UCLA Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan Essay Read the following excerpt/chapter from Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America and write a couple of

UCLA Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan Essay Read the following excerpt/chapter from Brautigan’s Trout Fishing in America and write a couple of paragraphs (400 words) analyzing its credibility and approach to descriptive writing. To gain a clearer idea about the author’s genre, you might check out his biography on Wikipedia. Excerpt from Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (1 chapters)
Let’s take a short break from serious technical/academic writing. Richard Brautigan (1935 –
1984) was a noted San Francisco writer during the ‘60s/’70s when San Francisco was a center
for the Haight/Ashbury hippy movement (which incidentally he didn’t want to be associated
with). His writing was very popular for a couple of decades. His life was tragic in many ways.
The following chapter from his acclaimed novel Trout Fishing in America demonstrates some
concise, grammatical correct, and very readable writing about a situation that is impossible. I
consider Brautigan’s writing like the dessert or after dinner candy one might encounter after a
full-course meal from the banquet of contemporary literature. Write a couple of paragraphs
analyzing your opinions on his style.
Until recently my knowledge about the Cleveland Wrecking
Yard had come from a couple of friends who’d bought things
there. One of them bought a huge window: the frame, glass
and everything for just a few dollars. It was a fine-looking
Then he chopped a hole in the side of his house up on
Potrero Hill and put the window in. Now he has a panoramic
view of the San Francisco County Hospital.
He can practically look right down into the wards and see
old magazines eroded like the Grand Canyon from endless
readings. He can practically hear the patients thinking about
breakfast: I hate milk and thinking about dinner: I hate peas,
and then he can watch the hospital slowly drown at night,
hopelessly entangled in huge bunches of brick seaweed.
He bought that window at the Cleveland Wrecking Yard.
My other friend bought an iron roof at the Cleveland Wrecking Yard and took the roof down to Big Sur in an old station
wagon and then he carried the iron roof on his back up the
side of a mountain. He carried up half the roof on his back.
It was no picnic. Then he bought a mule, George, from Pleasanton. George carried up the other half of the roof.
The mule didn’t like what was happening at all. He lost a
lot of weight because of the ticks, and the smell of the wildcats up on the plateau made him too nervous to graze there.
Excerpt from Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (1 chapters)
My friend said jokingly that George had lost around two hundred pounds. The good wine country around Pleasanton in the
Livermore Valley probably had looked a lot better to George
than the wild side of the Santa Lucia Mountains.
My friend’s place was a shack right beside a huge fireplace where there had once been a great mansion during the
1920s, built by a famous movie actor. The mansion was built
before there was even a road down at Big Sur. The mansion
had been brought over the mountains on the backs of mules,
strung out like ants, bringing visions of the good life to the
poison oak, the ticks, and the salmon.
The mansion was on a promontory, high over the Pacific.
Money could see farther in the 1920s and one could look out
and see whales and the Hawaiian Islands and the Kuomintang
in China.
The mansion burned down years ago.
The actor died.
His mules were made into soap.
His mistresses became bird nests of wrinkles.
Now only the fireplace remains as a sort of Carthaginian
homage to Hollywood.
I was down there a few weeks ago to see my friend’s roof.
I wouldn’t have passed up the chance for a million dollars,
as they say. The roof looked like a colander to me. If that
roof and the rain were running against each other at Bay
Meadows, I’d bet on the rain and plan to spend my winnings
at the World’s Fair in Seattle.
My own experience with the Cleveland Wrecking Yard began two days ago when I heard about a used trout stream
they had on sale out at the Yard. So I caught the Number15
bus on Columbus Avenue and went out there for the first time.
There were two Negro boys sitting behind me on the bus.
They were talking about Chubby Checker and the Twist. They
thought that Chubby Checker was only fifteen years old because he didn’t
have a mustache. Then they talked about some
Excerpt from Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (1 chapters)
other guy who did the twist forty-four hours in a row until
he saw George Washington crossing the Delaware.
“Man, that’s what I call twisting, ” one of the kids said.
“I don’t think I could twist no forty-four hours in a row, ”
the other kid said. “That’s a lot of twisting. ”
I got off the bus right next to an abandoned Time Gasoline
filling station and an abandoned fifty-cent self-service car
wash. There was a long field on one side of the filling station.
The field had once been covered with a housing project during the war, put there for the shipyard workers.
On the other side of the Time filling station was the Cleveland Wrecking Yard. I walked down there to have a look at
the used trout stream. The Cleveland Wrecking Yard has a
very long front window filled with signs and merchandise.
There was a sign in the window advertising a laundry
marking machine for $65. 00. The original cost of the machine was $175. 00. Quite a saving.
There was another sign advertising new and used two and
three ton hoists. I wondered how many hoists it would take
to move a trout stream.
There was another sign that said:
The window was filled with hundreds of items for the entire family. Daddy, do you know what I want for Christmas?
son? A bathroom. Mommy do you know what I want
for Christmas? What, Patricia? Some roofing material
There were jungle hammocks in the window for distant
relatives and dollar-ten-cent gallons of earth-brown enamel
paint for other loved ones.
There was also a big sign that said:
Excerpt from Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (1 chapters)
I went inside and looked at some ship’s lanterns that were
for sale next to the door. Then a salesman came up to me
and said in a pleasant voice, “Can I help you?”
“Yes, ” I said. “I’m curious about the trout stream you
have for sale. Can you tell me something about it? How are
you selling it?”
“We’re selling it by the foot length. You can buy as little
as you want or you can buy all we’ve got left. A man came in
here this morning and bought 563 feet. He’s going to give it
to his niece for a birthday present, ” the salesman said.
“We’re selling the waterfalls separately of course, and
the trees and birds, flowers grass and ferns we’re also selling extra. The insects we’re giving away free with a minimum purchase of ten feet of stream. ”
“How much are you selling the stream for?” I asked.
“Six dollars and fifty-cents a foot, ” he said. “That’s for
the first hundred feet. After that it’s five dollars a foot.”
“How much are the birds?” I asked.
“Thirty-five cents apiece, ” he said. “But of course
they’re used. We can’t guarantee anything.”
“How wide is the stream?” I asked. “You said you were
selling it by the length, didn’t you?”
“Yes, ” he said. “We’re selling it by the length.Its width
runs between five and eleven feet. You don’t have to pay anything extra for width. It’s not a big stream, but it’s very
pleasant. ”
“What kinds of animals do you have 7” I asked.
“We only have three deer left, ” he said.
Excerpt from Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (1 chapters)
“Oh What about flowers?”
“By the dozen, ” he said.
“Is the stream clear?” I asked.
“Sir, ” the salesman said. “I wouldn’t want you to think
that we would ever sell a murky trout stream here. We always make sure they’re running crystal clear before we even
think about moving them. ”
“Where did the stream come from?” I asked.
“Colorado, ” he said. “We moved it with loving care. We’ve
never damaged a trout stream yet. We treat them all asif
they were china. ”
“You’re probably asked this all the time, but how’s fishing in the stream?” I asked.
“Very good, ” he said. “Mostly German browns, but there
are a few rainbows. ”
“What do the trout cost?” I asked.
“They come with the stream, ” he said. “Of course it’s all
luck. You never know how many you’re going to get or how
big they are. But the fishing’s very good, you might say it’s
excellent. Both bait and dry fly, ” he said smiling.
“Where’s the stream at?” I asked. “I’d like to take a look
at it. ”
“It’s around in back, ” he said. “You go straight through
that door and then turn right until you’re outside. It’s stacked
in lengths. You can’t miss it. The waterfalls are upstairs in
the used plumbing department. ”
Excerpt from Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (1 chapters)
“What about the animals?”
“Well, what’s left of the animals are straight back from
the stream. You’ll see a bunch of our trucks parked on a
road by the railroad tracks. Turn right on the road and follow it down past the piles of lumber. The animal shed’s right
at the end of the lot. ”
“Thanks, ” I said. “I think I’11 look at the waterfalls first.
You don’t have to come with me. Just tell me how to get there
and I’11 find my own way.
“All right, ” he said. “Go up those stairs. You’ll seea
bunch of doors and windows, turn left and you’ll find the
used plumbing department. Here’s my card if you need any
help. ”
“Okay, ” I said. “You’ve been a great help already.Thanks
a lot. I’11 take a look around.”
“Good luck, ” he said.
I went upstairs and there were thousands of doors there.
I’d never seen so many doors before in my life. You could
have built an entire city out of those doors. Doorstown. And
there were enough windows up there to build a little suburb
entirely out of windows. Windowville. I turned left and went back and saw the
faint glow of pearl- colored light. The light got stronger and stronger as I went
farther back, and then I was in the used plumbing department,
surrounded by hundreds of toilets.
The toilets were stacked on shelves. They were stacked
five toilets high. There was a skylight above the toilets that
made them glow like the Great Taboo Pearl of the South Sea
movies. Stacked over against the wall were the waterfalls. There
were about a dozen of them, ranging from a drop of a few
feet to a drop of ten or fifteen feet.
Excerpt from Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (1 chapters)
There was one waterfall that was over sixty feet long.
There were tags on the pieces of the big falls describing the
correct order for putting the falls back together again.
The waterfalls all had price tags on them. They were
more expensive than the stream. The waterfalls were selling
for $19.00 a foot.
I went into another room where there were piles of sweetsmelling lumber, glowing a soft yellow from a different color
skylight above the lumber. In the shadows at the edge of the
room under the sloping roof of the building were many sinks
and urinals covered with dust, and there was also another
waterfall about seventeen feet long, lying there in two lengths
and already beginning to gather dust.
I had seen all I wanted of the waterfalls, and now I was
very curious about the trout stream, so I followed the salesman’s directions and ended up outside the building.
O I had never in my life seen anything like that trout
stream. It was stacked in piles of various lengths: ten, fifteen, twenty feet, etc. There was one pile of hundred-foot
lengths. There was also a box of scraps. The scraps were
in odd sizes ranging from six inches to a couple of feet.
There was a loudspeaker on the side of the building and
soft music was coming out. It was a cloudy day and seagulls
were circling high overhead.
Behind the stream were big bundles of trees and bushes.
They were covered with sheets of patched canvas. You could
see the tops and roots sticking out the ends of the bundles.
I went up close and looked at the lengths of stream. I
could see some trout in them. I saw one good fish. I saw
some crawdads crawling around the rocks at the bottom.
It looked like a fine stream. I put my hand in the water.
It was cold and felt good. I decided to go around to the side and look at the
animals. I saw where the trucks were parked beside the railroad
tracks. I followed the road down past the piles of lumber,
back to the shed where the animals were.
Excerpt from Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (1 chapters)
The salesman had been right. They were practically out
of animals. About the only thing they had left in any abundance were mice. There were hundreds of mice.
Beside the shed was a huge wire birdcage, maybe fifty
feet high, filled with many kinds of birds. The top of thecage
had a piece of canvas over it, so the birds wouldn’t get wet
when it rained. There were woodpeckers and wild canaries
and sparrows. On my way back to where the trout stream was piled, I
found the insects. They were inside a prefabricated steel
building that was selling for eighty-cents a square foot. There
was a sign over the door. It said

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