The Edna Webster Collection of Undiscovered Writing by Richard Brautigan

The Edna Web­ster Col­lec­tion of Undis­cov­ered Writ­ing by Richard Brauti­gan came in the mail yes­ter­day. This is a col­lec­tion of Brautigan’s writ­ing from when he was young [21 or so] and unpub­lished. It sat in a safe deposit box for years until Edna Web­ster, the moth­er of his first girl­friend, con­tact­ed a pub­lish­er.

I’m glad I picked it up. I read it in about an hour while sun­ning myself in the park yes­ter­day. Some of the work in the col­lec­tion was amaz­ing, some was sol­id, and some was still a bit imma­ture, so it was good to see some sem­i­nal Brauti­gan and the hints for what was to come. In some sense it is eas­i­er for me to con­nect with these poems, because Mr. Brauti­gan is still fresh and his glum­ness seems only pass­ing. This is in stark con­trast to his lat­er work where it is the humor that is only pass­ing, or is only gal­lows humor.

One more book and I think I’ll have just about every­thing he’s writ­ten.

3 Replies

  • Adam,

    Talk about a blast from the past! For me Richard Brauti­gan is all about liv­ing in a com­mune out West, eat­ing micro­bi­ot­ic food , adopt­ing a lifestyle and phi­los­o­phy that evolved but nev­er dis­ap­peared it just went under­ground mak­ing me a domes­tic anar­chist.

    Gloom? Nev­er real­ly saw it, I thought Ken Kesey was more gloomy,Robert Hein­lein offered a sur­re­al­is­tic vision and Car­los Cas­tenedas brought in a lot of spir­i­tu­al aware­ness but Brauti­gan was just fun to read.

    My favorite was “A Con­fed­er­ate Gen­er­al at Big Sur” but I also liked his poems and I will be honest…I read every­thing he wrote and loved it! Thanks for the flash­back!

  • If you have Rom­mel Dri­ves on Deep Into Egypt, you are my new best friend. I have been look­ing for YEARS for a copy of that book, only to come up emp­ty hand­ed every time.

    Fun­ny thing is, I first came across that book total­ly by acci­dent when a kid in my Poet­ry Class in high school walked up to me one day and hand­ed it to me say­ing, “Here’s that book you want­ed to bor­row.” I was a wee bit con­fused, as I had not asked to bor­row it, and in fact had nev­er heard of this Richard Brauti­gan, but I think it was some kind of strange fate.

    Being that I’m a good book bor­row­er with oth­er peo­ple (not libraries, though), I returned it to him after 5 or 6 weeks of con­stant thumb­ing through. Stu­pid, Stu­pid, Stu­pid.

    It’s been 9 long years.…have I final­ly found some­body else that knows what the hell I’m talk­ing about?

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