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A Different Departure

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » The Monkey Hole » A Different Departure « Previous Next »

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Archive through June 22, 2002Anatomist26 6-22-02  11:22 am
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Marccampbell
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 12:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I read "Watermelon Sugar" while living in a tipi in Santa Cruz in 1970. There was a waterfall nearby, and an old abandoned outdoor square dance hall. The perfect place to read it.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 12:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Committing suicide was definitely breaking his own rule. It takes emotion, passion or despair to take one's own life.
Artemis
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 11:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Check this out, written by Richard's daughter:

"Whenever I read my dad's stuff, there's always the sense of somebody alone, walking down the street," she says. "I see the shadow in everything, and the loneliness, and the hauntedness. But he always leaves you with something."

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/09.14.00/brautigan-0037.html

And this:

IN 1984, NOVELIST and poet Richard Brautigan got drunk and killed himself with a bullet to the head. He was 49 years old. Two weeks later his badly decomposed body was found next to boxes of unfinished, unpublished work. Unable to enter the house of his suicide, Brautigan's only daughter, Ianthe, had the papers delivered to her. She writes, "I have a lot of paper with blood on it, because when my father killed himself he bled on some of the pages he'd been working on."
The day the boxes were delivered, hundreds of flies escaped. The sight of flies that bred in her father's body leads Ianthe to panic. "I'm going to die," she cries to her mother. She fears the contagion of death. Her mother tells her, "You can't catch death."

http://weeklywire.com/ww/06-26-00/tw_book.html
Pataphysician
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 11:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My older brother had a copy of "Trout" lying around and I read it when I was about 14. Come to think of it, it was one of a few books that I read at that time that pretty much destroyed any interest I had in traditional, linear fiction writing: "As I Lay Dying", "Catch-22".

"it's only about trout fishing in the most cosmic sense". Heh heh heh. Yeah, it ain't the "Nick Adams Stories".
Artemis
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

btw, "Hawkline Monster" was a "gothic western".

I saw Brautigan on the street in Monterey, California some time in 1972 but was too shy to approach him. It was around that time he moved to Montana, from which he moved to oblivion.
Artemis
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 11:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Agreed, you and I should read "Troutfishing in America" again. For me it was assigned reading in a freshman college art class many moons ago. For those who don't know, it's only about trout fishing in the most cosmic sense, although it's about catching trout as well.

Also, we should read (you for the first time and me again):

"The Pill vs. the Springhill Mine Disaster"
"The Octopus Frontier"
"A Confederate General From Big Sur"
"Willard and His Bowling Trophies"
"Watermelon Sugar"
"The Revenge of the Lawn"
"The Hawkline Monster"

etc. by Richard Brautigan
Pataphysician
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 10:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

No offense taken here, Artie. My response was a bit flip, but it was honest. Maybe suicide WAS following his own lesson. Not the step I'd choose, or recommend to anyone else, but who am I to say?

I'm sorry to say that all I've read of Brautigan was his most popular "Trout Fishing In America" and a few poems, but "Trout" profoundly affected me in my formative years. Dang, I should read it again.
Barsnake
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 9:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

don't forget your pygmy pony
Artemis
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 9:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Okay, in retrospect, Pataphysician maybe wasn't making fun but pointing out that Brautigan couldn't follow his own lesson. I apologize if I read him incorrectly.

I've posted the Karma Repair Kit here before, but without attribution, which isn't quite right. When I found it with the bones in the background, I posted that because I thought it might amuse Anatomist.

Vera's post disturbed me. I thought my response might help her. I put it here rather than sending it privately in case it might help somebody else as well. And that's the truth.

As for Brautigan, he was a poet of the highest order, and his unfortunate end doesn't change that.

Movin to Montana soon,
gonna be a dental floss tycoon ...
Chevalier
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 8:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself, and listen to it ..."
... whereupon you can proceed to create, bit by bit, a new pile of intellectual and emotional noise.
Alphasoixante
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 8:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

to "reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself, and listen to it" IS suicide. clearly he does follow his own lessons.

"blessed are the sleepy ones, for they shall soon drop off."
Pataphysician
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 7:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Somewhere below this group lie those who make smartass fun of suicides."

... worthy of Brautigan. Whom I love.
Perruche_Verte
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 7:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Apparently it can, though naturally their state government tries to keep a lid on it.

Brautigan was doing the "get out of the damned city so I can concentrate on my art" thing. He's a good example of how that doesn't always work so well.
Anatomist
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 6:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Moving to Montana leads to suicide?
Perruche_Verte
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 5:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

There are many good teachers who can't follow their own lessons.

Richard Brautigan was a wonderful writer. He should never have moved to Montana. That doesn't make his writing any worse, though.
Artemis
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 3:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I knew someone who posted Brautigan's Karma Repair Kit in a bar.

She observed the reactions of those who read it.

Reactions ranged from a spreading Buddha smile when they hit No. 4 (the kit had done its work already), to head scratching, etc. Of course, many were stupid enough to "guess" what No. 4 was. Some actually asked to be told No. 4.
Lump those in with the railroad rocks for density.

Somewhere below this group lie those who make smartass fun of suicides.
Pataphysician
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 4:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

No, Richard Brautigan's #4 was "Go to a remote location. Drink a bottle of booze. Shoot yourself in the head."
Traineraz
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 11:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Um . . . judging from the drawings behind the words, I'm guessing item #4 is, "Find a good bone, and . . . {CENSORED}"
Admin
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 7:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

From Uncle Artemis ... with his best wishes:

karma
Anatomist
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 12:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I was definitely just an asshole then. As a constructive writing critique, I'd say the major misstep you made was getting way too general. This last bit about your grandmother is much more compelling. Good writing is specific. Show don't tell. Tell details honestly and plainly and leave summarization and generality to the reader. Technically, my writing mostly sucks from an aesthetic POV for similar reasons - I'm an ex-philosopher.

K.
Mogan_David
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2002 - 11:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Anatomist,

It was sincere, if not sappy. I was recalling some comments my grandmother made when she turned 90 in May. She told me how when my Grandfather died twenty years ago she felt to old to do many of the things she now wishes she had done. Now at the age of 90 she regrets the time wasted in mourning and feeling old. I tried to put down in words the way this made me feel, kind of short and sweet and I didn't do a very good job.

I like to look at all of the profiles from the people who post here, and was at your site quite some time ago. I rememer being struck by the craftsmanship of your sculpture. You do very nice work.

Anyway, I hope there are no hard feelings.

MD

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