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The Short Form

“A Short Story about Contemporary Life in California”

Richard Brautigan


There are thousands of stories with original beginnings. This is not one of them. I think the only way to start a story about contemporary life in California is to do it the way Jack London started The Sea-Wolf. I have confidence in that beginning.

It worked in 1904 and it can work in 1969. I believe that beginning can reach across the decades and serve the purpose of this story because this is California—we can do anything we want to do—and a rich young literary critic is taking a ferryboat from Sausalito to San Francisco. He has just finished spending a few days at a friend’s cabin in Mill Valley. The friend uses the cabin to read Schopenhauer and Nietzsche during the winter. They all have great times together.

We read it in Revenge of the Lawn.