Every Tuesday on we take a look at books and authors from mainstream literary fiction that contain aspects of science fiction, fantasy. Complete summary of Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of In Watermelon Sugar. First published in , In Watermelon Sugar was Richard Brautigan’s third published novel and, according to Newton Smith, “a parable for survival in the 20th.

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I had my suspicions after reading Revenge of the Lawn and Trout Fishing in Americabut this one put him forever in my private slush pile.

Says, “In this place where the sun shines a different color every day, and everything is made from watermelons, the only thing we know for sure is that each person is alive and has a soul and for some, this soul is restless and roaming.

Perhaps it was raining very hard. Will the real Richard Brautigan please stand up? I suppose it was everything I wanted, but couldn’t have – freedom on all levels for a small-town girl stuck in a small school full of small people. It glows softly in my hands, the pages made from watermelon sugar.

But the narrator’s life as a contributor to the community is not particularly successful. At the extreme, however, one might view life here as being equal with death. Anger and rage are the only strong emotions in the whole novel, excepting the three scenes in which people cry for the tigers 31Margeret cries while she is killing herselfand Pauline cries after Margaret is dead Perhaps it was a game you played when you were a child or something that came idly into your mind when you were old and sitting in a chair near the window.

It suits us to have this mustache and to touch it periodically like one might touch a butterfly sitting there and wipe the crumbs away from something special that we have just eaten and enjoyed.

In Watermelon Sugar – Wikipedia

The revulsion is not so much against the Works as it is against inBOIL and his gang who gichard there and “drink the stuff” Leavitt adds that the Forgotten Works stand for “knowledge and curiosity,” which can watedmelon lead to the destruction of iDEATH, just as they led to the fall of Eden A Japanese Novel Dreaming of Babylon: Says, of Brautigan, “To older generations one of the more baffling aspects of the hippie protest movement is its cult to simplicity.


The limited edition hardcover was issued with a dust jacket. Three avenues are open for such positive pleasures: Margaret who had started to show watermelln inquisitive interest in the things heaped up in the Forgotten Works. Moving to this apartment after he had finished writing the novel makes this explanation less than plausible.

However, while In Watermelon Sugar does contain similar language appropriation and an exploration to discover the meanings of words and our desires behind them, there is a quite literal, even if ethereal, fantasy world depicted here.

Such strong bonds to the past can lead only to disappointment and, in these two cases, to suicide. In an unnamed town, sunlight is a different color every day, sometimes red, sometimes grey, sometimes yellow.

In Watermelon Sugar

Donald Merriam Allen was an editor whose work with Grove Press and Four Seasons Foundation made the most important contribution to enlarging the contemporary American poetry canon. Their lack of response is like the narrator’s when his parents are being chewed. The most obvious feature of Trout Fishing in Americahowever, is a soft-spoken anarchy that becomes more powerful as the book proceeds, using trout fishing as a false theme that has less and less relation to anything one might expect from the title.

Instead of breaking its neck, the narrator’s friend pours port wine down the trout’s throat. In the two-page chapter entitled “My Name,” the narrator repeats the sentence “That is my name” twelve times, establishing a hollowness and a situation that allows him to become whatever the reader wishes him to be.

I was supposed to launder the old socks and send then in with the guarantee. Though lighting in the tombs is provided by foxfire 51the street lights and the many lanterns burn a mixture of wateremelon sugar and trout oil 25, 28, They love potatoes and no one cares about much beyond the present.

Who writes the book is unimportant; whether it is good or not does not really matter—Al is a poor cook, too. After while [sic] I let Pauline go to sleep. The narrator’s first experience with trout-fishing is abortive, what he has taken for a waterfall turning out, on closer inspection, to be a flight of white wooden steps. Thus, this Brautigan’s postmodern fantasy suggesting an alternative way and vision of life undermines the established understanding and perception of reality and, at the same time, dominant social institutional model.


Richard Brautiganborn in Tacoma, Washington, wrote this novella only for around 60 days inthe year I was born. Brautigan’s silence speaks loudly as he presents what seems to be a parody of the pastoral. Creating a picture of idealized life in the natural environment within the idealized life in iDeath community and contrasting it to the world of the inBoil Gang representing the world of violence and physical realityBrautigan thus creates an idealized romantic vision of reality.

If the unravelling of the time sequences reveals the workings of the society, the unpleasant life of the narrator, and his typifying flaws of the society, then the three deaths reveal the society’s defense against negative emotions. I’m okay with that.

SF Commentary began publishing in and continued on an irregular basis. Somehow, all the pieces do form an entire jigsaw puzzle. And somehow Richard Brautigan makes us believe that this magical phrase represents all the activities, people, and places that he discovers during his travels around America.

There were ib all around. It makes me feel like I understand the richrad, but when I try to dig deeper, I’m at a loss of words.

Richard Brautigan > In Watermelon Sugar

The birds, fish, flowers, and insects come in separate lots. When he came close enough, he found that it wasn’t the trout stream he had been looking for. The Statue of Mirrors. Does anyone have any recommendations?? Admittedly the novel does present some of the images of the pastoral tradition when one observes its characters engaged in happy labor, in solitary walks along the river, and in contented existence in little shacks in the hills.

I’ve never been so bored as when I was in In Watermelon Sugar and I can no longer pretend his work is important just because so many other people think it is. And, again, it is this passive subordination to the natural process that is the basis of the iDEATH philosophy.

On Sundays the sun is not only black but soundless, and everything is silent until the sun sets. Indeed, this “transitoriness of things” is a main concern of In Watermelon Sugar.

Margaret and that other girl who carried the lantern at night and never came close.