third strawberry

... believes in success

12 strawberries
    From his point of view, it was all or nothing.
   

Keith Abbott


Actually Richard Brautigans writer career starts quite well. In 1961 he begins with the work on »Trout Fishing in America« (4th strawberry) and already 1964 »A Confederate General From Big Sur« is published by Grove Press, New York. Moreover the publication contract includes an option for three further novels. Beside »Trout Fishing« also »In Watermelon Sugar« and »The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966« (6th strawberry) arise until 1966. Richard Brautigan can live on the advances from the contract and that's each writer's dream: to live on writing.

Actually Richard Brautigans writer career starts quite well. In 1966 his contract with Grove Press ends.

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Even though busfare was only 15 cents, Richard would walk from Geary Street over to my Haight Street place below Divisadero, a distance of twenty blocks. Once I asked him if he would like a sandwich before we hiked up the hill to Golden Gate Park. The way he said yes and ate it stayed in my mind. From then on, I would have some food ready when he dropped by, and we would eat before we went on our rambles.

Keith Abbott, Downstream from trout fishing in America, p. 22

 
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In the middle of 1966 Richard Brautigan's writer balance looks like this: a few small poetry books in mini editions, a published novel, which sells miserably and three rejected novels. What does someone do in this situation, whose only target is a life as a writer?

He keeps optimistic. According to Keith Abbott Richard Brautigan is content with the things he has achieved despite his origin. Richard Brautigan believes in his abilities as a writer, even if almost everyone in the literature scene of San Francisco thinks that his style of writing can't be very successful.

Actually in 1967 Richard Brautigan's most successful years begin. First on a local level: he finds his first master public at the Haight Ashbury District of San Francisco. Haight Ashbury is at this time the centre of alternative movements in the USA. Richard Brautigan takes part in actions of the Diggers, an anarchical group, which connects direct social commitment (»Food for free«, Free Stores) with street theatre and other cultural events. Diggers are the people, who distribute poems of Richard Brautigan on the streets of San Francisco for free, e.g. a poem series printed on seed packets »Please Plant This Book«.

 

SQUASH

The time is right to mix sentences
sentences with dirt and the sun
with punctuation and the rain with
verbs, and for worms to pass
through question marks, and the
stars to shine down on budding
nouns, and the dew to form on
paragraphs.

Sources: Redhousebooks und Claudia Großmann, Richard Brautigan: pounding at the gates of american literature, p. 48


But the actual starting signal to success is the thing with the fish ...
 
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all berries
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