader and the work. Anyone who dares get in the way and interpret it is playing with fire. That's why his work finds new fans all the time. It's like nothing else, no one can pin it down. It's very private in its relationship with the reader—just like Richard was with his friends. People REALLY resent being told anything ABOUT his work. It's just them and the work. I'm finding that out. There are as many stories in Richard's work as there are readers. Each of his wild similes is a story in itself. The fourteen-year-old girl next door just read In Watermelon Sugar and she got a little feisty when I suggested we might discuss it. It's her story now. What do I know?' This essay was written for this anthology." READ this essay.


Kyger, Joanne. "I Remember Richard Brautigan" (219-226)
"Joanne Kyger is a renowned West Coast poet who came to prominence just as the Beat movement was waning in the early 1960s. She was well-connected to the other poets and writers in San Francisco at that time, including Richard Brautigan. Her memories of Brautigan are quite insightful. Written specifically for this anthology, each paragraph of Kyger's essay recounts a memory of Brautigan, almost as if Kyger is winding back through the archival tapes of their times and experiences shared together. This essay was written for this anthology." READ this essay.


Lockwood, Todd. "The Brautigan Library: A Noble Experiment" (227-229)
"Long a fan of Brautigan, Todd Lockwood founded The Brautigan Library in Burlington, Vermont, in April 1990. Modeled after the library Brautigan portrayed in The Abortion, The Brautigan Library was designed as a repository for unpublished books by unknown authors. When it closed in January 1996, most of the manuscripts donated to the Brautigan Library were moved to the Fletcher Free Library, also in Burlington, where they were displayed, along with Brautigan's glasses and typewriter. Lockwood's essay, "The Brautigan Library: A Noble Experiment," was written to mark the occasion." READ this essay.


Lockwood, Todd. "The Brautigan Library Founder's Message" (230-243)
"During its Vermont tenure, The Brautigan Library issued a quarterly newsletter titled The 23 that ran for seventeen issues from December 1990 (vol. 1, no. 1) to winter/spring 1995 (vol. 5, no. 1-2). "The 23" is the title of a chapter in The Abortion and describes the unpublished works of twenty-three unknown American writers. This essay by Lockwood is excerpted from his regular column in issues of The 23. The essay provides not only a unique history of the Brautigan Library, but also a unique perspective on the inspiration that comes from Richard Brautigan and his writing." READ this essay.


Lorberer, Eric. "Richard Brautigan: A Millennium Paper Airplane" (244-257)
"In this essay Eric Lorberer, editor of Rain Taxi Review of Books, tries for double duty: homage to Brautigan, his writing, and his place in American literature; and notice of then new Brautiganiana. Lorberer's essay first appeared in Rain Taxi Review of Books (5(3) Fall 2000: 16-18)." READ this essay.


McClure, Michael. "Ninety-One Things about Richard Brautigan" (258-303)
"Michael McClure was an important figure in the San Francisco literary scene. His controversial plays, including The Beard and Josephine: The Mouse Singer, were among the major theatre events of the 1960s and 1970s. He also knew and was friends with Richard Brautigan. In May 1985, he published, with Peter Manso, an article in Vanity Fair entitled "Brautigan's Wake," a re-evaluation of Brautigan, after his death, by his friend and peers. In preparation for the essay, McClure wrote a series of ninety-one notes about Brautigan. These notes were not included in the Vanity Fair article, but were first published, later, in Lighting the Corners: On Art, Nature, and the Visionary (Albuquerque, New Mexico: American Poetry, 1993, 36-68). At that time, McClure included the following note with this essay: ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Vanity Fair asked me to write an article about Richard Brautigan and his recent suicide in 1985. These are notes written at typing speed as I reread all of Richard's writings. The article appeared in Vanity Fair and these notes, none of which appear in the magazine, are published for the first time." READ this essay.


Moore, Steven. "Paper Flowers: Richard Brautigan's Poetry" (304-335)
"In his own words, Steven Moore explains the genesis of this essay. 'I discovered Brautigan's work in 1971 when I spotted a paperback copy of The Abortion in a department store. I was struck by the photographic cover because it was like looking in a mirror: back then I had the same long blond hair, glasses, and hippie clothes. ('Threads,' we called them.) I loved The Abortion and quickly devoured his earlier works, then read each new book as it was published in the 1970s and '80s. After his death in 1984, I waited for the customary Collected Poems to appear, but years went by: nada. So in August 2001 I proposed such a book to John Martin of Black Sparrow Press; he liked the idea and contacted the Brautigan Estate, which also liked the idea, and over the next two months I prepared the manuscript. But in the spring of 2002, Martin decided to close shop and cancelled all future publications. Not wanting to see the work go to waste, I sent the manuscript to Houghton Mifflin, Brautigan's old publisher. An editor there said they might want to publish it, so I directed him to the Estate for the necessary permission. I never heard back from anyone after that, and the manuscript is gathering dust on my shelf. The following essay is the introduction I wrote for the doomed volume.'" READ this essay.


Ring, Kevin. "West Coast Dreamer: The Lonely Death of Richard Brautigan" (336-347)
"Even at the height of his fame as a writer, and certainly during the two decades following his death, much of Richard Brautigan's life was a mystery. Brief comments from Brautigan, often formulated for their highest promotional value, unofficial biographical accounts by critics and raconteurs, as well as personal memoirs from friends and fans have filled the information gap regarding Brautigan, his life, his work, his death, and his place in American literature. Often such accounts unsupported claims and misrepresentations. These problems notwithstanding [but clarified here], Ring's essay attempted to address the constant desire from readers around the world for more information about their favorite author. Ring's essay was first published in Beat Scene (31 n. d. 1998: 12-16)." READ this essay.


Schiller, Neil. "The Historical Present: Notions of History, Time and Cultural Lineage in the Writing of Richard Brautigan" (348-370)
"Neil Schiller is one of a new generation of scholars interested in writers on the fringes of the Beat Movement, The Sixties, or later writers they influenced—authors such as Charles Bukowski, Ken Kesey, John Weiners, and Richard Brautigan. Schiller is currently working on a Ph.D. thesis in the United Kingdom comparing Brautigan's work to that of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., especially Brautigan's impact on popular culture and postmodernism. This essay is taken from his evolving dissertation and provides an interesting look at current scholarship devoted to Brautigan and his work." READ this essay.


Sexson, Michael. "Brer Brautigan: Trickster Dead and Well in Montana" (371-373)
"Richard Brautigan maintained a 40-acre ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana, where he lived, off and on, for many years. He had many friends there as well as in nearby Bozeman, where he taught a course in Creative Writing at Montana State University during the spring of 1982. Michael Sexson, a member of the English department, and Brautigan were friends. Sexson wrote this tribute to his friend especially for this anthology." READ this essay.


Showalter, Craig V. "Notes from a Brautigan Collector" (374-380)
"Richard Brautigan and his writing have inspired countless people. Many respond to this inspiration through their own work, and there are many examples of writing, graphic or performing arts, scholarship, and music inspired in one way or another by Brautigan. An interesting response to Brautigan is to collect examples of his writing, or other items associated with his life. Craig Showalter has for years acquired and maintained one of the major collections of Brautiganiana. His essay details how he started and pursued this interesting avocation. He also provides important background information regarding Brautigan from his years of research. This essay is excerpted from Showalter's Collecting Richard Brautigan: A Bibliocatalog (Pine Island, MN: Kumquat Pressworks, 2001)." READ this essay.


Turner, Barnard. "Richard Brautigan, Flânerie, and Japan: Some International Perspectives on his Work" (381-459)
"Barnard Turner is one of a new generation of scholars focusing on Richard Brautigan, his work, and his place in American literature. Oftentimes, the point of view of these scholars is international in context and perspective. Turner, academic convenor for European studies at the National University of Singapore, contends that Brautigan updates the established literary genre of the Nineteenth Century Parisian flâneur, the roaming observer, who, although easily distracted, is purposeful in attention to the idiosyncrasies, fashions, and nuances of a place. In this light, Turner says, Brautigan's writings move well beyond their facile categorization in America as "Beat" or "hippie" to take on international dimensions as engaged intercultural exchanges between Brautigan's narrator, the other, and the unknown. Turner's essay was written for this anthology." READ this essay.


Weber, Erik. "Visit to the 'Confederate General from Big Sur' 31 May 1965" (460-462)
Photographs by Weber of Brautigan.


Wright, F. N. "Talking with Richard Brautigan" (463-471)
"In 1970, a record album titled Listening to Richard Brautigan appeared in stores across the country. The record featured Brautigan reading thirty poems from his The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, as well as selections from three of his novels: A Confederate General from Big Sur, Trout Fishing in America, and In Watermelon Sugar. The record album also featured Brautigan telling anecdotes, talking on the telephone, brushing his teeth, and removing his clothing. The intended effect was to present an alternative view of Richard Brautigan. The album cover featured two photographs, of Richard and Valerie Estes, each holding telephones. Brautigan is shown standing in his Geary Street apartment, holding his telephone and looking frustrated. Estes, in her apartment, also holds a telephone, but looks at the ceiling, smiling. Over the top of these two photographs was a short blurb about Brautigan that ended, 'His telephone number is 567-3389.' According to Ianthe Brautigan, in her book, You Can't Catch Death, so many people called Brautigan using the telephone number printed on the record cover that he was forced to request a new one. F. N. Wright was one of those who called, and he recounts his conversation with Brautigan in this memoir written for this anthology." READ this essay.

Boyer, Jay. Richard Brautigan. Boise State University Press, 1987.
50 pages; 5.5" x 8.5"
Paperback, with stiff printed wrappers.
Part of the Boise State University Western Writers Collection, produced through the English Department.
Of the series, a back cover blurb says, "This continuing series, primarily regional in nature, provides brief but authoritative introductions to the lives and works of authors who have written significant literature about the American West. These attractive, uniform pamphlets, none of them longer than fifty pages, will be useful to the general reader as well as to high school and college students."

Provides an overview of Brautigan as a Western writer and interpretation of his novels. Says that as either a Western writer or a post-modern writer, Brautigan's contribution seems slight. "But Brautigan's work may give us cause to rethink assumptions about the disparity between the two sensibilities. Looking toward who we are and who we might like once again to become, Brautigan's novels suggest cultural myths and personal realities that can inform one another, if they're given a chance. America is often "only a place in the mind" he wrote in Trout Fishing in America, and that expresses about as well as anyone might the key to the connection between post-modern and traditional Western views. For what Brautigan's novels do is to bring the territorial impulse of the Western, with all that suggests, to the experiential dilemmas of twentieth-century life. . . . Brautigan's greatest contribution to American letters may lie neither in post-modernism nor in Westernism, in other words, but rather in pointing us toward a juncture where the two might yet meet." (49-50)

Reviews
Burrows, Russell. "Richard Brautigan." Western American Literature, vol. 23, no. 2, Aug. 1988, pp. 156-158.
Reviews Gerald Haslam by Gerald Locklin, Helen Hunt Jackson by Rosemary Whitaker, Ole Edvart Rölvaag by Ann Moseley, Lanford Wilson by Mark Busby, and Richard Brautigan by Jay Boyer—all part of the Boise State University Western Writers Series. Says "these pamphlets provide useful introductions to five western writers." The one paragraph of this review devoted to Boyer's book on Brautigan reads, "Jay Boyer's opening note makes us think that he'll take a sympathetic view of Richard Brautigan, whose 'star had fallen.' But Boyer doesn't evoke our feelings for Brautigan. Instead, his subject quickly emerges as an egomaniac, and the wonder is that one of his wives or friends didn't shoot him before he shot himself. The dark shades of Brautigan's personal life contrast sharply, therefore, with the value that Boyer willingly grants to Brautigan's work. Boyer writes that contrary to popular opinion, Brautigan "was not an author who knew what he was doing for a novel or two and then lost sight of it." But the proof of that claim is hard to see, since by Boyer's own admission, Brautigan began as a post-modernist, and then as his career went into eclipse took up traditional forms. Where the tendency of those who contribute to this series is to focus on the writers' themes, Boyer is more concerned with Brautigan's unusual style. And indeed, the best parts of this pamphlet are Boyer's explications of Brautigan's poetry and prose. These few very close readings, more than Boyer's general commentary, effectively argue that Brautigan was more than a fling that a generation of college students had with one who briefly spoke to them." (157)

Etulain, Richard W. "Richard Brautigan by Jay Boyer." Oregon Historical Quarterly, vol. 90, no. 2, Summer 1989, pp. 206-208.
Reviews Gerald Haslam by Gerald Locklin, Helen Hunt Jackson by Rosemary Whitaker, Ole Edvart Rölvaag by Ann Moseley, Lanford Wilson by Mark Busby, and Richard Brautigan by Jay Boyer—all part of the Boise State University Western Writers Series. Says "these pamphlets provide useful introductions to five western writers." The one paragraph of this review devoted to Boyer's book on Brautigan reads, "In the third work under review Jay Boyer takes seriously the writings of Richard Brautigan, who has often been dismissed as part of the 'happiness-is-a-warm-hippie' school of writing. Instead, Boyer calls attention to Brautigan's emphasis on tone, perspective, isolation, and individualism. He further concludes that in his best-known works Brautigan centers on imaginative transitions taking place in a writer's mind. At the same time, Boyer does not overlook Brautigan's unattractive characteristics and implies through his repeated use of the phrase "seems to" that his readings are tentative and suggestive rather than authoritative and final. A concluding section provocatively argues that a union of postmodernist ideas and American western traditions will clarify the life and writings of Brautigan." (207-208)

Chénetier, Marc. Portrait en Pin, en Sucre de Pastèque et en Pierres de Richard Brautigan [Portrait in Pinewood, Watermelon Sugar and Stones of Richard Brautigan]. Éditions Les Rêveurs, collection "pas vu pas pris." 2008.
38 pages, ISBN 2 912 747 40 6
Illustrations by Philippe Squarzoni
Short reflections by Chénetier about Brautigan's life and writings

Chénetier, Marc. Richard Brautigan. Methuen [Paris: Bourgois]. 1983.
First edition in English
Argues that Brautigan's dismissal by American critics has less to do with the quality of writing than with the nature of the scholarship applied to it. Argues that the metafictional quality of Brautigan's work may not make a "homogenous reading" the proper approach. Says Brautigan's work falls outside the scope of traditional American scholarship and that it seeks to liberate fiction from the premises on which traditional mythology is based. Attempts to provide a formula for a unified reading of Brautigan's works.

Says, "Brautigan has been identified as a "minor" writer. . . . An apparent thematic thinness has alienated philosophically inclined critics, while his very popularity has repelled many serious critical analysts. More classical critics have been disturbed by the gradual disappearance from his work both of predictable content and traditionally dominant features of the novel (plot, character, setting); while his lack of explicit theoretical assertion has not won him the interest of those concerned with innovative developments in American fiction. [He is] oddly placed, then, on the margins of 'metafiction' and 'postmodernism'. . . . For me, Brautigan, if a 'minor' writer, is a far more important miner than many recognized writers. . . . Mapping out a territory is as important as settling it, and one may prefer census-taking to sense-making: the actual weighing of the nuggets will be left to others." (19-20)

Reviews
Balitas, Vincent D. "Chénetier, Marc. Richard Brautigan." College Literature, vol. 11, no. 3, 1984, pp. 301-303.
Reviews several volumes in the Methuen Contemporary Writers series, including Chénetier's work on Brautigan. Says, "Of the writers treated in this series, it is hard to think of one other than Brautigan whose claim to a major reputation could create dissenters. Chénetier must do all he can to reclaim Brautigan from those who consider him nothing more than a pop-culture phenomenon. However, even Chénetier, who reveals his enthusiasm for Brautigan, fails to advance his status. Whereas Klinkowitz asumes Vonnegut's secure reputation, Chénetier strains to prove, for example, that Brautigan's recent fictions represent advances in art and craft rather than, as others contend, their failure."

Couturier, Maurice. "Marc Chénetier—Richard Brautigan." Revue Française D'Études Américaines, no. 19, 1984, [. 149.
Says this book is both a chronological study of Brautigan's work and a reconstruction of his personal intinerary, with emphasis on his rhetorical techniques, experiments, and systematic confrontation of poetry and fiction. In this sense, Chénetier's work is a perfect tool with which to study Brautigan and postmodern literature.

Hunt, Tim. "Richard Brautigan." Western American Literature, vol. 19, no. 2, Aug. 1984, pp. 166-167.
Says, [Chénetier establishes two major points for further consideration of Brautigan's work:] Brautigan's radical sense of linguistic play requires us to reread and re-evaluate Brautigan's earlier and better known work. Second, this same perspective allows Chénetier to demonstrate the essential continuity between Brautigan's earlier work and his later work, even though the latter work is usually viewed as a departure from the earlier and dismissed by those critics who praise the earlier work.

Malibeaux, Sophie and Thierry Guichard. "Richard Brautigan: autant en emporte le mythe." Le Matricule des Anges, 2 (Jan./Feb.) 1993.
An interview with Marc Chénetier.

Mason, Michael. "Reviews." Journal of American Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, Apr. 1985, pp. 124-125.
Reviews both Richard Brautigan by Marc Chénetier and Richard Brautigan by Edward Halsey Foster. Says, "Both these books seek to dislodge Richard Brautigan from what their authors take to be his usual pigeonhole in the public mind: as a novelist of sixties, hippy, People's Park, flower-power, acid, etcetera whimsy. Edward Foster, partly by a simple appeal to biographical and bibliographical fact, wants to attach Brautigan to an earlier West Coast literary wave, the Beats . . .. Marc Chénetier tries to claim Brautigan for a sensibility that will prove very much more transient and peculiar that that of the Beats, though is is not so perceived in his book. Chénetier offers a Brautigan who is the author of 'metafictions.' Or rather, that is one of several ways in which he states the matter, ways which cohere weakly in logic, but strongly as pieces of fashionable jargon."

Miles, Peter. "Richard Brautigan by Marc Chénetier." Notes Queries, vol. 32, no. 4, Dec. 1985, pp. 547-548.
Says problems of tone and proportion arise in Chénetier's "fundamentally valid exploration of Brautigan's deconstruction of narrative fundamentals and inspiration of the signifier. . . . [Brautigan's narrative] constitutes a site for the mutual recognition of Brautigan and his reader. . . . If one need persuading, Chénetier persuades that Brautigan may be read alongside such as Barthe, Barthelme, and Coover—but at the price of other dimensions of reader pleasure." (547-548)

Riese, Utz. "Marc Chénetier: Richard Brautigan." Zeittschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanstik, vol. 33, no. 2, 1985, pp. 183-185.
Riese expresses some concern with the way Chénetier presents Brautigan, but most of this "review" seems more a discussion of the publisher's attitude mixed with Riese's own statements about how this book, written in French, reviews the work of an American author, and is being reviewed by a German (himself).

First edition in French
Brautigan sauvé du vent. Trans. Nathalie Mège. L'Incertain, 1992.
Republished in French translation
Cover illustration by Maxime Rebière; ISBN 2-906843-24-5
Revised and updated by Chénetier
Includes an extra chapter, the last, titled "Irrespect littéraire: Boris Vian et Richard Brautigan" ("Literary Disrespect: Boris Vian and Richard Brautigan") not included in the English edition in which Chénetier makes a comparison between French writer Boris Vian (1920-1959) and Brautigan.
Also includes an appendix with Chénetier's preface to his translation of Dreaming of Babylon and afterword to his translation of So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away.

Reviews
Grimal, Claude. "Sur L'Auteur De La "Pêche A La Truite" [From the Author of "Trout Fishing"]. Quinzaine Littéraire, no. 620, 16 Mar. 1993, p. 21.
More a study of Brautigan's work than a review of this novel. Says Marc Chénetier, in his introductory materials, places Brautigan on par with the French writer Boris Vian, rather than considering him a minor writer as do many critics. Also notes that Chénetier discusses Brautigan's use of theme and imagery.

Le Pellec, Yves. "Marc Chénetier—Brautigan Sauvés du Vent." [Brautigan Rescued from the Wind]. Revue Française d'Etudes Améicaines, no. 58, Nov. 1993, p. 422.
Notes the introductory materials written by Marc Chénetier, saying Chénetier writes about Brautigan's originality and narrative style. Also notes material on "disrespect," a trait Chénetier finds common to both Brautigan and Boris Vian.

Interview with Chénetier
Franceschi, Walter. "Interview with Marc Chénetier." Change, no. 2 Fall 2006, p. 2.
President of the European Association for American Studies and author of the book Richard Brautigan (London: Methuen, 1983), French writer, editor, and critic Marc Chénetier also translated several of Brautigan's books, including An Unfortunate Woman, first published in France in 1996. In this interview with Walter Franceschi, Chénetier talks about Brautigan and his work.

What problems did you encounter translating Brautigan's novels for French-speaking readers?
I translated Dreaming of Babylon, So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away and did a re-translation of Trout Fishing, In Watermelon Sugar and A Confederate General, later on, in one volume that was supposed to be the first of an entire re-translation of his works, being much dissatisfied with the existing translations. I also retranslated The Tokyo-Montana Express, but that never came out. My translation of An Unfortunate Woman into French came out before the original version was published in the United States. Roughly at the same time, I wrote my little Methuen book on Brautigan. This was translated into French, with an additional chapter on Brautigan and Vian (after an article I had published in the Stanford French Review), but both are out of print. Translating Richard presented difficulties commensurate with the particular economy of his writing. The temptation to overdo it had been succumbed to before. Being made out of very tiny things, his work does not bear overtranslation because it easily collapses if one is missing a mere match-stick in the construction of each sentence. The acceptable "loss" one has to face and accept when translating more syntactically and lexically complex prose is one that would destroy his sentences. So, keeping every tiny element and making sure nothing is overblown make for a narrow path to follow. A very delicate balance must be respected if the whole effect is not to be jeopardized.

Do you have a favorite Brautigan book?
I still like Trout Fishing in America the best, even though The Tokyo-Montana Express and An Unfortunate Woman come close. These books is where, to my mind, his literary talents show best. The rest is also dear to me, however, for different reasons.

Why did you choose to write about Brautigan?
It was the imagery in Brautigan's work that struck me as poetically interesting, that and the way in which it encapsulated and generated the metafictional reflex in the books. His closeness to Boris Vian also interested me. I was tired of the fan-club reactions to the "hippie" image and chummy critical send-ups and wanted to place him as an important writer for literary reasons, doing away with the sentimental, period reactions. Brautigan was much read in France, shortly after he rose to fame in the United States, but for obviously dissimilar reasons.

You were friends with Brautigan in his last years. His books were not selling. He had trouble finding a publisher. How was he as a friend?
Difficult. His drinking problem was massive and brought out his violent sides. He would call me in the middle of the night and talk for hours—literally.

The Greek Anthologies and Euripides were in your conversations with Brautigan. Was his knowledge of these works apparent? And, did you ever talk about more daily-life topics?
Richard was much better read than has been surmised. But most of our conversations had to do with other things, daily things, the contents of garbage cans in the "Jardins du Luxembourg" for example. Movies also, and childhood memories.

Have you a memorable story regarding Brautigan?
I organized, at his request, a dinner with French movie-maker Jean-Jacques Beneix (author of Diva, which Richard greatly admired), who was kind enough to share dinner at my home with Richard and a few other friends. The evening turned out to be catastrophic, even though most interesting, as Richard,mhaving, as usual, drunk too much, became abusive to everyone. He had to be literally carried back to his hotel by my hosts. Many other such memories are in my introduction to the three-novel volume in French I mentioned earlier.

How do you view Brautigan, as an American author, all these years after his death?
I think he is not a mere "period piece," but a writer whose work had a profound impact on American literary creation in the 1960s and 1970s. He has also influenced writers elsewhere (Philippe Djian in France, in particular). I still teach his work and re-read everything with great enthusiasm.

Foster, Edward Halsey. Richard Brautigan. Twayne, 1983.
142 pages; ISBN 0-8057-7378-9
Reconstructs the social and cultural circumstances surrounding Brautigan's rise to popularity and discusses and analyizes his work through 1980. Says that Brautigan's writing offers a bridge between the Beats and the next generation of American writers.

Says, "It may be . . . helpful to see [Brautigan] specifically as a writer of the Beat generation, sharing their techniques and literary theories, as it is to see him in relation to the literature of the Northwest, Eastern mysticism, and the nineteenth-century American tradition represented by [Ralph Waldo] Emerson, [Walt] Whitman, and [Henry David] Thoreau." (19)

The first chapter concerns Brautigan's reception and reputation in the counterculture and suggest his association with Zen may have shaped the perspectives of his various narrators.

A chapter each is devoted to Trout Fishing in America, In Watermelon Sugar, and A Confederate General from Big Sur, especially with regard to how the perspectives of the various narrators alter reader's conventional attitudes toward history and society.

Two chapters are devoted to Brautigan's later work, noting that Brautigan has become solipsistic or self-indulgent.

The last chapter is devoted to The Tokyo-Montana Express, which, Foster says, represents a return to the excellence of Brautigan's early novels, and especially his interest in Eastern thought.

Excerpted
"Richard Brautigan." American National Biography. Vol. 3. Edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes. Oxford University Press, 1999. 441-442.
"Brautigan's achievement lies in his exquisitely crafted sentences and metaphors and the comic sensibility that runs through them. That comic sensibility was essentially compensation for a darker nature: all of his better-known works concern loss—the loss of friends, affection, and ideals."

Reviews
Mason, Michael. "Reviews." Journal of American Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, Apr. 1985:, pp.124-125.
Reviews both Richard Brautigan by Marc Chénetier and Richard Brautigan by Edward Halsey Foster. Says, "Both these books seek to dislodge Richard Brautigan from what their authors take to be his usual pigeonhole in the public mind: as a novelist of sixties, hippy, People's Park, flower-power, acid, etcetera whimsy. Edward Foster, partly by a simple appeal to biographical and bibliographical fact, wants to attach Brautigan to an earlier West Coast literary wave, the Beats . . .. Marc Chénetier tries to claim Brautigan for a sensibility that will prove very much more transient and peculiar that that of the Beats, though is is not so perceived in his book. Chénetier offers a Brautigan who is the author of 'metafictions.' Or rather, that is one of several ways in which he states the matter, ways which cohere weakly in logic, but strongly as pieces of fashionable jargon."

Fujimoto Goodman, Kasuko. Richard Brautigan. Shinchosha Publishing Co., 2002.
Fujimoto translated several Brautigan works into Japanese. Kasuko Fujimoto Goodman website.

Grossmann, Claudia. Richard Brautigan: Pounding at the Gates of American Literature. Untersuchungen zu seiner Lyrik und Prosa. [Studies on His Prose and Poetry]. Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, 1986.
Review of Brautigan's poetry and prose from a German prospective.

Reviews
Mayer, Kurt Albert. "Claudia Grossman, Richard Brautigan, Pounding at the Gates of American Literature." Arbeiten aus Anglistik un Amerikanstik, vol. 15, no. 1, 1990, pp. 80-83.
Journal published by the Institut fur Anglistik, Universitat Graz, Graz, Austria. Mayer reviews Grossman's study of Brautigan and his place in American literature. He says during his lifetime Brautigan was called an "old time hippy" and a "cult author of the Woodstock generation" and that his death neither changed the attitude of literary critics nor led to new editions of his works. Because of this lack of attention to Brautigan, Grossman's book is a "long overdue work" even though it offers no news of Brautigan but rather situates itself as a survey of previous interpretary efforts by other authors. Although he does not consider this arrangement helpful, Mayer praises Grossman's work because it displays critical distance in evaluating Brautigan's texts.

Horatschek, Annegreth. Erkenntnis und Realitat: Sprachreflexion und Sprachexperiment in den Romanen von Richard Brautigan [Knowledge and Reality: Language Reflection and Language Experiment in the Novels of Richard Brautigan]. Gunter Narr Verlag, 1989.
A doctoral dissertation turned into book-length study. Allocates a chapter to each of Brautigan's ten novels and proposes to explain their epistemological dimension as well as the concept and use of language underlying Brautigan's prose.

Reviews
Mayer, Kurt Albert. "Knowledge and Reality: Language Reflection and Language Experiment in the Novels of Richard Brautigan." Archiv fur das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen, vol. 277, no. 2, 1990, pp. 423-424.
Says, "Of three doctoral dissertations grown to book-length studies of [Brautigan's] writings and published in the last five years, [this] is the most penetrating and ambitious. . . . The explications offered are on the whole persuasive, although some contradictions inherent in Brautigan's career and writings are not resolved satisfactorily. . . . [This book] is first of all a close analysis of Richard Brautigan's minor novels. An admirably perceptive study, it suffers the limitations of the works it sets out to examine, for it, too, is unable to bridge the dichotomies at the bottom of Brautigan's failure. That it is carelessly proofread and edited is another matter . . . but that need not be held too strongly against the book" (423-424). READ this essay.

Malley, Terence. Richard Brautigan. Warner Paperback Library, 1972.
206 pages; ISBN 0-446-68942-4; First printing Oct. 1972.
Volume 2 of the Writers for the Seventies series, critical examinations of influential authors popular during the 1960s, including Kurt Vonnegut, Hermann Hesse, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Brautigan. The first thorough critical survey of Brautigan's work through 1971. Includes plot summaries and critical evaluations.

Slipcase cover
The back cover blurb reads, in part,
"The imagination of Richard Brautigan conjures up for us a ragged flock of naked, hungover geese . . . a pastoral landscape of gentle fields and forests separated by rivers spanned by bridges made of watermelon sugar . . . a comic 20th-century secessionist from American society trying to maintain his independence at Big Sur . . ..

"Avoiding both condescension and uncritical adulation, Terence Malley looks at the works of this young writer who has been described as a "cult hero," and locates Brautigan in relation to both the contemporary American scene and the enduring traditions in American literature. For, as Professor Malley brings out in this book, Brautigan belongs very much 'in the American Grain.'"

Meltzer, David. The San Francisco Poets. Ballantine Books, 1971.
339 pages; ISBN 0-345-02219-9
Paperback, with printed, pictorial wrappers. No hard cover edition.

Interviews conducted by David Meltzer with six poets associated with the San Francisco Literary Rennaissance of the 1950s-1960s and the Beats of the 1950s. The poets talk about their lives and work. Also featured chronologies of the poets, bibliographies of their works, bookstores that might carry that work, a list of poetry printers, and a list of poetry classes.

The poets interviewed were William Everson (Brother Antoninus), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, Kenneth Rexroth, and Lew Welch, and Richard Brautigan.

Instead of being formally interviewed, Brautigan was allowed to write his own "self-interview," titled "Old Lady," in which he described his relationship with poetry. See Non-Fiction > Essays.

In an interview with John Barber (2005), Meltzer offered interesting reasons for incorporating Brautigan's unusual "interview" in this book. READ this essay.

The section devoted to Brautigan (pages 293-297) also featured six poems from Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt: "Jules Verne Zucchini," "Propelled by Portals Whose Only Shame," "Donner Party," "In Her Sweetness Where She Folds My Wounds," "The Elbow of a Dead Duck," and "As the Bruises Fade, the Lightning Aches." Additionally, Brautigan provides a self-prepared checklist of his works on pages 304-305.

Reprinted
Golden Gate: Interviews with 5 San Francisco Poets. Wingbow Press, 1976.
256 pages; ISBN 0-914-72811-3; part of the Redtail reprint series
Revision and retitling of The San Francisco Poets. All references to Brautigan were omitted in this revised edition. This may be because Brautigan dispossessed Meltzer, his wife Christina, and their children when, in 1970, he purchased the Bolinas, California house where they lived. See Chronology 1970s.

Feedback from David Meltzer
Got onto the site and it's admirable.
— David Meltzer. Email to John F. Barber, 3 February 2004.

San Francisco Beat: Talking with the Poets. City Lights Books, 2001.
Revision and retitling of The San Francisco Poets. Conversations conducted by David Meltzer with Diane di Prima, William Everson (Brother Antoninus), Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jock Hirschman, Joanne Kyger, Philip Lamantia, Michael McClure, David Meltzer, Jack Micheline, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Lew Welch, and Philip Whalen. Includes photographs by Larry Keenan. The interviews with Rexroth, McClure, Ferlinghetti, Everson, and Welch are reprinted from Meltzer's San Francisco Poets. The Brautigan contribution to the original volume was not included here.

Séchan, Thierry. A la Recherche de Richard Brautigan. Le Castor Astral, 2003.
112 pages; ISBN 2-859-20523-3
Reprint of earlier edition; First printing April 2003.
Draws, in the first part of the book, parallels between Brautigan's writings and his life, comparing excerpts from novels, short stories, and poems with biographical information taken mainly from Abbott's memoir, Downstream from Trout Fishing in America (See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Abbott). The second part is a diary, written during Séchan's visit to the United States in 1993, trying to learn whether Brautigan was still present in American literary life.

Séchan, Thierry. Richard Brautigan. L'incertain, 1995.
148 pages; ISBN 2-906-84347-4; First edition.
Features a drawing of a young Brautigan by Daniel Pasquereau as the frontispiece.

Stickney, John. "Gentle Poet of the Young: A Cult Grows around Richard Brautigan." Life, vol. 69, no. 7, 14 Aug. 1970, pp. 49-52, 54.
Biographical information, several photographs, and some of Brautigan's thoughts on his work. Of Brautigan's writing, Stickney says, "Thoughtful hedonism, it might be called: celebrate the pleasures of life and love on the midway, he advises, because tragedy lurks just outside the gates." Illustrated with three photographs of Brautigan by Vernon Merritt III and one by Steve Hansen. READ this essay. See Chronology 1970s.

Close

Literary References

Academic American Encyclopedia. Vol. 3, 1988, p. 458.
"Poet and novelist Richard Brautigan, b. Tacoma, Wash., Jan. 30, 1935, d. an apparent suicide, October 1984, is identified with the U.S. counterculture movement of the 1960s. From his first successful novel, Trout Fishing in America (1967), most of his work features eccentric plots related by gentle, self-deprecating narrators. Brautigan never shed his hippie persona, and his later writings attracted a younger audience than his contemporaries, who had once been his most ardent readers."

Acton, Jay, Alan le Mond, and Parker Hodges, editors. Mugshots: Who's Who in The New Earth. World Publishing, 1972, p. 26.
Photographs and short biographies of over 200 individuals considered as serious models for an alternate lifestyle. "They are groupies, poets, revolutionaries, writers, cartoonists, educators, freaks. And they tell over 200 stories of their view of a changing America." Of Brautigan, they say, "Brautigan is constructive. He is optimistic and life-affirming. And in that sense, it is easy to see and understand his prominence in the youth culture" (26). READ this essay.

Amende, Coral. Legends in Their Own Time. Prentice Hall General Reference, 1994, p. 32.
Provides basic biographical information on more than 10,000 famous individuals. Notes Brautigan as an "Am[erican] poet/novelist (Trout Fishing in America)" (32).

Anonymous. "Brautigan, Richard (Gary) 1935-1984." Major 20th-Century Writers: A Selection of Sketches from Contemporary Authors. Vol. 1. Edited by Bryan Ryan. Gale Research, 1991, pp. 371-374.
Uses selections from previous sketches, reviews, and critiques to make these points about Brautigan and his work. "Brautigan's prose style inspires numerous comments from critics. . . . A concern with nature coupled with often surreal and whimsical plots typifies Brautigan's novels, which combine pastoral imagery with an examination of social disintegration within the contemporary human condition. . . . Brautigan's characters frequently display similar reactions to similiar events. . . . For the more savvy of his characters, however, Brautigan offers a different message, in which survival becomes the key element. Success or failure fade into indistinction as his characters struggle to triumph over a mostly hostile world. . . . Brautigan looked to nature as the one constant of recent times despite its increasing contamination. Unlike his prose, Brautigan's poetry frequently draws comments of inconsistency from critics." Provides personal and bibliographic information concerning Brautigan and his work. READ this essay.

Baird, Newton D. and Robert Greenwood, editors. An Annotated Bibliography of California Fiction, 1664-1970. Talisman Literary Research, 1971, p. 55.
Notes Brautigan's A Confederate General from Big Sur as a representative of California fiction in that it features a California setting. The full text of this entry reads, "Story of a 'beat character' who, together with a few like-minded friends, wander around San Francisco and Big Sur, collectively believing in, among other things, an apparently mythical ancestor and marijuana.'"

Beesley, Simon and Sheena Joughin. History of 20th-Century Literature. Hamlyn, 2001, p. 96.
Writer and literary critic Beesley and poet and short-story writer Joughin provide an overview of authors and literary genres. They include Brautigan under the subtitle "The Hippie Influence" in the chapter titled "Cult Fiction." They say, "Richard Brautigan (1935-84) represented the gentler side of the 1960s sub-culture in America. His is a West Coast world of hippie communes and the retreat to a dream of rural innocence. His novel Trout Fishing in America (1967) takes us through parks and forests on a search for the perfect fishing spot. In Watermelon Sugar (1968) tells of an idyllic commune where sensuality is unrestrained and the highest fulfillment is through personal relationships. Brautigan writes beautifully crafted prose and poetry, which is often whimsical—'By now I was so relaxed you could have rented me out as a field of daisies.'—but it is never cloying. Typical of his philosophy is his remark that 'It is never too late to have a happy childhood'" (96).

Reviews
Anonymous. "20th-Century Literati." Publishers Weekly, 12 Nov. 2001, pp. 53-54.
Says Brautigan is included under the "Cult Fiction" category, along with John Kennedy Toole (54).

Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia. Third Edition. Harper & Row, 1987, pp. 123-124.
"[A]n interesting but minor poet. It is a in prose fiction that he did his most extensive and original work. . . . Short on such conventional narrative elements as plot and character development, these fictions are sustained by Brautigan's bizarre sense of humor and his sure feel for language."

Benét's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature. First Edition. Edited by George Perkins, Barbara Perkins, and Phillip Leininger. HarperCollins Publishers, 1991, pp. 120-121.
"Brautigan earned fame in the 1960s for his whimsical espousals of alternative lifestyles, freed from the restraints of traditional America. . . . In latter books, sadness mingled with the humor."

The Best American Short Stories 1972. Edited by Martha Foley. Houghton Mifflin Co., 1972, p. 393.
"Richard Brautigan was born in the Pacific Northwest in 1935. He is the author of Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, and In Watermelon Sugar published in one volume by Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence. The books were first published by Four Seasons Foundation in San Francisco. His verse includes The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, Lay the Marble Tea, The Octopus Frontier, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, and Please Plant This Book."

Blue Book: Leaders of the English Speaking World. 1976 Edition. St. Martin's Press, 1976, p. 192.
Lists novels through Willard and His Bowling Trophies, poetry through Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt, and Revenge of the Lawn. Gives address as: "c/o Simon and Schuster Inc., 630 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10020, USA."

Bokinsky, Caroline J. "Richard Brautigan." Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 5: American Poets Since World War II. Edited by Donald J. Greiner. Gale Research Company, 1980, pp. 96-99.
Critical comments on The Return of the Rivers, The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, Lay the Marble Tea, The Octopus Frontier, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, Rommel Drives on Deep into Egypt, Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork, and June 30th, June 30th. Also provides some biographical and bibliographical information. Says The Return of the Rivers "is an observation of the external world as a surreal, romanticized setting in which the cycle of life is exemplified in the river, sea, rain, and ocean." READ this essay.

Bradbury, Malcolm. "Postmoderns and Others: The 1960s and 1970s." The Modern American Novel. Oxford University Press, 1983, pp. 169-171.
Places Brautigan in a genre of writers who "celebrated the hippie youth spirit" but sees him as much more than a hippie writer. Says Brautigan's spirit of "imaginative discover" spawned a number of literary successors. Provides succinct, insightful commentary on Brautigan's novels. READ this essay.

Britton, Wesley. "Brautigan, Richard." Identities and Issues in Literature. [Vol. 1]. Edited by David Peck. Salem Press, 1997, pp. 188-189.
Says critics generally disagree on Brautigan's vision, but they "generally agree that Brautigan's prose is more important than his verse, and that earlier, more stylistically innovative writings present his themes more concisely than his later work. Brautigan's canon is widely discussed for his use of metaphorical, whimsical language rather than for any depth of philosophy or meaning. His use of America's past as being both bankrupt of ideas and a necessity for understanding the present, his concern for the fluidity and stability of nature, and his quirky, surreal examinations of social disintegration remain of interest despite his reputation for merely being a spokesman for the revolutionary attitudes of the 1960s." Features a portrait by Erik Weber of Brautigan. READ this essay.

Bruce, Sam. "Richard Brautigan." Dictionary of Twentieth Century Culture: American Culture After World War II. Vol. 1. Edited by Karen L. Rood. Gale Research, 1994, p. 54.
An overview of Brautigan's literary career. The full text of this entry reads, "Poet and novelist Richard Brautigan (1935-1984) is often called a literary link between the Beat Generation writers who lived in the North Beach neighborhood of San Franciso in the late 1950s and the hippies of the Haight-Ashbury area of the city in the 1960s.

"Though he published several volumes of poetry, the best known of which is The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968), Brautigan's chief success came with his fiction, particularly his first three novels: A Confederate General From Big Sur (1964), Trout Fishing in America (1967), and In Watermelon Sugar (1968). Written in a whimsical style, these books exhibit a love of nature and nostalgic longing for a simple, pastoral life. As his characters search for a mythic American Eden, they find themselves repeatedly thwarted by the technology and pollution produced by modern American society. Brautigan became a hero to many college-age readers in the 1960s for his indictment of post-World War II American values as well as his love of nature.

"He continued to write throughout the 1970s, enjoying a steady popularity among readers while the critical establishment tended to dismiss his work as facile and trendy. He was found dead, an apparent suicide, in September 1984, just as critics began to recognize his role in the development of American metafiction and post-modernism."

Brucker, Carl and Farhat M. Iftekharuddin. "Richard Brautigan 1935-1984" Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction. Vol. 1. Edited by Kirk H. Beetz, Ph.D. Beacham Publications, 1996, 2000, pp. 222-227.
Reviews Brautigan's life, publishing history, and critical reception. Says being linked to The Hippies limited Brautigan's appeal and as fashions changed in the 1970s, Brautigan steadily lost readers. "After publication of Trout Fishing in America, Brautigan was inextricably tied to the counterculture, and much that was written about it and subsequent publications was colored by the individual reviewer's politics. Conservative academics dismissed Brautigan's iconolclastic writing as literature for kids, and the political left was put off by his lack of militancy." Concludes with an annotated listing of resources about Brautigan and his work. READ this essay.

Burke, William Jeremiah and Will David Howe, editors. American Authors and Books: 1640 to the Present Day. Third Revised Edition. Revised by Irving Weiss and Anne Weiss. Crown Publishers, Inc., 1962, p. 75.

Calcutt, Andrew and Richard Shepard. "Richard Brautigan 1935-1984: The Court Jester of the Counter-Culture." Cult Fiction: A Reader's Guide. Contemporary Books, 1999, pp. 30-31.
A brief overview of Brautigan's writing career with some comments about the perception of his work. READ this essay.

The Cambridge Handbook of American Literature. Edited by Jack Salzman. Cambridge University Press, 1986, pp. 32-33.
Brief overview and listing of publications. Says Brautigan "came to prominence in the mid-1960s as a leading exponent of a new social order."

Reprinted
The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English. Edited by Ian Ousby. Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 112.

Celebrity Register. "Brautigan, Richard." Third Edition. Earl Blackwell, editor. Simon and Schuster, 1973, p. 61.
Includes a photograph of Brautigan by Edmund Shea. The full text of this entry reads, "'The author was tall and blond and had a long yellow mustache that gave him an anachronistic appearance. He looked as if he would be more at home in another era.'" That's how author Richard Brautigan describes the appearance of author Richard Brautigan in his novel The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966. It also says a lot about the author's books, both prose and poetry, all of which have a gentle air of being 'more at home in another era.' Brautigan's is the slightly wistful voice of 'the Woodstock generation,' longing for a time that never was in a place that might have been. He is the J.D. Salinger of the 1970s.

"Born in 1935 in Tacoma, Brautigan has done most of his writing in a roomy but cluttered apartment in San Francisco. In the heyday of the hippies in Haight-Ashbury, he used to print his poems as broadsides and pass them out free to passersby. Ecology-minded youngsters were enraptured in particular by a volume entitled Please Plant This Book, a collection of eight packets of real seeds, each printed with a poem and planting instructions. The writer moved into cult-hero class with his second novel, Trout Fishing in America. Now his short stories appear regularly in the likes of Vogue, his books have shelves all their own in college bookstores, and he's in great demand for live performances of his works everywhere from high school graduations to San Quentin prison.

"Fame hasn't made much of a dent in Brautigan's relaxed life style. His droopy mustache still gives him a look of belonging to another time. He still writes in the same cluttered apartment and he still hitchhikes when he goes to the country to see his young daughter, who live with his former wife. But becoming a celebrity has made a slight mark on his psyche. He summed it up in a short story this way: 'It's really something to have fame put its feathery crowbar under your rock, and then upward to the light release you, along with seven grubs and a sow bug.'"

Clay, Steven and Ridney Phillips. A Secret Location on the Lower East Side: Adventures in Writing, 1960-1980: A Sourcebook of Information. New York Public Library and Granary Books, 1998.
Published to accompany an exhibition at the New York Public Library (January-July 1998) exploring the confluence of the New American Poetry and experimentation in American writing and literary publishing. Includes information on over eighty mimeograph, small press, and underground literary magazines. Illustrated with numerous photographs and illustrations. Notes Brautigan's publications by White Rabbit Press (See A-Z Index W > White Rabbit), Four Seasons Foundation, and Pacific Nation (See A-Z Index > P > Pacific Nation) saying this magazine was the first publication of the first five chapters of Trout Fishing in America (65).

Commire, Anne, editor. Something about the Author. Vol. 56. Gale Research, 1989, pp. 18-20.
Biographical and bibliographical information. Quotes from Brautigan's essay, "Old Lady" (See Non-Fiction > Essays), to describe Brautigan's writing habits. Includes photographs of front covers of The Abortion, Trout Fishing in America, and Loading Mercury with a Pitchfork.

Contemporary Authors. New Revision Series. Vol. 34. Edited by James G. Lesniak. Gale Research, 1991, pp. 49-53.
Biographical and bibliographical information. Summarizes a number of reviews and critiques of Brautigan.

Contemporary Authors Vols. 53-56. Edited by Clare D. Kinsman. Gale Research Company, 1975, pp. 63-64.
A bio-bibliographical guide to current writers in fiction, general nonfiction, poetry, journalism, drama, motion pictures, television, and other fields. Provides biographical (says Brautigan, in 1961, stated he "was married , and had an infant daughter") and bibliographical (lists all books published through 1971; first collection in 1969; co-editorship of Change in 1963) information for Brautigan. Quotes from a review of Trout Fishing in America by Stephen Schneck.

Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 42. Gale Research, 1987, pp.48-66.
Excerpts from several reviews to provide a critical overview of Brautigan's work. Notes Brautigan's first three novels, A Confederate General from Big Sur (1964), Trout Fishing in America (1967), and In Watermelon Sugar (1968) as his most important works.

Includes reviews of The Tokyo-Montana Express by John Berry, Sue Halpern, Barry Yourgrau, and Michael Mason, Trout Fishing in America by James Mellard, William Stull, and John Cooley, The Abortion by Charles Hackenberry, The Hawkline Monster by Lonnie L. Willis, So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away by Eve Ottenberg, David Montrose, and Ann Ronald, Dreaming of Babylon by Larry E. Grimes, Marc Chénetier's Richard Brautigan, and Edward Halsey's Richard Brautigan. Features photograph of Brautigan by Erik Weber. READ this essay.

Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 12. Edited by Dedria Bryfonski. Gale Research Company, 1980, pp. 57-74.
Excerpts from previously published reviews of Brautigan's fiction by Robert Adams, John Ditsky, Robert Kern, Ron Loewinsohn, J. D. O'Hara, Cheryl Walker, The Galilee Hitch-Hiker by Gilbert Sorrentino, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster by Hugo Williams, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt by Kate Rose, June 30th, June 30th by Dennis Petticoffer and Arian Schuster, A Confederate General from Big Sur by Gerald Locklin and Charles Stetler, and Phillip Rahv, Trout Fishing in America by John Clayton, Brad Hayden, Pamela Ritterman, and Tony Tanner, The Abortion by Joseph Butwin, Thomas Lask, and Mason Smith, The Hawkline Monster by Valentine Cunningham, and Roger Sale, Willard and His Bowling Trophies by L. J. Davis, Duncan Fallowell, and Michael Rogers, Sombrero Fallout by Thomas Edwards, Dreaming of Babylon by Mary Hope, Revenge of the Lawn by Gurney Norman and Ed McClanahan, and the collection of Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar by Guy Davenport, Albert Norman, and Micheal Feld.

Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 9. Edited by Dedria Bryfonski. Gale Research Company, 1978, pp. 123-25.
Excerpts from previously published reviews of Brautigan's fiction by Charles Russell (See "General Reviews" > Russell, Willard and His Bowling Trophies by Julian Barnes, Sombrero Fallout by Robert Christgau, and Dreaming of Babylon by Rick Davis, Joe Flaherty, and George Steiner.

Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 5. Edited by Carolyn Riley. Gale Research Company, 1976, p. 67-72.
Excerpts from previously published reviews of Trout Fishing in America by Kent Bales, Thomas Hearron, and David L. Vanderwerken, In Watermelon Sugar by Harvey Leavitt and Patricia Hernlund, and The Hawkline Monster by Peter Ackroyd, Julian Barnes, Peter S. Prescott, and John Yohalem.

Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 3. Edited by Carolyn Riley. Gale Research Company, 1975, pp. 86-90.
Excerpts from previous reviews of Terence Malley's Richard Brautigan, general reviews of Brautigan's fiction by Arlen J. Hansen, and Neil Schmitz, previously published reviews of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and In Watermelon Sugar by Lewis Warsh, Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt by Jonathan Williams, The Abortion by John Skow, and The Abortion by an anonymous reviewer.

Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 1. Edited by Carolyn Riley. Gale Research Company, 1973, pp. 44-45.
Excerpts from previously published reviews of Brautigan's Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt by Carey Horwitz, Trout Fishing in America by Stephen Schneck and Kenneth Seib, Revenge of the Lawn by Josephine Hendin, and Brautigan's collection of Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar by Thomas McGuane.

Contemporary Literary Criticism Yearbook 1984. Vol. 34. Edited by Sharon K. Hall. Gale Research Company, 1985, pp. 314-319.
Excerpts from obituaries by Burt A. Folkart and Edwin McDowell, an anonymous obituary published in The Times [London], and excerpts from Lawrence Wright's "The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan" (See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Memoirs > Wright.

Cumulative Book Index. H.W. Wilson Company. 1970-1988. Vol. 1, 1965-1966, p. 406; 1969, p. 262; 1970, p. 243; 1971, p. 240; 1972, p. 280; 1973, p. 209; 1974, p. 244; 1974, p. 286; 1976, p. 259; 1977, p. 280; 1978, p. 297; 1979, p. 306; 1980, p. 316; 1981, p. 312; 1984, p. 346. Provides publication information for Brautigan's works.

Cusatis, John. "Richard Brautigan." Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry. Edited by Jeffrey Gray, James McCorkle, and Mary McAleer Balkun. Greenwood Press, 2005, pp. 187-188.
"Richard Brautigan wrote poetry for seven years to prepare to write novels. By 1960 he had published four books of verse and established himself as a minor figure in the San Francisco Renaissance. That year he also began work on his first novel, employing the spare style, offset by wildly imaginative figurative language, that he had honed as a poet. Upon publication seven years later, this novel, Trout Fishing in America (1967) became a literary emblem of the flourishing counter-culture movement. Brautigan gained an international audience and returned to writing poetry—this time for its own sake. He would publish six more books of poems, but his readership would decline with the waning of the counter-culture movement." READ this essay.

Feedback from John Cusatis
Thank you for your invaluable Brautigan resource and tribute to Richard. I've enjoyed perusing and making use of it for years, so have many of my students. Also, thank you for adding my article from the recently published Greewnood Encyclopedia of American Poets and Poetry to the bibliography. I came to Brautigan fortuitously as a teenager in 1982 when I found a copy of Trout Fishing in America that someone had left on a table at Pizza Hut where I was a bus boy. I sat down and started reading and knew I had stumbled upon the writer I didn't know I'd been searching for. My love for Richard's work hasn't waned in the last quarter century, and I pick up a copy whenever I have time, and reread. It never loses its magic. If I can be of any help to you with the web site or other Brautigan related matters, please let me know. Thanks again for everything.
— John Cusatis. Email to John F. Barber, 18 February 2006.

Cutler, Edward. "Richard Brautigan." Dictionary of Literary Biography. Twentieth-Century American Western Writers. First Series Vol. 206. Edited by Richard H. Cracroft. Gale Group, 1999, pp. 33-41.
Critiques each of Brautigan's works (poetry and prose). Provides basic biographical and bibliographical information and a 1980 photograph by James Zampathas of Brautigan. Says, "As a uniquely contemporary Western American literary voice, Brautigan is difficult to overlook; few writers of his generation so thoroughly maneuvered prose fiction away from both formulaic political realism and modernist conventionality." READ this essay.

Davis, Lloyd and Robert Irwin. Contemporary American Poetry: A Checklist. Scarecrow Press, 1975, p 14.
Publication information regarding Return of the Rivers, The Galilee Hitch-Hiker, Lay the Marble Tea, The Octopus Frontier, The Pill Versus the Sprinhill Mine Disaster, and Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt.

Erlich, Richard and Thomas P. Dunn, editors. Clockwork Worlds. Greenwood Press, 1983, p. 184.
Mentions Brautigan as a writer who, in All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, has visions of "cybernetic ecology in the future in which man, animals, plants, and machines will all live together in harmony and grace."

Dictionary of the Arts. Edited by Richard H. Cracroft. Facts on File, 1994, p. 71.
"US novelist who lived in San Francisco, the setting for many of his playfully inventive and humerous short fictions, often written as dead-pan parodies."

A Directory of American Poets. 1975 Edition. Poets & Writers, Inc., 1974, p. 4.
Provides names and addresses of contemporary poets and fiction writers whose work was published in the United States. Lists Brautigan's address as: 2546 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA.

A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers. 1983-84 Edition. Poets & Writers, Inc., 1983, p. 115.
Provides names and addresses of contemporary poets and fiction writers whose work was published in the United States. Lists Brautigan's address as: c/o Helen Brann, Literary Agent, 14 Sutton Place South, New York, NY.

A Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers. 1980-81 Edition. Poets & Writers, Inc., 1980, p. 110.
Provides names and addresses of contemporary poets and fiction writers whose work was published in the United States. Lists Brautigan's address as: c/o Helen Brann, Literary Agent, 14 Sutton Place South, New York, NY.

A Directory of American Fiction Writers. 1976 Edition. Poets & Writers, 1975, p. 3.
Lists Brautigan's address as: 2546 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA.

A Directory of American Fiction Writers. 1975 Edition. Poets & Writers, Inc., 1974, p. 3.
Lists Brautigan's address as: 2546 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA.

Ellingham, Lewis and Kevin Killian. Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance. Wesleyan University Press, 1998.
Provides useful information about Brautigan and his life in the context of his connection to Jack Spicer in San Francisco. See A-Z Index > S > Spicer.

The Facts on File Encyclopedia of the Twentieth Century. Edited by John Drexel. Facts on File, 1991, p. 129.
"American novelist, story writer and poet. In the late 1960s, Brautigan, a writer with great lyric and imaginative gifts, became a best-selling hero of the counterculture. His novel Trout Fishing in America (1967), a wry, picaresque tale of love and simple bohemian pleasures, was greeted with both popular and critical acclaim and, in its numerous translations, made the California-based Brautigan one of the best-known American writers of his generation. Other important Brautigan works of this epoch include a volume of poems, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968), a novel, In Watermelon Sugar (1968), and a volume of stories, Revenge of the Lawn (1972). While Brautigan continued to write throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, his novels—although retaining Brautigan's unique, stylish whimsy—fell out of critical favor, and some have speculated that this decline was a factor leading to his suicide."

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence and Nancy J. Peters. Literary San Francisco: A Pictorial History from its Beginnings to the Present Day. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1980.
Includes photographs and information about Brautigan.

Hackenberry, Charles. "Richard Brautigan." Magill's Survey of American Literature. Vol. 1. Edited by Frank N. Magill. Marshall Cavendish, 1991, pp. 267-278.
Provides a basic biography, analysis of Brautigan's work, and reviews of A Confederate General from Big Sur, Trout Fishing in America, In Watermelon Sugar, and The Abortion. Say Brautigan is "Known for his gentle narrators and the unusual central characters of his novels. . . . In his early novels, Richard Brautigan searched for the meaning of America. What he found was a country debased by commercialism, shaken in its values, and haunted by loneliness. For the individual, love, humor, and the imagination can bring meaning to life. Brautigan explored the American soul in the middle of the twentieth century; he believed gentleness and peace to be both means and end in this quest. His highly original, richly metaphorical books show him to be much more than a transitional literary figure. His finely crafted prose bears witness to his unique way of viewing the world."

Hall, H. W., ed. Science Fiction Book Review Index, 1974-1979. Gale Research Company, 1981, p. 39.
Publication information for The Hawkline Monster, In Watermelon Sugar, and Trout Fishing in America.

Hamilton, David Mike. "Richard Brautigan." Critical Survey of Long Fiction, English Language Series. Vol. 1. Edited by Frank N. Magill. Salem Press, 1983, pp. 290-295.
Comments on principal long fiction, other literary forms, achievements, biography, analysis, major publications other than long fiction, and bibliography. READ this essay.

Reprinted
Critical Survey of Long Fiction. Second Revised Edition. Vol. 1. Edited by Carl Rollyson. Salem Press, 2002, pp. 340-344.
Reprints entry from First Edition with minor changes.

Hart, James David. A Companion to California. Oxford University Press, 1978, p. 50.
Brautigan is an "author associated with the San Francisco Beat movement, whose whimsical, amusing, and atmospheric sketches have been collected in short books called "novels" including A Confederate General from Big Sur (1964), Trout Fishing in America (1967), and The Abortion (1970). He has also gathered brief poems in The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968), Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt (1970), and other works."

Henderson, Jeanne J. and Brenda G. Piggins, editors. Literary and Library Prizes. Eighth Edition. R. R. Bowker Company, 1973, p. 146.
Cites the award of a National Endowment for the Arts grant to Brautigan in 1968-1969.

Hewitt, Geof. "Brautigan, Richard." Contemporary Poets. Third Edition. Edited by James Vinson. St. Martin's Press, 1980, pp. 163-164.
Excerpts from entry in second edition. Says "Brautigan's poems, like epitaphs, tell more about what's under them than about the man who carved the words."

Hewitt, Geof. "Brautigan, Richard." Contemporary Poets. Second Edition. Edited by James Vinson. St. Martin's Press, 1975, pp. 167-169.
Reviews of The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and Rommel Drives On Deep into Egypt and some biographical and bibliographical information.

Hewitt, Geof. "Brautigan, Richard." Contemporary Poets. First Edition. Edited by Rosalie Murphy. St. James Press, 1970, p. 131.
Lists poetry through The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and novels through Trout Fishing in America.

Hoagland, Bill. "Richard Brautigan." Cyclopedia of World Authors. Vol. 1. Edited by Frank N. Magill. Salem Press, 1989, pp. 240-241.
Reviews Brautigan's writing career and writing style. Says Brautigan "is identified as a link between the Beat generation of the 1950's and the counterculture movement of the 1960's. . . . Brautigan's style is light, rapid, and conversational. . . . The enormous, though short-lived, popularity of Brautigan's work during the American counterculture revolution may have worked against his long-term reputation, signaling to some critics that his work was only the product of its time. Yet while American critical interest in Brautigan's work began to lag in the 1970's, European, and especially French, critics discovered textual complexities that Americans did not perceive until the 1980's, when critics Edward Halsey Foster and Marc Chénetier noted, for very different reasons, that Brautigan deserved new study. One of the most unconventional writers of an unconventional era, Brautigan cannot easily be defined" (240-241).

Reprinted
Cyclopedia of World Authors. Fourth Revised Edition. Vol. 1. Edited by Frank N. Magill. Salem Press, 2003, pp. 398-399.
Reprints entry from First Edition with minor formatting changes.

Cyclopedia of World Authors. Third Revised Edition. Vol. 1. Edited by Frank N. Magill. Salem Press, 1997, pp. 257-258. READ this essay.

International Authors and Writers Who's Who. Eighth Edition. Edited by Adrian Gaster. Melrose Press, 1977, p. 122.
Lists works; gives address as c/o Simon and Schuster, Inc., 630 Fifth Ave., New York, NY

International Authors and Writers Who's Who. Seventh Edition. Edited by Ernest Kay. Melrose Press, 1976. 69.

International Who's Who in Poetry. Fifth Edition. Edited by Ernest Kay. International Biographical Centre, 1977, p. 66.
Lists Brautigan's birthdate (30 Jan. 1935), published works (through The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster in poetry and Trout Fishing in America in novels), and address (San Francisco).

International Who's Who in Poetry. Fourth Edition. Edited by Ernest Kay. Melrose Press, 1974, p. 62.
Lists published works through Trout Fishing in America and gives address as San Francisco.

Johnston, Alastair. Zephyrus Image: A Bibliography. Poltroon Press, 2003, p. 87.
224 pages. ISBN 0-918395-22-4; Cloth binding in dust jacket; Published 18 July 2003; Limited edition of 1, 000 copies; Illustrated by Michael Myers.
Lists and illustrates over 300 works printed by Holbrook Teeter and Michael Myers, founders of Zephyrus Image Press, a Northern California small press that operated through the 1970s. Teeter and Myers produced subversive and/or guerilla works with great wit and elegance. They pioneered the artists' book movement by giving away free copies of their work. They strove to prod public awareness and effect social change.

In the chapter titled "MacAdams at the Poetry Center," Lewis Adams is quoted as saying, "There was a period where I was around because of Ed [Dorn] (See A-Z Index > D > Dorn). Those guys [Teter and Myers] were the geniuses of Sears—Ed was living across from Brautigan's place near the Sears' store" (87).

Johnston wrote an article about the collaborations of Zephyrus Image Press with American poet Edward Dorn (See A-Z Index > D > Dorn) for an online magazine called CENTO. This article at the CENTO website. Johnston also produced the excellent Bibliography of White Rabbit Press which provides publication information regarding Brautigan's The Galilee Hitch-Hiker.

Justus, James H. "Fiction: The 1930s to the Present." American Literary Scholarship: An Annual 1972. Edited by Albert Robbins. Duke University Press, 1974, pp. 269, 307-08.
Critiques a general review by George Wickes (See "General" > Wickes), a review of A Confederate General from Big Sur by J. R. Killinger, and a review of Trout Fishing in America by Stephen Schneck.

Justus, James H. "Fiction: The 1930s to the Present." American Literary Scholarship: An Annual 1973. Edited by James Woodress. Duke University Press, 1975, pp. 259, 265, 299.
Reviews Richard Brautigan by Jay Boyer, critiques a review of long fiction by David Hamilton, a brief mention of Brautigan by James Hart, an examination of the pastoral myth as portrayed in Brautigan's work by Neil Schmitz, and Brautigan's new fiction by Philip Stevick.

Kamm, Anthony. Biographical Companion to Literature in English. Scarecrow Press, 1997, pp. 63-64.
"Through his epigrammatic verse . . . he developed a prose style for fiction . . . which [led him to become] the literary spokesman for the Woodstock generation. His experimental style appealed for the simplicity of its language (though not of its thought), the comedy, the literary and other allusions, and the quest imagery. . . . At 17 he began to read Basho and other Japanese haiku poets: 'I liked the way they used language concentrating emotion, detail and image until they arrived at a form of dew-like steel' [June 30th, June 30th 8]. . . In the novel The Tokyo-Montana Express, a Basho-like spirit of Zen Buddhism underpins the philosophy 'I spend a lot of my time interested in little things, tiny portions of reality.'"

Kherdian, David. "David Kherdian." Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Vol. 2. Gale Research, 1991, pp. 261-277.

Kherdian, David, editor. Poems Here and Now. Greenwillow Books, 1976, p. 59.
"Richard Brautigan (b. 1935) was proclaimed as the first hippie poet, but he is perhaps better known for his novels and short stories. Among them are: A Confederate General from Big Sur (1964) and Trout Fishing in America (1967). The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster (1968) is his major book of poems." Reprints two poems by Brautigan: "The Chinese Checker Players" and "The Horse That Had a Flat Tire."

Kincaid, Paul. "Brautigan, Richard." St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers. Edited by David Pringle. James Press, 1996, pp. 73-74.
Cites The Hawkline Monster, Dreaming of Babylon, and In Watermelon Sugar as the prime examples of Brautigan's fantasy writing. "Richard Brautigan's delightful, whimsical tales have much in common (simple vocabulary, repetitions) with traditional oral storytelling. And like traditional stories, they drift in and out of fantasy without really noticing there is anything different in what they do." READ this essay.

Kinsella, W. P. ". . . Several Unnamed Dwarfs." Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Vol. 7. Gale Research, 1991, p. 107.
Repeats remarks made in the introduction to his book The Alligator Report regarding how Brautigan inspired his writing. See Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Tributes > Kinsella.

Kyger, Joanne. "Joanne Kyger." Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Vol. 16. Gale Research, 1991, pp. 187-203.

Levy, Margot, editor. "Richard Brautigan." The Annual Obituary 1984. St. James Press, 1985, pp. 462-464.
Biographical information, critical overview, and bibliography. "Surreal and comical in their mixture of the minute details of daily life with fantastic, impossible events, Brautigan's novels, short stories and poems were published in 12 languages, and he was revered especially in the US as a leader of the counter-culture. . . . The appeal of his work was, first of all, its specifically American, and more particularly its Californian character." READ this essay.

Lynch, Dennis. "Brautigan, Richard." Contemporary Poets. Fourth Edition. Edited by James Vinson and D. L. Kirkpatrick. St. Martin's Press, 1985, pp. 85-86.
Says Brautigan, in his poetry, "cuts through the intellectual and emotional noise to touch us all." Lists published works and bibliographical and critical studies.

Reprinted
Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 12. Edited by Dedria Bryfonski. Gale Research Company, 1980, pp. 57-74.

See also Lynch's "Tributes to a Friend and the Books That Might Have Been," Obituaries-Memoirs-Tributes > Tributes > Lynch.

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.

McCullough, Frances Monson, editor. Earth, Air, Fire, & Water. Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan, 1971, pp. 27, 130, 142, 173.
"Richard Brautigan was born in 1935 in the Pacific Northwest and has lived there for a long time. He has published three novels and has just recently emerged publicly after acquiring a strong underground reputation." Reprints three poems by Brautigan: "To England," "The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster," and "The Day They Busted the Grateful Dead."

Modern American Literature. Fourth Edition. Vol. 4 Supplement to Fourth Edition. Edited and compiled by Dorothy Nyren Curley, Maurice Kramer, and Elaine Fialka Kramer. Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1976. Vol. 4, pp. 64-69.
Excerpts from the The Beat Generation by Bruce Cook, a general review by Ihab Hassan, a review of Trout Fishing in America, The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar by J. D. O'Hara, reviews of A Confederate General from Big Sur by Arthur Gold, Malcom Muggeridge, and Auberon Waugh, Trout Fishing in America by John Clayton, and Kenneth Seib, In Watermelon Sugar by Patricia Hernlund, and Harvey Leavitt, The Abortion by Jonathon Yardley, The Hawkline Monster by Peter Prescott, and Revenge of the Lawn by Sara Blackburn, and Lita Hornick.

Reprinted
Modern American Literature Fifth Edition. Three volumes. Edited by Joann Cerrito. Detroit: St. James Press, 1999, pp. 143-146.

Mottram, Eric. "Brautigan, Richard." The Penguin Companion to American Literature. Edited by Malcolm Bradbury, Eric Mottram, and Jean Franco. McGraw-Hill Co., 1971, p. 41.
"He is above all a writer of the place in which he lives: the landscape and cities of the Pacific coast. His novels and stories are funny, quirkily original, and resist any categorization, just as his heroes are those whose freedom is anarchistic."

Mullen, Michael P. "Richard Brautigan." Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1984. Edited by Jean W. Ross. Gale Research Company, 1985, pp. 166-169.
Overview of Brautigan's works by Mullen and tributes by Helen Brann and Kurt Vonnegut. Mullen says, "The playfulness of Brautigan's work attracted readers; his books could be read for pleasure. At the same time, however, his books had substance, which satisfied the critics. . . . The critical attention Brautigan's books received during his lifetime indicates that he was more than a voice for a generation, forgotten as that generation gave way to the one that followed, and the attention given Brautigan after his death should highlight even more the lasting qualities of his work." READ this essay.

Murphy, Rosalie and James Vinson, editors. Contemporary Poets of the English Language. St. Martin's Press, 1970, p.131.
Lists bibliographical information for poetry through The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster and novels through Trout Fishing in America.

Myers, Robin, compiler and editor. A Dictionary of Literature in the English Language from 1940 to 1970. Pergamon Press, 1978, p. 41.

Novak, Robert. "Brautigan, Richard (Gary)." Reference Guide to American Literature. Third Edition. Edited by Jim Kamp. James Press 1994, pp. 130-133.
Provides basic biographical and bibliographical information as well as analysis of several of Brautigan's works. Says, "A controversial writer because he seems to encouarge the self-adoring anti-intellectualism of the young, Brautigan is commonly seen as the bridge between the Beat movement of the 1950s and the youth revolution of the late 1960s. . . . Brautigan's novels area best appreciated by the principles of the New Fiction ('Post-Modern'), spelled out in an article in TriQuarterly by Philip Stevick, especially their deliberately chosen, limited audience and the joy the observer finds in the mere texture of the data of the fiction. . . . He was aware of several currents of the American tradition, especially that of the new American Eden as created by [Henry David] Thoreau in Walden, by [Mark] Twain in Huckleberry Finn's escape to the Mississippi River, and by the California myth since the Gold Rush days, and Brautigan tends to condem the new America because it has betrayed the promises of the new American Eden" (131-133). READ this essay.

Reprinted
Reference Guide to American Literature. Fourth Edition. Edited by Thomas Riggs. St. James Press 2000, pp. 104-106.

Novak, Robert. "Richard Gary Brautigan." Dictionary of Literary Biography. Vol. 2: American Novelists Since World War II. Edited by Jeffrey Helterman and Richard Layman. Gale Research Company, 1978, pp. 65-70.
Deals with A Confederate General from Big Sur, Trout Fishing in America, In Watermelon Sugar, The Abortion, Revenge of the Lawn, The Hawkline Monster, Willard and His Bowling Trophies, Sombrero Fallout, and Dreaming of Babylon. Also provides some biographical and bibliographical information. READ this essay. See also Novak's general review of Brautigan's poetry, "The Poetry of Richard Brautigan," under "General Reviews" menu tab.

Novels and Novelists. Edited by Martin Seymour-Smith. St. Martin's Press, 1980, p. 105.
Brautigan's "novels are offbeat, deliberately zany, completely different. People either love him or can't read him. The critical consensus might be summed up thus: he has more wit than wisdom."

The Oxford Companion to American Literature. Fifth Edition. Edited by James D. Hart. Oxford University Press, 1983, p. 96.
Brautigan is a "San Francisco author [who writes] . . . short 'novels' composed of comic, whimsical, and surrealistic sketches of gently anarchic, unselfish, and Beat ways of life."

Reprinted
The Oxford Companion to American Literature. Sixth Edition. Edited by James D. Hart. Oxford University Press, 1995, p. 86.

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English. Edited by Jenny Stringer. Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 85-86.
Brautigan "came to prominence in the 1960s as a leading exponent of a new society. . . . The early formal playfulness and humour began to give way to an increasingly dark view of American culture as the 1970s progressed."

The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry in English. Edited by Ian Hamilton. Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 65.
A review by Martin Seymour-Smith says Brautigan, "was best known for his strange and original fiction; poetry, although he wrote a great deal of it, was little more to him than an agreeable recreation. [His poems] do, however, help to illuminate his achievement as a literary personality, a kind of modern Thoreau, who struggled, through his happiness-seeking prose, against the constitutional depression which eventually led to his suicide."

Parker, Peter, editor. "Richard (Gary) Brautigan 1935-1984." A Reader's Guide to Twentieth-Century Writers. Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 102.
Provides basic biographical and bibliographical information, as well as a general critique of Brautigan's work. READ this essay.

Reviews
Anonymous. "A Reader's Guide to Twentieth-Century Writers." Booklist, vol. 93, no. 1, 1 Sep. 1996, pp. 170-171.
"Although this compilation was published in England in 1995 as The Readers Companion to Twentieth-Century Writers, Oxford has altered the title, presumably to avoid confusion with volumes in its highly respected Companion series. it is intended to complement A Reader's Guide to the Twentieth-Century Novel (Oxford, 1995), which was also edited by Parker and Kermode, both British literary critics. However, the approximately 1,000 writers featured in this volume include not just novelists but also short story writers, playwrights and poets. (170)

"Oxford was prudent in changing the title of this work, for these lively articles are a far cry from the staid, conventional sketches in the Oxford Companions. In a refreshing—but often ruthless—warts-and-all style, contributors seem to revel in the details of authors, personal lives, particularly those involving unhappy childhoods, sexual predilections, and various addictions. At times, there is an almost tabloid like fascination with sordid or gruesome details. For instance, the reader is not simply informed that Richard Brautigan committed suicide, but that he shot himself in the head and his body was not found for four weeks" (171).

Plymell, Charles. "From Kansa, Land of the Wind People." Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Vol. 11. Gale Research, 1991, pp. 275-296.

Rabkin, Eric S. The Fantastic in Literature. Princeton University Press, 1976, pp. 152-53.
"Richard Brautigan has already absorbed the world in which . . . nature is now metaphorized by technology."

Reginald, Robert, compiler. Science Fiction & Fantasy Literature, 1975-1991. A Bibliography of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Fction Books and Nonfiction Monographs. Gale Research, 1992, p. 119.
Lists Brautigan's name, but no publications.

Reginald, Robert, compiler. Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature. 2 vols. Gale Research Co., 1979. Vol. 1, p. 68.
Lists publication information regarding The Hawkline Monster, In Watermelon Sugar, and the collection of Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar.

Roberts, Peter. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: An Illustrated A to Z. Edited by Peter Nicholls. Granada Publishing, 1979, p. 87.
Simultaneously published in the United States (Doubleday and Co., 1979, p. 87). Says, "American writer and poet, known primarily for his work outside the sf [science fiction] field. Most of his fiction is whimsical and on the borderline of fantasy. The Hawkline Monster, described as a 'Gothic Western,' is sf, however, and plays with the Frankenstein theme, while In Watermelon Sugar, a fantasy in an indeterminate setting, echoes the post-holocaust novels of conventional sf."

Roberts, Peter, and John Robert Colombo. "Brautigan, Richard." The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Edited by John Clute and Peter Nicholls. St. Martin's Press, 1993, p. 156.
Brautigan is "known primarily for his work outside the sf [science fiction] field. Most of his whimsically surreal fiction lies on the borderline of fantasy. The Hawkline Monster, which is sf, plays amusingly with the Frankenstein theme. In Watermelon Sugar, set in an indeterminate, hippie-pastoral setting, echoes the post-holocaust novels of conventional sf."

Smith, Newton. "Brautigan, Richard." Encyclopedia of American Literature. Edited by Steven R. Serafin. Continuum Publishing Co. 1999, pp. 122-123.
"For a brief time in the late 1960s and 1970s, B[rautigan] was a literary idol. The generation of hippies, Woodstock, and Haight Ashbury adored his highly imaginative style that blended optimism with satire and outrageous situtations. His books were bought with the same enthusiasm as the music of the era. . . . [The poems of The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster] are brief and whimsical with bizarre metaphors, inventive language, and a casual tone, focusing on transforming everyday events into art. Subsequent poetry publications were criticized for their off-handed style and slight content. . . . During the 1970s, B[rautigan] published six novels, each representing a different genre. The novels were clever parodies of their genre but were poorly received by the critics who continued to view B[rautigan] as an aging hippie" (122-123). READ this essay.

Sterner, Ingrid. "Brautigan, Richard Gary." The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives. Volume One: 1981-1985. Edited by Kenneth T. Jackson. Charles Scribner, 1998, pp. 97-98.
Provides basic biographical and bibliographical information. Includes a photograph by Christopher Felver of Brautigan wearing a sheepskin hat. Says, "Brautigan has been alternately classified as a beat, a hippie, and, more generically, a spokesman for the counterculture. But all these labels seem unecessarily limiting." READ this essay.

Sukenick, Ronald. "Autogyro: My Life in Fiction." Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series. Vol. 8. Gale Research, 1991, pp. 283-295.

The Supplement. Winter 1976. Poets & Writers, Inc. 1976, p. 3.
Lists Brautigan's address as 314 Union Street, San Francisco, CA.

The Supplement. Summer 1976. Poets & Writers, Inc. 1976, p. 3.
Lists Brautigan's address as c/o Helen Brann, Literary Agent, 14 Sutton Place South, New York, NY.

Thompson, Craig. "Brautigan, Richard (1935-1984)." Postmodern Fiction: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide. Edited by Larry McCaffery. Greenwood Press, 1986, pp. 286-289.
Provides a critical review of Brautigan's works. Concludes saying, "Although Brautigan's themes may never again be as appealing to readers as they were in the 1960s, his attempts to move beyond traditional genres and narrative styles still deserve attention from critics and readers interested in metafictional texts."

Also in this book, Ron Silliman ("New Prose, New Prose Poem," 165) says, Brautigan represents "the laidback side of the San Francisco Renaissance" when one considers the "gamut of possibilities" within New American poetry. Lynn McKean ("Klinkowitz, Jerome," 430) says that Klinkowitz collaborated with "such newly mainstream fictionists as Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Brautigan, and Donald Barthelme." READ this essay.

Tuck, Donald H., compiler. "Brautigan, Richard." The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy Through 1968. 3 vols. Advent Publishers, 1974. Vol. 3, p. 628.
Cites the paperback publication of In Watermelon Sugar by Dell in 1968.

Vogler, Thomas A. "Brautigan, Richard." Contemporary Novelists. Edited by James Vinson. Third Edition. St. Martin's Press, 1982, pp. 99-100.
Comments on Trout Fishing in America and In Watermelon Sugar and provides biographical and bibliographical information.

Vogler, Thomas A. "Brautigan, Richard." Contemporary Novelists. Edited by James Vinson. Second Edition. St. Martin's Press, 1976, pp. 179-180.

Vogler, Thomas A. "Brautigan, Richard." Contemporary Novelists. Edited by James Vinson. St. Martin's Press, 1972, pp. 172-174.
Deals with Brautigan's theme of rebirth of the American Dream and the metamorphosis of language and attitude in Brautigan's work.

Wakeman, John, editor. World Authors, 1970-1975. H. W. Wilson Co., 1980, pp. 115-118.
Remarks on A Confederate General from Big Sur, Trout Fishing in America, In Watermelon Sugar, The Abortion, The Hawkline Monster, Willard and His Bowling Trophies, Sombrero Fallout, and Revenge of the Lawn. Says, "Brautigan has become as great a campus idol as [Hermann] Hesse, [J.R.R.] Tolkein, [Kurt] Vonnegut. . . . How seriously he should be taken as a literary phenomenon is a matter of opinion." Lists published works and cites some sources of articles about Brautigan.

Who Was Who in America. Vol. 8 1982-1985. Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1985, p. 50.
Lists works through The Tokyo-Montana Express.

Who's Who in America. 43rd Edition. 1984-1985. Vol. 1. Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1984, p. 376.
Lists works through The Tokyo-Montana Express and gives address as c/o Simon and Schuster, Inc.

Who's Who in America. 42nd Edition. 1982-1983. Vol. 1. Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1982, p. 373.
Lists works through June 30th, June 30th.

Who's Who in America. 41st Edition. 1980-1981. Vol. 1. Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1980, p. 402.
Lists works through June 30th, June 30th and gives address as c/o Brann-Hartnett Agency, 14 Sutton Place South, New York, NY.

Who's Who in America. 40th Edition. 1978-1979. Vol. 1. Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1977, p. 387.
Lists works through Willard and His Bowling Trophies and gives address as c/o Simon and Schuster, Inc., 630 Fifth Ave., New York, NY.

Who's Who in America. 39th Edition. 1976-1977. Vol. 1. Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1976, p. 372.
Lists works through The Hawkline Monster and gives address as c/o Sterling Lord Agency.

Who's Who in America. 38th Edition. 1974-1975. Vol. 1. Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1974, p. 357.
Lists works through Revenge of the Lawn and gives address as c/o Sterling Lord Agency, 660 Madison Ave., New York, NY.

Wingrove, David, editor. The Science Fiction Source Book. "Brautigan, Richard." Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1984, p. 109.
"American off-beat novelist whos works occasionally touch upon the concerns of sf [science fiction] and fantasy. In Watermelon Sugar is vaguely an Utopian fantasy, whilst The Hawkline Monster toys with the Frankenstein theme. Hard sf fans might find him far too trivial."

The Writers Directory 1984-1986. Sixth Edition. St. James Press, 1983, p. 113.
Lists works through The Tokyo-Montana Express and gives address as c/o Helen Brann, 14 Sutton Place South, New York, NY.

The Writers Directory 1982-1984. Fifth Edition. Gale Research, 1981, p. 109.
Gives address as c/o Simon and Schuster, Inc., 630 Fourth Ave., New York, NY.

The Writers Directory 1980-1982. Fourth Edition. St. Martin's Press, 1979, p. 143.
Lists works through Willard and His Bowling Trophies and gives address as c/o Simon and Schuster, Inc., 630 Fourth Ave., New York, NY.

The Writers Directory 1980-1982. Gale Research Company, 1981, p. 109.
Lists bibliographical information for works through June 30th, June 30th and gives address as c/o Simon and Schuster, Inc., 630 Fourth Ave., New York, NY.

The Writers Directory 1976-78. Third Edition. St. James Press, 1976, p. 121.
Lists works through Willard and His Bowling Trophies and gives address as c/o Simon and Schuster, Inc., 630 Fourth Ave., New York, NY.

Close

Critiques

Abbott, Keith. "Shadows and Marble: Richard Brautigan." Review of Contemporary Fiction, vol. 8, no. 3, Fall 1988, pp. 117-125.
Critical analysis of Brautigan's writing style, saying the appeal of Brautigan as a writer is his effective use of conflict and tension between the factual and the imaginative. Used later in Chapter 8, "Shadows and Marble," of Downstream From Trout Fishing in America: A Memoir of Richard Brautigan.

"The tension between the two poles of Brautigan's style, the plain and the metaphorical, creates the conflict in his fiction. . . . His style provides what drama there is more often than his characters. His metaphors function as dramatic resolutions, if subversion of common reality with imaginative thought can be called a resolution. The fanciful notion . . . provides the impetus to continue reading, not any drama between the characters."

Says, this effect is carefully developed by Brautigan's use of slightly colloquial style and "the structure of facts to give a neutral tone to his sentences," thus providing a set up for his imaginative metaphors. "His fiction has its own peculiar vision and a sometimes satori-like sharpness. There's a humanity to Brautigan's discoveries that sets them apart from mere humorous writing." READ this essay.

Anonymous. "Richard Brautigan Hip Huck Finn." Playboy, Nov. 1970, pp. 204-205.
The full text of this review reads, "After 11 years in the literary underground, Richard Brautigan, 35, has finally surfaced as the guru of a growing collegiate cult that grooves not only on his writing but on his life style and his view of humanity as well. Living as closely as possible to nature, he has retained an unfashionably optimistic opinion of mankind since he left his birthplace in Tacoma, Washington, at 19 and wandered down to San Francisco, a city he has haunted ever since. Most of his years there have been spent panhandling while publishing free folios of what he calls 'true underground poetry.' Brautigan has tacked to a wall in S. F. home a letter from Hubert Humphrey thanking him for a copy of Please Plant This Book, a collection he published early in his career that consisted of eight packets of seeds, each imprinted with a poem and planting instructions. From 1965 to 1968, his total income was under $7000, but it was during this period that Trout Fishing in America—a deceptively titled, outrageously funny amalgam of picaresque autobiography and homey-hip philosophy—was published, and his quiet life was threatened by the resulting acclaim. Trout Fishing and his two other major works—A Confederate General from Big Sur and In Watermelon Sugar, both offering more of the same spaced-out ruminations but with somewhat less charm—have sold over 100,000 copies each. A spoken-word LP looms in Brautigan's near future, along with movies based on his novels, and he has read his works everywhere from San Quentin to Harvard. At Harvard, he passed a bottle around and jumped down from the podium and prodded members of the audience to take turns reading. The evening was brought to a close with an impromptu dance by Brautigan and his friends. [See 'Richard Brautigan On Saturday Night' by Jeffrey S. Golden for a review of this reading.] So far, however, Brautigan prefers to avoid the limelight—and he refuses to discuss his new-found renown. But he has often said his work speaks for him and the beginning of one of his short stories reads: 'It's really something to have fame put its feathery crowbar under your rock, and then upward to the light release you, along with seven grubs and a sow bug'" (204). Features a photograph by Erik Weber of Brautigan lounging in his Geary Street, San Francisco, California, apartment.

Ash, Mel. Beat Spirit: An Interactive Workbook. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1998, pp. 277-278.
"Richard Brautigan was yet another link between the fifties and sixties countercultures, and still another suicidal casualty of alcoholism in the eighties. Often called the last of the beatniks due to his young age in the decade of the fifties, he was a fixture in Haight-Ashbury, providing along with Lew Welch and Lenore Kandel an elder-statesmanlike presence in the new paisley Bohemia of the sixties. Although Brautigan is best known for his Trout Fishing in America, his novels and poems are filled with a dry and surreal whimsy that for a time perfectly captured a moment in the gestalt of America's countercultural youth" (277-278) .

As part of the book's interactivity, Ash asks readers to fill in entry number 4 of Brautigan's poem "Karma Repair Kit: Items-1-4," which, in the poem, is left blank. He concludes saying, "If you can fill out number four, and live out the first three, consider your karma repaired" (278).

Includes Brautigan's collection Trout Fishing in America, The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster, In Watermelon Sugar in "A Selected Prophetsography," a listing or works that are an "important representative selection or the most recent collections by the authors" (288).

Reviews
Anonymous. "Beat Spirit: An Interactive Workbook." Publishers Weekly, vol. 244, no. 44, 27 Oct. 1997, p. 62.
"Ash writes knowledgeably about the Beat legacy that extends through the work of writers including Richard Brautigan, Tom Robbins and Jim Carroll to artists and musicians like Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson."

Aguilar, Pablo Molinet. "Lectura de Richard Brautigan [Reading Richard Brautigan]." La Nave, 2 Oct.-Dec. 2009, pp. 73-79.
An essay on Brautigan's poetry published in this Mexican literary quarterly. Aguillar deals with the strenghts of Brautigan's poetry: the straightforwardness, the laconism, the surprise and the humor. He also points to the core weakness of Brautigan's poems: that they are mainly devoted to himself.

Auwera, Fernand. "Lucky Punch." Dietsche Warande en Belfort: Tijdschrifit vour Letterkunde, Kunst en Geestesleven, no. 122, 1977, pp. 783-785.
Review of Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan from a Dutch perspective.

Baronian, Jean-Baptiste. "Loufoque [Loony] Brautigan?" Magazine Littéraire, May 1983, pp. 52-53.
Says that rather than being grouped with the Beats, a closer reading of Brautigan's work suggests "a compressed vision of history, in which time doesn't offer any density, or reality. If, in theory, time constitutes one of his works' main themes, it is technically rather abolished. Or, to be more accurate, it is annihilated by writing [through] repition and redundancy." Ends with Brautigan discussing his writing. Brautigan says he knows his future readers want imagination. "I'm trying, from my own experiences, to give them some." READ this essay.

Barth, John. "The Literature of Exhaustion." Atlantic. Aug. 1967, pp. 29-34.
Barth argues that contemporary literature has exhausted its traditionally recognized potentials. But Brautigan's work suggests, by its very uniqueness, that literature still offers yet unexploited possibilities.

Beasley, Conger, Jr. "A Ghost from the Sixties: Richard Brautigan, 1935-1984." The Bloomsbury Review, vol. 5, no. 5, Feb. 1985, pp. 3, 8.
Illustrated with a drawing of Brautigan by Bonnie Timmons. Says, "Brautigan [captured] the yearning for meaningful connection amid the upheavals of American in the sixties. . . . Brautigan wrote as a sympathetic participant in the events he described. Subjectivity—the whims and notions of a sensitive mind—was his sole perspective; the world began with his conception of it. . . . Rather than reconstructing a linear reality, Brautigan stood the traditional novel on its head by defying its conventions. His plots are hazy and capricious, his characters thin and two-dimensional, his prose slack and meandering. . . . [His novels were] fanciful stories, controlled by the author's whim, in which anything can and usually does occur, or hermetic reveries, as self-contained and open-ended as fairy tales. . . . In his books we get a sense of the individual response to the 1960s, the need to blend fantasy and reality in an effort to create a more palatable world. Reading Brautigan, like getting high, is a way of establishing an alternative reality. . . . Generations from now, if anyone wants to know the particular mindset of a portion of the American population circa 1968, he or she would do well to read Richard Brautigan." READ this essay.

Blake, Harry. "American Post-Modernism." Tel Quel, vol. 71/73, Autumn 1977, pp. 171-82.
Brautigan is compared to other "post-modern" American writers John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Robert Coover, William Gass, and Jerzy Kosinski. Says "Brautignan" [sic] is a "dreck arranger" who utilizes scenes representing the unedited flow of the mind which follow one another and neutralize one another without logic.

Bryan, Scott, Paul Graham, and John Somer. "Speed Kills: Richard Brautigan and the American Metaphor." Oyez Review, vol. 8, no. 2, 1974, pp. 64-72.

Burns, Grant. Librarians in Fiction: A Critical Bibliography. McFarland, 1988, pp. 19-20.
A bibliographic listing of 226 novels, 103 short stories, 12 plays, and 30 secondary sources that feature fictional librarians, each with commentary and/or plot synopsis. Brautigan's The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 is item twenty on the novels list. Says, "The 31-year-old narrator is the perpetual librarian, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at a curious San Francisco library where people deposit books they have written. . . . The narrator is quiet, a little shy, and possesses a gentle good humor. . . . The novel is light and slight but is redeemed by the librarian's gentle nature and by Brautigan's gift for the occasional nice phrase" (19-20).

Reviews
Gribben, Alan. "Librarians in Fiction: A Critical Bibliography." Libraries & Culture, vol. 35, no. 12, Spring 2000, p. 381.
Notes that Richard Brautigan is an entry.

Chénetier, Marc. "Harmonics on Literary Irreverence: Boris Vian and Richard Brautigan." Stanford French Review, vol. 1, no. 2, Fall 1977, pp. 243-259.

Chénetier, Marc. "Richard Brautigan, écriveur: Notes d'un Ouvre-Boîtes Critique." Caliban, no. 12, 1975, pp. 16-31.
Says that for Brautigan, life, rather than a continuum, is a succession of transient and ephemeral states, and that identity is constantly destroyed and renewed. Says this is called "iDEATH" (the death of the ego) and that it is the foe of "inBOIL" (interior turbulence).

Chénetier, Marc. "'Bits and Pieces': La Rhétorique du Pararéel Dans l'Oeuvre de Richard Brautigan." Trema, no. 1, 1975, pp. 95-131.
Criticism from a French perspective.

Cook, Bruce. The Beat Generation: The Tumultous '50s Movement and its Impact on Today. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1971, pp. 205-208.
Section titled "They Sure Weren't Dancing on the Way Back to the Fairmont Hotel" provides a brief overview of Brautigan's relation to the San Francisco Beat poets and his work as an author in his own right. Says Brautigan's "poems are charming, often witty, sometimes successful-but rather slight. He gets his best effects from those brief, spontaneous bits of word play in which a single idea is twisted into the shape of a poem, almost in the manner of a haiku. . . . There are no books quite like [Brautigan's] and no writer around quite like him—no contemporary, at any rate. The one who is closest is Mark Twain. The two have in common an approach to humor that is founded on the old frontier tradition of the tall story. In Brautigan's work, however, events are given an extra twist so that they come out in respectable literary shape, looking like surrealism" (205, 206). READ this essay.

David, Christophe. "Brautigan hors-champ." Le Matricule des Anges, 7 Apr./June 1994.

Ditsky, John. "The Man on the Quaker Oats Box: Characteristics of Recent Experimental Fiction." Georgia Review, no. 26, Fall 1972, pp. 297-313.
Discusses Brautigan's works in comparison to other contemporary writers. Says, "Richard Brautigan's fiction shares many of the qualities of his poetry—charm, brevity, whimsy, and in many cases a total inability to leave a residue in the consciousness. His narrative voice, in its matter-of-factness, resembles that of that other Californian, Steinbeck, but lacks the older writer's coherent philosophy and sense of apparent purpose. Yet even in these respects Brautigan's writing seems consistent with that of the more intellectual practitioners of experiment fiction, such as Coover, Gass, Barthelme, and Barth. Moreover, Brautigan writes stories and chapter units of minimal length, like those of W.S. Merwin and Leonard Michaels. In addition, he is accessible on a level just a cut above sentimentality and mass-art: obviously beyond Rod McKuen, but perhaps on a par with Kurt Vonnegut." READ this essay.

Flowers, Helen. "Books for Librarians and Libraries." Emergency Librarian, vol. 20, no. 1, Sep./Oct. 1992, p. 20.
Lists fifteen books about librarians and libraries. Number 2 on the list is Brautigan's The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966.

Fresán Rodrigo. "El hombre que volvió de la muerte: Richard Brautigan publica de nuevo." Radar Libros, 12-17 Sep. 2000.

Greenman, Myron. "Understanding New Fiction." Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 20, no. 3, Autumn 1974, pp. 307-316.
Discusses theories related to the "mimetic impulse" in light of several writers representing "new fiction." Says, "the plain fact remains, though it seems to be seldom acknowledged, that it is still the concrete detail in new fiction that makes it readable, however devalued, incongruous, or apparently—though only apparently—abandoned." Using Brautigan's The Abortion as an example, Greenman says, "we are not able to enjoy the book very much, because its slight narrative substance is not compensated by any noteworthy aesthetic, stylistic, psychological, or commentarial innovations or values; but to a slight degree we do find pleasure in it, and despite all of Brautigan's cuteness, we are indebted to his believable presentation of setting, story, and character."

Hansen, Arlen J. "The Celebration of Solipsism: A New Trend in American Fiction." Modern Fiction Studies, no. 19, Spring 1973, pp. 5-15.
Explores the shift in emphasis from the environment's controlling power to solipsism (creative adjustment; shaping one's world rather than being controlled by it) in the works of Kurt Vonnegut, Donald Barthelme, William Gass, Robert Coover, and Brautigan. Says Brautigan's work represents the most extreme, but not most effective use of this new vision.

Says, "To describe the relationship between an individual and his environment, Perls and Goodman use the phrase 'creative adjustment.' Implicit in this oxymoron is a tension between the active, dynamic qualities of experience and the more passive, adaptive qualities. The word 'creative' mitigates some of the determinism implied by 'adjustment'; and 'adjustment' holds in check the tendency toward delusion or escapist fantasy. This balance, it seems, is seldom observed in the fiction of the past hundred years. Indeed, this fiction seems characteristically dominated by deterministic preoccupations with traps and mazes, with victim-heroes and anti-heroes, and with overt and disguised polemics on behalf of empiricism and behavioralism. By and large, the dominant stance in American fiction during the past century has been that of the so-called 'realist' who has urged his readers to distinguish between self-generated 'illusion' and sturdy 'reality.' According to these realists, one is simply to face 'reality' and to avoid 'illusion.'" READ this essay.

Reprinted
Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 42. Edited by Daniel G. Marowski and Roger Matuz. Gale Research Company, 1980, pp. 48-66.

Hassan, Ihab. Contemporary American Literature, 1945-1972. Ungar Publishing Co., 1973, pp. 122, 171.
"Lucid, precise, whimsical, idyllic, Brautigan develops a unique fragmentary style. . . . Yet beneath the surface of happy love and naive humor, the reader feels the lurking presence of loss, madness, death."

Hendin, Josephine "Experimental Fiction." Harvard Guide to Contemporary American Writing. Edited by Daniel Hoffman. Harvard University Press, 1979, pp. 260, 268.
"Novels of passivity refuse to believe in the traditional American values of effort, perseverance, and striving. In Richard Brautigan's lyric stories Revenge of the Lawn (1971) can be found cautionary tales, warnings against trying to be the old-time, hard-working American hero. 'Corporal' is a touching account of humiliation at the heart of an American dream of success. A poor schoolboy during World War II yearns to be a general in a paper drive his school organizes like a 'military career.' He scrounges for scrap after scrap of paper, hoping to bring in enough to spiral from private to general. But after an incredible effort, he finds all his work will make him no more than a corporal. (Only kids whose parents were rich enough to have cars and to know "where there were a lot of magazines" get to be officers.) Crushed and humiliated, he takes his 'God-damn little stripes home in the absolute bottom of (his) pocket . . . and enter[s] into the disenchanted paper shadows of America where failure is a bounced check or a bad report card or a letter ending a love affair and all the words that hurt people when they read them.'

"Suffering makes Brautigan's people gentle and cold. The evanescent In Watermelon Sugar (1968) describes appetitive America as a fantastic ruin where there are mile-high remains of skyscrapers, books, remnants of technological achievements, and ghosts of appetites which do not exist in the new world, iDEATH. This iDEATH is a commune in which the assertive 'I,' the ego, is subordinated to the harmony of a group in which nobody competes with anyone else, sexual jealousy is taboo, and nights are lit up by sugar lanterns in the shape of a trout and a child's face. Only misfits fall in love or become possessive of a beloved. In Trout Fishing in America (1967) Brautigan's luckiest character is the Kool-Aid wino, a poor kid who is thrilled even by the Kool-Aid he must ration so sparingly that he has to dilute it in a gallon, instead of a pint, of water. The people who survive in Brautigan's books are in control of their appetites but out of control of their illusions, able to make the dream of fullness, sweetness, and peace do the work of reality. Brautigan is a spokesman for the disenchanted, seeking to allay anxiety by blurring the distinctions of status, wealth, and ambition which exist in the real world."

Hendin, Josephine. Vulnerable People: A View of American Fiction Since 1945. Oxford University Press, 1978, pp. 20, 44-50, 217, 224.
Discusses the social, psychological, and political implications of acting in the manner of typical Brautigan characters: gentle, withdrawn, and emotionally distant. Hendin also discusses this idea in her review of Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn. READ this essay.

Hoffmann, Gerhard. "Social Criticism and the Deformation of Man, Satire, the Grotesque and Comic Nihilism in the Modern and Postmodern American Novel." Amerikastudien [American Studies], vol. 28, no.2, 1983, pp. 141-203.
Says that "imagination holds sway over language" in Trout Fishing in America "and its clichés and can generate any number of new, fresh situations out of the one by arbitrarily changing its meaning. 'Trout Fishing in America' thus stands not only for what 'normality' means and connotes, but also for a person, a place, a hotel, a cripple, a costume, a fountain pen, a book" (179).

Says Brautigan further develops this "method of lingual arbitrariness in the direction of a more unobstructed and interconnected representation of a utopian situation" in the novel In Watermelon Sugar. But, "it is a utopian society turned entropic, dominated by the complete stasis of rationality contrasted only with the old eruptive emotional dynamism of love, suffering, violence, etc., which, however, can appear only in deformation" (179). READ this essay.

Holden, Jonathan. "Poems Versus Jokes." New England Review, vol. 4, no. 3, Spring 1982, pp. 469-77.
Contends that poems summon desirable feelings and glorify them. Jokes tend to condense experiences and offer them as substitute metaphors—especially when they deal with sex. Says, "all of Richard Brautigan's erotic pieces are on the borderline between poems and jokes. [When read on the page they are taken as poems, but] uttered before a live audience, they lose their character of being meditations on the task of love; they become instead thinly veiled boasts, verbal seductions." READ this essay.

Horvath, Brooke Kenton. "Richard Brautigan's Search for Control Over Death." American Literature, vol. 57, no. 3, Oct. 1985, pp. 434-455.
Says, central to Brautigan's fiction is "death and the anxiety an awareness of death engenders. . . . Death-obsessed, Brautigan's characters find they must dissociate themselves from a culture that both throws death constantly in their paths and fails to give it meaning. These characters typically retreat into private life-enhancing religions, but habitually this ploy does not . . . engage life-and-death fears head on and fruitfully; rather, it intensifies that hopelessness and numbness that makes death so fearsome within the establishment. . . . [Brautigan's] work . . . continues to forward an especially severe critique of American society, one that moves beyond politics into prophecy, implicitly sounding a call for repentance, for a turning from death toward life." READ this essay.

Hume, Kathryn. "Brautigan's Psychomachia." Mosaic, vol. 34, no. 1, Mar. 2001, pp. 75-92.
Argues that Brautigan can be seen as "an aesthetician and writer, as a conscious artist who used Zen principles rather than simply becoming the victim of psychic furies" (76). Views his writing as "a series of narrative experiments in portraying emotions and in working out the philosophical and political dimensions of certain strong feelings that interested him. The emotions that fascinate him naturally stem from his own experience, by my concern is what he constructs from them artistically. The eleven novels (the last one published posthumously) constitute a series of battlefields in which he sets up emotional conflicts and tries to find narrative forms appropriate to his vision. Hence my term psychomania, for in formalized schema he test certain feelings and kinds of narrative much as medieval writers formalized into allegory the temptations besetting a Christian soul" (76). READ this essay.

Hume, Kathryn. American Dream American Nightmare: Fiction Since 1960.University of Illinois Press, 2000, pp. 5, 37, 42, 50, 59-61, 63, 209-213, 218, 268, 272, 283-285.
Explores how estrangement from America has shaped the contemporary fiction of a literary generation Hume calls the Generation of the Lost Dream. Identifies shared core concerns, values, techniques, and differing critiques among nearly one hundred unconnected writers saying they point to a source for recovery that appeals to many of the authors. Makes several mentions of Brautigan and his work as examples, or proof, for her claim. READ this essay.

Reviews
Partridge, Jeffrey F. L. "Extreme Specialization" and the Broad Highway: Approaching Contemporary American Fiction." Studies in the Novel, vol. 33, no. 4, Winter 2001, pp. 459-472.
Reviews American Dream: American Nightmare—Fiction Since 1960 by Kathryn Hume and Assimilating Asians: Gendered Strategies of Authorship in Asian America by Patricia P. Chu (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000). Says Richard Brautigan is one of the novelists Hume considers (460).

Hume, Kathryn. "Vonnegut's Melancholy." Philological Quarterly, vol. 77, no. 2, Spring 1998, pp. 221-238.
Says Kurt Vonnegut, Jr's. fiction is based primarily on ideas that approach personal or social problems and his stories are permeated with melancholy humor and the friendly relationship Vonnegut builds with his readers. "Of recent writers, perhaps Richard Brautigan comes closest to Vonnegut in terms of a shared melancholy. Their similarities show up most obviously in So the Wind Won't Blow It All Away and Deadeye Dick, both books about boys who shoot someone accidentally and have their lives ruined as a result. Most of Brautigan's characters are wispy and low-key, and he too introduces spacey and fantastic elements. Where Brautigan and Vonnegut part ways is in their humor, and this humor is probably the factor that has made Vonnegut so popular throughout his career" (235-236).

Jeffryes, Katie. "Time and the Pastoral Lifestyle."
An essay written 30 October 2002 during Jeffryes' junior year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and available at Jeffryes' website. Compares the search for "the mythological pastoral lifestyle" by the narrators in Henry David Thoreau's Walden and Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America. Concludes that, "because of the time period in which Walden is set, Thoreau is able to achieve his dream to a greater extent than Brautigan. Their views regarding the importance of the past are similar, but the outlook of the future differs in each case. In the end both come to terms with the time in which they live, Thoreau with a message of hope and inspiration, Brautigan with a letter of condolences mourning the 'passing of Mr. Good,' representing the very lifestyle for which he searches. Thoreau finds his ideal pastoral lifestyle, but Brautigan's narrator becomes entangled in the myths of American idealism and regresses to the life he knew before his search." READ this essay.

Johnson, Judith. "Rhetoric and Anti-Rhetoric: The Poetry of Richard Brautigan." St. Andrews Review, no. 22, 1981.
Revised from a lecture delivered at Festival of British and American Poets, SUNY Stony Brook, NY, 1978.

Karl, Frederick R. American Fictions 1940-1980. Harper & Row, 1983, pp. xii, 27, 42, 64, 70-71, 384, and 394 [sic; should be 393].
Brautigan is discussed in the context of other American fiction writers. Review of Trout Fishing in America on pages 70-71. Mentioned as a minimalist on 384.

Kern, Robert. "Williams, Brautigan, and the Poetics of Primitivism." Chicago Review, vol. 27, no. 1, 1975, pp. 47-57.
Compares Brautigan's poetry to William Carlos Williams' in terms of their shared "primitivist poetics." READ this essay.

Kleinzahler, August. "No Light on in the House." London Review of Books, 14 Dec. 2000, pp. 21-22.
Provides a retrospective examination of Brautigan's work leading up to a review of Revenge of the Lawn. Concludes by saying, "With Brautigan, one sees the fissures, the slapdash detail, the failures of nerve and, of course, the steep decline just at the point when it should all have been going the other way. Brautigan was damaged goods, psychologically, from the get-go" (22). READ this essay.

Kline, Betsy. "A Cult Figure in the 1960s, Brautigan Has Successfully Moved into a New Era." Kansas City Star, 21 Dec. 1980, pp. 1, 12D.
A companion piece to Kline's review of The Tokyo-Montana Express, written following one of Brautigan's promotional interviews. READ this essay.

Klinkowitz, Jerome. The Self-Apparent Word. Southern Illinois University Press, 1984, pp. 32-33, 64-65.
Says Brautigan is a master of "stretching metaphors to incredible lengths between tenor and vehicle . . . [so that the] original object from the world is lost, to be replaced by something made of its author's language."

Klinkowitz, Jerome. "Brautigan, Richard." Academic American Encyclopedia. 21 vols. 1981. Vol. 3, p. 458.
Says, "Poet and novelist Richard