A CONFEDERATE GENERAL FROM BIG SUR by RICHARD BRAUTIGAN
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Secaucus. Castle Books (by arrangement w. Grove Press, New York NY). 1964. Castle Books Edition. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine, very slight fading over time. Jacket Condition: Fine, no marks only slight discoloration over time. 159pp.
Portions of this book were originally published in Tri-Quarterly.
Jacket ill.: Larry Rivers, The Next-to-Last Confederate Soldier, 1959. Oil canvas.
This story, set in San Francisco and Big Sur, is told between the story of an unconfirmed great-great-grandson of a Civil War and the voice of a nonchalant, wickedly discerning first-person narrator––a tone already being attributed to what sets apart a Ted Hughes book. The unmapped but urgent destiny of his character and highway kind of California landscape comes together with a textural, kind of staccato narrative impulse. As a book emblematic of the time and place Hughes was writing from and into, his book suggests a shift in the site of action, being plot or the typewriter itself. Popping with dialogue and haphazard plan-making, as details tighten an objective reality of the scenes, better to keep the momentum of discourse at a solid "careening."