Published Published Humanitas, Volume VI, No. 2, 1993

One of the most admired authors of the hippie generation, Brautigan gave expression to a boredom and discontent with things as they are, a wish to dream of new and different possibilities. His books have been the subject of scholarly writing, but it is fair to say that he has received far more popular than critical attention. Most of Brautigan’s novels remain in print, and today they are attracting renewed interest. One reason for this continuing appeal may be that his work satisfies the desire for a kind of fantasy that has been gaining strength for some time. It is an imagination that devalues real life, if by “life” is meant regimentation to the dictates of an exhausted, workaday world. The alternative provided by Brautigan is a flight of fancy, an imaginary celebrity in dreamland, where self and world work out just the way we want them.

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