Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Brautigan's Muses

One day, when I was in college, my friend handed me a thick stack of xeroxed papers.  He told me I had to read it- and I did.

I read...

"....Our lives we have carefully constructed from watermelon sugar and then travelled to the length of our dreams, along roads lined with pines and stones.  I have a bed, a chair, a table and a large chest that I keep my things in.  I have a lantern that burns watermelontrout oil at night.  That is something else.  I'll tell you about it later.  I have a gentle life."

I wasn't really sure what it all meant, but I was entralled.  I had never read anything quite like it.

The xeroxed pages were the entire book, In Watermelon Sugar, by Richard Brautigan.  They were given to my friend from another friend, who wouldn't part with his own copy of the book.  Years later, while living in Portland I have purchased my own copy of In Watermelon Sugar, and anything else I could find by him.  These books are the treasures of my bookshelf, and not just because of the words, but the covers.  The ladies on the cover of the books were his muses, some of them girlfriends and wives.  They all have such a great, bohemian charm to them.

Take a look....

Richard Brautigan and Hilda Hoffman

This one is my favorite.
Richard Brautigan and his muse, Michaela Le Grand
taken in Washington Square Park in San Francisco

Marcia Pacaud, one of his girlfriends
The book was dedicated to her.

Sherry Vetter, who was one of his girlfriend...
 and a cake

Beverly Allen, a model in Golden Gate Park

Richard Brautigan and Victoria Domalgoski, a singer
Taken in front of the Presidio branch of the San Francisco Public Library

Richard Brautigan and Shiina Takako, the owner of a bar Brautigan frequented in Tokyo
Want to know more?  Pick up a copy of one of his books, and check out this website, which has more information than you can possibly absorb about the author.


  1. I've browsing around, dear seamstress of fabulous skirts, and I found this post which brought back some fond memories. When I was in high school, I volunteered as a librarian at the Brautigan Library in Burlington, VT, keeping watch over typed pages of local authors' works sandwiched between many, many jars of mayonnaise.

    1. Wow! That is really awesome. Thanks so much for sharing your experience at the library. What a treat that must have been.

  2. This is lovely, thanks for posting! If you ever are interested, have a look at brautiganbookclub.co.uk which includes posts about Brautigan events held in London, England, stories, news and info people have sent us about how they discovered Brautigan, and old friends of Brautigan pop up here and there.