Looking at the cross currents of historical and contemporary events
I've read his book on trout fishing, which I enjoyed very much!
At 880 pages it seems like everything you could ever possibly want to know about Brautigan including what you are afraid to ask ; )
Wow,I read every thing Brautigan wrote in HS and can recite some of his poems from memory.My intro into the NYTimes book forums was a mention of Confederate General From Big Sur to which Chartres replied to.It turned out she hung out with him way back in San Fran.Whiskeypriest and who's the poster from South Carolina reviews music and film used to really diss Brautigan in the NYTimes forums.
Trout Fishing in America which wasn't really about trout fishing at all.One poem I really recall is Negative Clank"He'd sell a rat's asshole to a blind man for a weddng ring"
On of his poetry books was the Galilee Hitchiker.
Speaking of Fishing,http://www.veoh.com/watch/v481812Q8KH6rSq?h1=Fishing+with+John+-+Tom+WaitsIt wasn't much about fishing either.
I only met him once, after the bars closed, when my writer friends showed up at my apartment in SF. Quite a character. But he used to live in the same area of Montana as I did and most of my friends were good friends with him. I saw him read once here and wasn't all that enamored of his work. But then I read So the Wind Won't Blow it All Away -- lovely book.This bio is written by someone I know here -- his life's work (and apparently he still felt like he had more to say ...).
Half tempted to pick up a modestly priced first edition of A Confederate General from Big Sur I found at abebooks. Shipping is more than the book.
I'm definitely going to read the bio since I'll know at least half of the people in it. I'll let you know if it might make a good book for us to read here (looks like we have several fans). I'm hopeful that it will be as good as this (from Booklist):After surviving a breakdown, incarceration, and electroshock treatments, Brautigan hitchhiked toSan Francisco in 1956 and began the hard labor of transforming himself from a shy and awkward “country bumpkin” into a cutting-edge writer and iconic eccentric. Hjortsberg delves incisively into Brautigan’s volatile friendships and doomed marriages, struggles to get published, leeriness of fame, heavy drinking, and increasingly disturbing behavior, concluding that Brautigan, for all the wit and whimsy of his work, was forever haunted by the “bleakness” of his childhood. A prodigious work of scholarship, remembrance, and empathy.
You should probably pick up the Big Sur book sooner rather than later -- sounds like there might be a Brautigan revival when the bio hits the shelves.
I recall now it was Whiskey and Rodney who used to diss any mention made of Brautigan in theNYTimesforums.
Torn between the Brautigan omnibus and the first edition of Big Sur. I guess it comes down to how much Brautigan I think I'll read. The bio is already available at amazon, av.
What can you expect from a couple of Nabokovites, j? They never liked any mention of Henry Miller either.
Maybe that's the link ; )I visited the Henry Miller house at Big Sur years ago. It was a great feeling.
Interesting to read that there was an attempt to make Confederate General into a movie by Paramount, and would have starred Burt Lancaster and Steve McQueen no less. Alas, the project was scrapped. I could have seen Jarmusch, Lurie and Waits teaming up on a project like this years ago, but I guess it didn't cross their minds. I wonder if Lynch was inspired by the story in Ben Horne's obsession with the Civil War from Twin Peaks.
Bo, you should invite Whiskey for a discussion of the biography! That should add some interest here!And wow ... you're right, Gintaras. It has an April publication date, but it's already available. I guess they want to make hay while the Booklist shines. I'm looking forward to this one.First Hitlerland, then hopefully Brautigan and Eisenhower....
Speaking of really good eccentric writers sad to see the passing of Harry Crews.Chartres put me on to him back in the NYTimes forum days.I first bought his book Classic Crews which included two early novels including Car where the lead character ate part of a 71 maverick and his autobiography A Childhood which is still my favorite Crews piece of work.Loved the NYTimes obit today describing his writing style.
The article in today's New York Times Arts section has a photo of Crews taken n 2006. He looks quite a bit like Erskine Caldwell did late in life. They also mined some of the same territory as writers.
And speaking of Chartres, William Lee Miller has a new book out: www.amazon.com/Two-Americans-Truman-Eisenhower-Dangerous/dp/0307595641/
This looks like it would be a great reading group selection! Will post it and see what others think.