Characterized by Counterculture: The Decline of Richard Brautigan Essays

Characterized by Counterculture: The Decline of Richard Brautigan Essays

Length: 1749 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

All throughout the late 1960s, Richard Brautigan experienced immense popularity. Every book he published up to the 1970s, from Trout Fishing in America, A Confederate General from Big Sur, to In Watermelon Sugar gained critical acclaim. Critics hailed Brautigan “as a fresh new voice in American literature” (Barber 4). He was adored by both readers and critics alike, and many consider his most famous book, Trout Fishing in America, to be one of the first popular representatives of postmodern literature (4). His books became cult classics among the youth generation of the time, the infamous counterculture that arose during the 1960s. This counterculture was that of the hippie youth movement, which started from the cultural values of the Beat Generation. The hippie youth movement created their own culture characterized by psychedelic rock, open sexuality and the use of hallucinogens.
After the publication of In Watermelon Sugar in 1968, Brautigan’s popularity seemed to be at its peak (Foster 97). From that point on Brautigan’s work was received with harsh criticism, and his popularity diminished. Starting with Brautigan’s 1971 novel The Abortion, critics were quick to disparage his books. One critic wrote that if The Abortion was written for an exercise in a creative writing class “it might get a C minus” (Hill 89). Critics dismissed his works without hesitation. As quickly as Richard Brautigan was skyrocketed to fame, he fell down from it. His older, more admired works were nothing more than memories from the past. His audience disappeared, leaving him in seclusion. Brautigan’s popularity dropped so fast, that one is compelled to wonder why his later works were so detested, and more importantly, what led to this sudden drop. The...

... middle of paper ...


Lask, Thomas. "The Abortion." New York Times 30 Mar. 1971: 33.
Murphy, Patrick J. "The Price of Fame: Two Instructive Accounts." Pulse Literary Magazine. 21 October 2003.

Taylor, Robert E. Ahead of the Curve. N. pag. Birth_Of_Environmentalism. Web. 15 Nov. 2009.

"The Po-Mo Page:
Postmodern, Postmodernism, Postmodernity." Georgetown University: Web hosting. Web. .

"Vietnam War." N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2009. y/ops/vietnam.htm>.

Whissen, Thomas Reed. "Trout Fishing in America." Classic Cult Fiction: A Companion to Popular Cult Literature. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992. 274-279.

Yardley, Jonathan. "Still Loving." The New Republic 20 March 1971: 24-25.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Weather in San Francisco and Corporal by Richard Brautigan Essay

- Richard Brautigan’s short fiction stories incorporate protagonists that are recognizably fictionalized versions of the author himself. He writes in order to extract his own struggles of the past and the difficulties of discovering himself in the present. Through the characters in The Weather in San Francisco and Corporal, the portrayal of his optimistic view of life as a consequence of the rigors of daily life, and the use of symbols, Brautigan presents his personal story through the words on the paper....   [tags: deeply depressed, debt, struggles]

Powerful Essays
1082 words (3.1 pages)

Essay All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace by Richard Brautigan

- All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace by Richard Brautigan "Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all." John F. Kennedy, May 21, 1963 (676) In his poem "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace," published in 1968, Richard Brautigan places the reader in a future realm: a sparkling utopia "where mammals and computers live together in mutually programming harmony" (1). He draws us in by juxtaposing images of nature, man and machine that challenge us to imagine this new world....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1241 words (3.5 pages)

The Decline of Unions Essay

- Trade unions around the world are falling on hard times in the organized workplace. The phrase ‘union live and die at the workplace’ is becoming a reality sooner than later. The likely obituary of trade unions world-wide are declining membership, density collapse, weaken bargaining power, and the lost of prominence and place in polity. Analyses of trade unionism in the literature for some 20 years now have commonly referring to a crisis of trade unionism. Most authors puts it ‘unions under siege’, ‘stagnant and declining’, and ‘experiencing near death’....   [tags: Labor Union Decline]

Powerful Essays
2808 words (8 pages)

Magical Thinking And The Decline Of America By Richard Rapson Essay

- United States of America a country recently created have come a long way from being some small colonies of United Kingdom to become a major superpower in the world. American history of 240 years dominating other countries and the present decline of the US. Magical Thinking and the decline of America by Richard Rapson talks about the American history, rapid changes, and attitude of the Americans. The U.S began as colonies that revolted and broke apart from the British control by becoming their own independent country....   [tags: United States, Thirteen Colonies, Americas]

Powerful Essays
830 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on The Lonely American, by Jacqueline Olds and Richard Schwartz

- In The Lonely American, by Jacqueline Olds and Richard Schwartz, many sources are used to reinforce the main points of the book. In chapter two, “Frantic Without a Peep”, the authors use many sources to better back their ideas; in particular they paraphrased statistics from The Overworked American by Juliet Schor. Upon further review, although Olds and Schwartz cited the statistics correctly, they did not present them in the context they were originally given. Olds and Schwartz, moderately manipulated Schors research to ensure the findings fitted their points more accurately....   [tags: unexpected decline, government]

Powerful Essays
545 words (1.6 pages)

Essay on Surface Reading and the Decline in Understanding

- There are various types of methods that a person can implement when reading any work of literature. The methods range from scanning and skimming, which only examine the surface of the work, leaving out details, to analytical close reading that unearth the meaning of the miniscule details that are usually missed. With our society becoming more and more fast paced, it is being driven to rely solely on scanning and skimming (surface reading). This movement is furthermore compounded by the advances in technology—television, Kendal, internet, etc.—,which are able to supply the audience with almost an exact replica of the information that books provide in half the amount of time or less....   [tags: Decline of the Literate Culture]

Powerful Essays
758 words (2.2 pages)

A Specie's Vulnerability to Population Decline Essay

- Policy- and decision-makers claim information about the causes of population declines which driving species on the brink of extinction (). However, it is pointed out that the causes of vulnerability remain unclear to explain the variation to the risk of extinction (). According to Reynolds (2003), vulnerability is determinate by both the decline of species population and the reduction of their geographical range. These two forms of vulnerability are affected by both species’ mortality and habitat loss, which are the causes of intrinsic biological traits, extrinsic human induced effects and stochastic factors that likely determine the population trends ()....   [tags: animals, Population Decline, ]

Powerful Essays
558 words (1.6 pages)

Essay about Reasons Of The Decline Of Roman Empire

- Reasons of Roman Decline Roman Empire was one of the greatest and the largest ruling party. Roman Empire lasted for more than 500 years. After nearly half millennium of rule, the roman finally lost their grip on Europe in the 5th century (The History of the Decline and fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon). There were a lot of factors and cause which led to the fall of Roman Empire. Not all the factors were that important or more accurately leading to roman fall, not all the Factor had an equal impact on roman fall....   [tags: Roman Empire, Decline of the Roman Empire]

Powerful Essays
1094 words (3.1 pages)

The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire Essay

- The decline and fall of the Roman Empire is a scholarly article written by Justin Ott about the Roman Empire and the events leading up to its fall. The article mostly focuses on the military and economy of Rome in the third century A.D. It lists in the beginning a few of the different theories people have of how Rome fell, including led poisoning and the spread of Christianity. The article seems to want to disprove these theories, showing how they are not the main causes for the collapse of Rome....   [tags: Roman Empire, Decline of the Roman Empire]

Powerful Essays
712 words (2 pages)

Shakespeare on Machiavelli: The Prince in Richard III Essay

- Shakespeare on Machiavelli:  The Prince in Richard III     According to many, Shakespeare intentionally portrays Richard III in ways that would have the world hail him as the ultimate Machiavel.  This build up only serves to further the dramatic irony when Richard falls from his throne.  The nature of Richard's character is key to discovering the commentary Shakespeare is delivering on the nature of tyrants.  By setting up Richard to be seen as the ultimate Machiavel, only to have him utterly destroyed, Shakespeare makes a dramatic commentary on the frailty of tyranny and such men as would aspire to tyrannical rule....   [tags: Richard II Richard III Essays Shakespeare]

Powerful Essays
1505 words (4.3 pages)