twelfth strawberry

... plays forever

12 strawberries
    They may well go down
in literary history as Brautigan's.
    Robert Adams

Age: 41

Playing games
playing games, I
guess I never
really stopped
being a child
playing games
playing games

Richard Brautigan, June30th, June30th, p.93

Perhaps one can describe Richard Brautigan's player career like this:

Phase I, the sixties: The native player

Native players are people, who begin a fastidious game like e.g. chess without much book knowledge, whose play is for trained eyes extremely unusual, who are nevertheless successful, because they have more talents in the small finger than thousands other players together.

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Because of the timing of his success with »Trout Fishing«, Brautigan was often called »the hippie novelist«, a term that puzzled him. »I never thought of myself as a hippie novelist« he said in rebuttal, »My writing is just one man's response to life in the 20th century.«

John F. Barber - An Annotated Bibliography, S. 14

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Phase II, the seventies: The desperate player

If a player knows that his situation is practically offering no prospects, then »freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose« (Janis Joplin). He can let go his fantasy and run risks, which are normally considered as unhealthy.

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The majority of critics mistook his economy of means and minimal style for slightness, his humour and playfulness for irresponsibility. In reality, his books are particularly sombre, centering on decay, disfigurement and violence ...

Brian Morton, How Hippies Got Hooked on Trout Fishing in America, in: The Times Higher Education Supplement, 16.Nov. 1984; quoted after John F. Barber - An Annotated Bibliography

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Phase III, the eighties: The resigning player

A game situation offering no prospects can also lead to situation that a player still plays, but his taunts become increasingly more strengthless, because he has already given up himself.

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Reading the (last) novel, I noticed another sign that he was in the worst shape of his life. For the first time I could recall, I saw many clumsy and badly written sentences. ... Although the story was interesting, his timing was off.

Keith Abbott, Downstream from trout fishing in America, S. 135

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Phase IV is, what we make from it.

11  <-  12
all berries
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