Richard Brautigan. Trout Fishing In America. Delta, 1967.
I loved reading this book. A blast from the past to be sure. What was I doing in 1967? Was that the Year of Love? Finished first year university. Went to Expo '67 in Montreal. Canada was 100 years old.
I love the sense of place in these sketches. Each different trout stream or crash pad, sort of linked, a web spun by one spider who returns to its centre, the Ben Franklin statue in Washington Square in San Francisco. I love the idea that it's a code that I haven't quite figured out yet. I love the anonymous notes from other writers, trying to guess the senders just from the style. And I love the surprising insights.
"The Red shadow of the Gandhian nonviolence Trojan horse has fallen across America, and San Francisco is its stable." [p. 99]
And the selling of streams by the linear foot. Waterfalls sold separately. [pp. 102-107]
"You hardly see those cars any more. They are the old cars. They have to get off the highway because they can't keep up." [p. 57]
I love the fact that he, the narrator, was in Ketchum just after Hemingway died, but heard about it later, through Life. [p. 89] Knowing how this writer too ends up.
As if Brautigan went fishing and snagged a hook on his dreams. Or are they nightmares?
Would anyone publish this book today? That's so sad.