By Richard Brautigan
Richard Brautigan used to be the writer of ten novels, together with a latest vintage, Trout Fishing in the US, 9 volumes of poetry, and a set of stories.Here are 3 Brautigan novels—A accomplice common from great Sur, Dreaming of Babylon and The Hawkline Monster—reissued in a one-volume omnibus edition.
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Extra info for A Confederate General from Big Sur, Dreaming of Babylon, and The Hawkline Monster
Indeed, it could be argued that the pervasiveness of the concept of isolated writer or artist reflects the ideology of contemporary Western capitalism and neoliberal market mechanisms which, perhaps more than at any other period of human development, makes the work of artists seem politically and socially irrelevant, marginal, and alienated. Under the terms of this assumption, artists have little true agency to override or manipulate market structures and have no choice but to conform to the conditions that are created and reproduced by those structures.
Indeed, her claims for writing and reading groups, as utopian as they may sound, recalled a variety of temporal and spatial contexts where the collective environment of writing, reciting, listening, and reading, not only addressed the deficit of entitlement to and agency in literature but also worked to construct social identities for often underprivileged and marginalized groups and thus enabled their participation in cultural power: worker’s writing workshops in 1960s Britain or the Soviet Union, and, of course, talleres literarios and cultura comunitaria (community culture) projects in revolutionary Cuba.
Notions such as polysemy and 28 P. KUMARASWAMI decoding (Hall 1980) or polyphony (Bakhtin 1981) can therefore allow us to gain a more complex understanding of how culture works in multiple and heterogeneous ways, and how the reader is both creative (agent) and situated (structure). Thus, Andrew Tudor’s “hypodermic model and mass society” model of audiences (Tudor 1974) or the “fax model of culture” (Strauss 1992a, b) are notably simplistic accounts of what actually happens when cultural production and reception come together; nor do accounts that conflate the ordinary reader with the scholar (especially the post-structuralist scholar) provide a sufficiently strong explanation for the many ways in which culture functions.