Reviews — From the December 2012 issue

Man Underwater

The democratic fiction of Richard Brautigan

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Discussed in this essay: Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan, by William Hjortsberg. Counterpoint. 880 pages. $42.50. Every year, countless people submit their fiction and non-fiction to magazines and book publishers and are rejected. At the places I’ve worked as an editor—not the most selective magazines in the country, but not the least, either—we’ve typically accepted about one of every thousand stories. Naturally, most of these submissions are dreck—the preferred term in the industry for unsolicited manuscripts, “slush,” comes from an early-twentieth-century colloquialism for rotten fruit—but accidents inevitably happen. Philip Roth and John Ashbery were both rescued …

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is news editor at <em>Vice</em> magazine.

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  • fionnmaccu

    Brautigan, “prevented by scoliosis from joining World War II,” appears precociously patriotic. It ended when the aspiring writer was all of ten years old. This phrase occurs within a paragraph sending him off to Eugene after high school, nearing the age of twenty.

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