Sometimes I think my adult life is spent chasing something I glimpsed when I was a kid.
Stumbling across Authors that could put my adolencent wonder and feelings into story only pushed me further along, what seems to be sometimes, a quixotic quest.
Herman Hesse wrote a book called ‘Knulp’ that I carried in my haversack for years. I wore a haversack for years because of that book… His novel ‘Narcissus and Goldman’ gave me a hairy eye for all things mediocre.
Obviously there are heaps of novels from my youth that cloud and clear the way I see the world. I have my collection of Orwell, Camus and others packed away in mothballed crates in a crowded shed on a farm, probably never to be read again…
However, Richard Brautigans mad whimsical tomes stay close to me even now. I need them near because they never fail to remind me to keep a light touch on things. To poke at the ridiculous in everything. They are useless and very right. Wonderful.
I bring all this up because it is the 25 anniversary of Richard Brautigans death. To co-incide, His Gothic western “The Hawkline Monster” has been re released and was talked about on the ABC book show.
One of his books, “The abortion: An historical romance”, finds him working in a fictional library where unpublished manuscripts and poems etc get stored and catalogued. Only it seems that now the library isn’t fictional… there a 2 such places in the world both inspired by this novel.
One of the first things B and I did together was read a Richard Brautigan book to each other. It was the “Confederate General from the Big Sur”. op op op
I once felt compelled to jump up on stage at a poetry night in Perth and read Braugtigan poems to the illustrious throng. He has that affect on me.
I don’t even need to read them anymore. I ony need to pat them. pat pat pat.