Some rarely seen footage (it’s not like there is a lot if it, you’ll note that they ran out of it pretty quickly) of poet and novelist Richard Brautigan cut over readings from his classic Trout Fishing in America and the novella In Watermelon Sugar.
Richard Brautigan was once one of the most widely read poets and novelists of 60s and 70s America. He wasn’t quite as famous as say, Kurt Vonnegut or Allen Ginsberg, but he was up there. Brautigan was especially revered in counterculture circles. In the Dean Koontz novel, One Door Away From Heaven, one of the characters, a drug addict, believes that she would be able to unlock the occult secrets of the universe, if only she could understand the deeper meanings of In Watermelon Sugar.
It’s a tragedy—seriously, it’s a damned shame—that he is now all but forgotten. Fans of both Vonnegut and Tom Robbins will find much to appreciate in Brautigan’s work.
An album, Listening to Richard Brautigan, recorded in 1969, was supposed to come out on The Beatles’ experimental Zapple label managed by Barry Miles, but Zapple didn’t last that long (It eventually came out on EMI Harvest).
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Richard Brautigan: The Voice at the Heart of Nowness