tenth strawberry

... goes downstream

12 strawberries
    That was the period when Richard
was going down his list of friends
and knocking them off one by one.
    Eric Weber
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Once he was famous and his work parodied and ridiculed, his pride only allowed him to adopt angry amusement and his own skyrocketing sales as a defense. When the sales dropped, his angry amusement turned to plain anger, and thence to bitterness and fear, and finally to a kind of loathing which poisened his spirit and partly eliminated his ability to respond to life and its small happinesses.

Keith Abbott, Downstream from trout fishing in America, p. 84

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Since 1976 Richard Brautigan lives from time to time alone on his ranch in Montana. He hasn't the slighest notion of ranch work. He lives in the country, but hasn't even a driving licence. Keith Abbott reports on an unhealthy cycle of boredom, sleeplessness and consumption of alcohol, which causes macho-like escalations and hypersensitive reactions to criticism or alleged injustice.

The situation improves, when Richard Brautigan marries a Japanese in 1977. During this time he writes some of the stories for »The Tokyo-Montana Express«, which is published in 1980. Also his trips to Japan bring - beside the acknowledgement there - material for this book. But after the marriage goes on the rocks, the mixture of isolation, weariness and alcohol begins to work again.

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During this time Richard told me, »I guess the only thing I can do is write. If that's so, then that's all I'll do.« He seemed to be saying that he was going to forego any other contacts with people. I think that he did just that, and that it helped to kill his spirit.

Keith Abbott, Downstream from trout fishing in America, S. 134

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After a break for 10 years Richard Brautigan supports with »The Tokyo-Montana Express« for the first time a book by public appearances such as readings and press dates. He sells this collection of Japanese and American short stories as the imaginary stations of the Tokyo-Montana-Express. Actually this book is celebrated by some critics as a back to the roots - or better fishbones. Claudia Großmann points out in her work about Richard Brautigan that such a return isn't his point and quotes a poem from one of his early poetry books, in which his attitude is reflected.
A circle
comes complete
with its
own grave.

Richard Brautigan, Lay the Marble Tea, S. 19;quoted after:Claudia Großmann, Richard Brautigan: pounding at the gates of american literature, S. 220

In »The Tokyo-Montana-Express« Richard Brautigan is occupied also with a subject, which terminates his childhood ...
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all berries
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