And to show that this is no empty boasting for the present occasion, but real tangible fact, you have only to consider the power which our city possesses and which has been won by those very qualities which I have mentioned. Athens, alone of the states we know, comes to her testing time in a greatness that surpasses what was imagined of her. The Master said, "Sufficient food, sufficient weapons, and the trust of the people.
But they are not easy to describe. They are always set in California, they are always first-person narratives, the narrator is someone who looks and sounds—well, like Brautigan, one has to suppose.
They do seem to understand one another pretty well, and thus come to live in a kind of Brautigan subculture into which recognizable America—fearful suspicious, apologetic, hair-trigger violent—obtrudes only occasionally.
One mark of their separateness that a reader is first bothered by and then, after a while, becomes rather attached to, is the use of an occasional phrase in what Gogol would call its "hemorrhoidal" sense—all-purpose, asyntactical, repetitious, skewball.
The people of In Watermelon Sugar live near a watermelon sugar factory, one of whose byproducts is a flammable something called watermelontrout oil. It seems to me a fable, but also a nightmare, of innocence. Our nameless narrator is a sweet, simple, well-meaning person; practically the first thing he tells us is that he has a gentle life.
Sometimes he is a writer, sometimes he is a sculptor: But he is troubled by all sorts of violence, some actual, some recollected. And worse than all these for our narrator, though less dramatic, is the basic problem of the book, Margaret and Pauline.
The problem is simply that it used to be Margaret who slept with the narrator, and now it is Pauline. She takes to hanging around inBOIL and his gang of nasties; then, when, out of bravado, they cut themselves to pieces with jackknives, Margaret goes off and hangs herself from an apple tree.
They bury her, after the traditional watermelon sugar fashion, in a lighted glass coffin set in the river bed, and the book ends with preparations for the traditional funeral dance, a waltz in the trout hatchery.
The end of inBOIL and cronies comes about when they understand the principles of the place better than those who live there, and prove the point by slashing themselves thumbs, noses, ears, eyes gorily to pieces. Probably this is because it feels like a bigger book.
I found it more diffuse and episodic, a little more forced in some of its fun, a little more disposed to rely on obscenity for easy effects. Without any of the structure of In Watermelon Sugarit is wilder and more fantastic in its use of language, more eloquent and various in its accounts of some very quirky people—a kind of visionary comic-book apocalypse about fresh-water Americans and their nature.
The problem here is simply that, being unsure of itself, it tries too hard. As a matter of fact, there is some reason to feel that, despite publication dates, The Abortion: It is a good deal less grotesque and fantastic than its forerunners, a good deal less ambitious as well.
The narrator of The Abortiononce again nameless, is a nice earnest simple young man who works in a library. But it is an odd library, since it only takes in books that people have written and never gives them out, yet requires the librarian to be available twenty-four hours a day.
Irresistibly, inconceivably, alluring Vida Kramar brings in a book she has written in order to explain how uncomfortable she feels in her much-to-provocative body.
Being smashingly attractive is a hard problem for her. With the help of Foster, a diamond in the rough, they take a plane to San Diego, a bus to Tijuana, and then.
What makes the situation go is its radical instability. Our hero is presented as such a helpless innocent, Vida is so frantically desirable to all passing males, and the situation is so plainly fraught with the possibilities of hideous misfortune that one is spooked on every page by phantoms of multiple catastrophe.
But, like all other Brautigan innocents, this pair seems to enjoy a special immunity. Evil quietly evaporates around them, and none of the hideous destinies to which Candide heroes are traditionally prone actually befalls them.
The librarian does indeed get a nasty jolt on his return to San Francisco, but Vida and Foster are confident the change will be good for him, and, like parents with a scared, backward child, they manuever him into a new role that leaves him quite happy.
It is a solution open to the same kind of sardonic ambiguity that marked In Watermelon Sugar. Brautigan is a much clumsier artist than I think him to be, he wants that fact to trouble the reader at least some. The surfaces of the new book are a good deal less skewed than those of the previous two; it has none of those fey watermelons, trouts, and verbal knots in the grain of the narrative.
We drove down Divisadero and saw a man washing the windows of a funeral parlor with a garden hose. He was spraying the hose against the second-floor windows.
It was not a normal thing to see, so early in the morning. The country down that way is pretty nothing and not worth describing. Vida looked out the window at what is not worth describing, but even more so and done in cold cement freeway language.
There is a touch of the cunning and tricksy about these jokes; one feels a deliberate element in their simplicity, so that the narrators seems already to have settled into his destined role as campus character.The Canadian Supreme Court declared Canada's abortion law unconstitutional in R.
v. Morgentaler () The legislation Bill C restored Aboriginal status to such women and gave them a right to apply for tribal membership. Note Canada has eliminated gender discrimination in laws concerning whose relatives count when determining.
Brautigan > The Abortion This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about Richard Brautigan's novel The Abortion: An Historical Romance Published in , this was Brautigan's fourth published novel.
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The abortion debate is the ongoing controversy surrounding the moral, legal, and religious status of induced abortion.
The sides involved in the debate are the self-described “pro-choice” and “pro-life” movements. “Pro-choice” emphasizes the right of women to decide whether to terminate a pregnancy.
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