I just noticed that the one and only time my copy of June 30th, June 30th was taken out was in December 1984. Brautigan killed himself in 1984.
It’s a collection of pieces and poetry that seem to bare more than most of his writing. (It seems looser, written in more of of a haze. I think there is a note in it where he says that it is not likehis normal writing.) To me, at least, I feel it reveals almost too much of myself, the reader. What kind of person am I, moved so much, as I am, by this kind of melancholic beauty?
Someone said this about the Brautigan Book Club: that it’s highly likely that we, strangers, would be able to meet and be friends because it takes a certain kind of person to love his work.
This theory has worked as well as any generalising about people can, and ‘friends’ is a strong and serious term, at least in my book. Something that’s been interesting to me is the optimistic-pessimistic divide. Do I read something tragic and and beautiful and become despondent for an indeterminate period, or do I think, crikey, it’s here, it’s been written, someone cared enough to craft this beautifully. They may have been despairing or ecstatic, in a way it’s immaterial what mood they were in when they took action and created. Why do I write ‘they’? I mean Brautigan, mainly because I know that he spent time on his craft as far as anyone can know anything from the evidence there is. Gary once talked to me about people who Do. I am interested in people who Live. Who live well, with care, with beauty, hope, love, and courage, because it’s love and courage that overcomes the fear that is there. It is there. We stay open, nevertheless.