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No Light on in the House

August Kleinzahler: Richard Brautigan Revisited, 14 December 2000

An Unfortunate Woman 
by Richard Brautigan.
Rebel Inc, 110 pp., £12, July 2000, 1 84195 023 8
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Revenge of the Lawn: Stories 1962-70 
by Richard Brautigan.
Rebel Inc, 146 pp., £6.99, June 2000, 1 84195 027 0
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You Can't Catch Death 
by Ianthe Brautigan.
Rebel Inc, 209 pp., £14.99, July 2000, 1 84195 025 4
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... number of artists and writers have made Bolinas their home, or one of their homes. One of them was Richard Brautigan. When I gave a reading 16 years ago at the Bolinas Public Library, a couple of Brautigan’s old friends from his North Beach days in the 1960s told me that he had recently turned up in town. I remember ...

Idiot Mambo

Robert Taubman, 16 April 1981

Cities of the Red Night 
by William Burroughs.
Calder, 332 pp., £9.95, March 1981, 0 7145 3784 5
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The Tokyo-Montana Express 
by Richard Brautigan.
Cape, 258 pp., £6.50, April 1981, 0 224 01907 4
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... waved his cloth in the sky, sword ready for the kill.’ Readers of Trout Fishing in America know Richard Brautigan as a writer who doesn’t tell a story, or parody anyone telling a story, but is simply a way of being and seeing, interested in other people who are like that too, such as a man staring at meat about whom the only point is that ‘there ...


John Sturrock, 3 July 1980

Nature and Language 
by Ralf Norrman and Jon Haarberg.
Routledge, 232 pp., £10, May 1980, 0 7100 0453 2
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... compiled is impressive and often amusing. Back to Seneca they go, and forwards and outwards to Richard Brautigan. Busily, the melons, pumpkins and gourds are gathered in. Each quotation is given, cacophonously, in its original language (the translations appear elsewhere, which is a monstrous imposition), and its meaning rapidly adduced. Bit by bit ...

Sam, Sam, Mythological Man

David Jones, 2 May 1985

Motel Chronicles and Hawk Moon 
by Sam Shepard.
Faber, 188 pp., £3.95, February 1985, 0 571 13458 0
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Paris, Texas 
by Wim Wenders and Sam Shepard.
Ecco, 509 pp., £12.95, January 1985, 0 88001 077 0
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... unpunctuated prose-poems and cute little seven or eight-liners in free verse in the style of Richard Brautigan. (A Californian professor once plucked a volume of Brautigan out of my hand and hurled it to the ground claiming it was causing the Death of Literacy on the American Campus.) The stories are stronger, but ...

Who’s Got the Moxie?

A. Craig Copetas, 23 March 1995

The Mexican Tree Duck 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 247 pp., £15.99, May 1994, 0 330 32451 9
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One to Count Cadence 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 338 pp., £5.99, May 1994, 0 330 32450 0
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... popworld of Beavis and Butthead and the fortysomething editors who deify Rosanne Arnold and Richard Nixon on the same page. Editors once made yearly scouting trips up to the North Country, just to avoid getting sucked into the black hole of fad and revisionism. These trips, which took place in the spring and always in a four-wheel-drive ...

Her Body or the Sea

Ian Patterson: Ann Quin, 21 June 2018

The Unmapped Country: Stories and Fragments 
by Ann Quin.
And Other Stories, 192 pp., £10, January 2018, 978 1 911508 14 4
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... which the novel creates its fevered satirical vision. It’s reminiscent, in different ways, of Richard Brautigan and of Ed Dorn’s Gunslinger, as well as of Burroughs, but it seems not to have been a way of writing she wanted to continue with. One of the strengths of the new collection is that it contains the unfinished draft of the novel Quin was ...

Joan Didion’s Style

Martin Amis, 7 February 1980

The White Album 
by Joan Didion.
Weidenfeld, 223 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 297 77702 5
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... kites and bands of small girls playing tambourine.’ That sentence could have been written by Richard Brautigan; it is a peculiarly Californian style, a schlepping style. Bouts of wooziness affect the judgment too. After a wearily lucid analysis of the Women’s Movement and a precise appraisal of Doris Lessing, Miss Didion moves on to a bizarre hymn ...

Our Cyborg Progeny

Meehan Crist: Gaia will save us. Sort of, 7 January 2021

Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence 
by James Lovelock.
Allen Lane, 160 pp., £9.99, July 2020, 978 0 14 199079 8
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... and quickly took root in the public imagination. But it also set some eyes rolling. Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould were critical, and scientists across the board argued that Gaia smacked of teleology or even new-age mysticism. Can we really say a planet is an organism? What if life just evolves and there’s nothing that actually ...

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