Richard Brautigan: Contribution as American Novelist

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      Richard Brautigan did not withdraw in this way out like Salinger but committed suicide in 1984. He gradually slipped from the public view. Although he continued his publishing his 1980s his most successful work had appeared a decade or so earlier: A Confederate General from Big Sur (1964), Trout Fishing in America (1963), In Watermelon Sugar (1968) and The Abortion: An Historical Romance. Of all his works Trout Fishing in Americans the most characteristic. It describes the search of the narrator for a morning of good fishing in a crystal clear stream.

      Brautigan, search takes him through a variety of American landscapes - city parks in San Francisco, forests in Oregon, a Flipping laundry, a wrecking yard that sells used trout streams by the foot. Surreal and anarchic, whimsical and nostalgic, the narrative is, at once, a critique of a culture that has betrayed its early promise-where the dream of trout fishing has become a purchasable commodity and a celebration of continuing possibility, the anarchic, unbowed spirit of individual. This is the book as a fictional play: a typographical game eschewing plot-structure of any ordinary kind, whatever the destructive element that surrounds us. To that extent, trout-fishing in America is still possible.

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