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Overview

Details about the twenty one manuscripts in The Brautigan Library's "Meaning of Life" (MEA) category.


Background

These manuscripts are classified in the "Meaning of Life" (MEA) category using The Mayonnaise System, a classification system developed for The Brautigan Library. The Mayonnaise System catalogs manuscripts using thirteen general categories, the year of submission, and the order of receipt. For example, LOV 1992.005 indicates the manuscript was the fifth one submitted in 1992 to the LOV(e) category of the library's collection. Manuscripts are listed below in order of their acquisition, from most recent to earliest. Manuscript numbers (MS #xxx) and "Posted" information indicate timeline of the collection's growth. Manuscript descriptions were provided by authors at time of submission. Comments from The Librarian provide additional information.


Stats

Manuscripts in collection = 21
1996 = 1 manuscript
1995 = 1 manuscripts
1994 = 3 manuscripts
1993 = 4 manuscripts
1992 = 4 manuscripts
1991 = 8 manuscripts
1990 = 2 manuscripts
Missing = 2 manuscripts


The Mirror of My Life

Syed Bilgrami
MS #316
MEA 1996.001
Posted 1996/01/20 by The Librarian

I am a formidable foe to my unbearable circumstances, which dare to challange me, but I, in turn, crush them ruthlessly, with my full inner force. The more they challange and try to overpower me, the confidently I came out with an ever fresh energy. I feel pleasure in throwing my life into the orbit of circumstances and then taking it out successfully from difficult situations with an ever increasing courage. Every "throwing" increases confidence and every "taking out" brings back new experience and thus instead of letting my life to be on the mercy of my circumstances, I have compelled the circumstances to be on the mercy of my life. This is The Mirror of My Life.


The Upper Room with a View

Barbara Gale
MS #309
MEA 1995.001
Posted 1995/02/01 by The Librarian

It's been the best of times and it's been the worst of times. So I take you on an unforgettable roller coaster ride, it is my life as a mental patient and philosopher of sorts. God has taken the edges off my anger and sorrows, like the stone I once sculpted I've been chiseled down and hopefully made more beautiful. My trust is with him. I've been honed down so much I now can see beauty in the dust of a sun-ray and find peace in a rose petal slipping through my fingers. I was battered as a new born child causing me to have many dysfunctions. With my imagination, wit, and stout heart I found ways not only to survive but to enjoy life, if you enjoy seeing an old twisted healthy tree, you may enjoy my story, The Upper Room with a View. To see out my window I must bend and focus away from the dumpster to seek the beauty of the lake and mountains. In God I have trusted and been rewarded with a rich life of abundant love, great appreciation for his world and the creative life within it.


SM

James Boorstein
MS #308
MEA 1994.003
Posted 1994/02/10 by The Librarian

The "bits" in SM are about everything and nothing. There is some hard information like the alleged amount of TV watched by an average American in 1988, and where one can buy a spaghetti sandwich. Old adages like "you are what you eat," are explored, along with questions like: is dancing exercise, how much smoke is in a cigar, what is history, does happiness help you focus better, is a TV more important then a refrigerator? There are tips on living well, words from Asia, commentary on contemporary American life, and on Modern Art. There are no jokes, no pictures, no answers. NOTE: This manuscript is missing from the library collection.

Comment from The Librarian

Unfortunately, this manuscript was missing from The Brautigan Library collection when it was transferred from Burlington, Vermont, to Vancouver, Washington.


Do What You Do To Survive — A Stroke of Luck

Paul Grassia
MS #303
MEA 1994.002
Posted 1994/02/05 by The Librarian

Do What You Do To Survive — A Stroke of Luck is the story of one man's recovery from a massive stroke and the beginning of a new life. A story of courage and determination. Music heals.


Tulum

Richard Kimball
MS #295
MEA 1994.001
Posted on 1994/01/28 by The Librarian

Tulum is a book about a trip undertaken by my brother, George Kimball and his wife Caron, to the ancient Maya city of Tulum in Yucatan of Mexico. It is a combination of George's observations with a smattering of historical facts.


It's Not Real Life

Kedds Filbert
MS #290
MEA 1993.004
Posted 1993/02/19 by The Librarian

It's Not Real Life takes the reader back to the wild 1970's, when we all inhaled. It is a series of anecdotes stretching over a one year period, beginning in the author's first year of college—which couldn't have been real life—followed by a strange and sexually stimulating summer at Provincetown, Massachusetts. (Was that real life?) It is an unforgettable year, one that the author can't forget for some reason, a sex-filled year when the author realizes there's more to life than sex. It is funny, sexy, thought-provoking and an unusual way to look at life in the mid-1970s.

Comment from The Librarian

Kedds Filbert has contributed two manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are Meer (MEA 1991.006) and It's Not Real Life (MEA 1993.004).


Curiosity Killed My Hat

Raymond Sikorski
MS #281
MEA 1993.003
Posted 1993/02/09 by The Librarian

In Curiosity Killed My Hat, a collection of short stories and poetry, the mundane and the surreal pair-off for a post-rodeo ho-down. Starting from where A Life Without Porpoise left off, this collection explores pick-up trucks, laundromats, Elvis, trailer parks, garden gnomes, and the other great mysterious joys of life.

Comment from The Librarian

Raymond Sikorski has contributed to manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are A Life without Porpoise (MEA 1990.002) and Curiosity Killed My Hat (MEA 1993.003).


The Sorrows of Young Squire Smith

Robert Butler
MS #270
MEA 1993.002 A, B
Posted 1993/01/29 by The Librarian

The Sorrows of Young Squire Smith consists of two collections of tales. In The First Collection of Tales, young Squire Smith has dual fatherhood (of a sort) and a superb classical education, but these credentials don't turn out useful upon his return to earth from the illustrious floating academy of Rev. Phineas Finch. In The Second Collection of Tales, rejected by the United States Army as an illiterate, Squire Smith takes to the high seas, lands upon the island of Long Gyland, attends its university under the tight tutelage of the learned doctor Tabalulu, seven year old captain of the highly dynamic faculty of His Wisdom, the president of the University, himself an infant. A Graf Spee like outer world intrusion. Honor at last, although hardly as sought.

Comment from The Librarian

Robert Butler has contributed two manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are Ulalume's Tomb Revisited (MEA 1993.001) and The Sorrows of Young Squire Smith (MEA 1993.002 A, B).


Ulalume's Tomb Revisited

Robert Butler
MS #269
MEA 1993.001
Posted 1993/01/28 by The Librarian

The Place Below. A dozen "shades" appear seated, clock-face-wise, in a circle. One presents his "story," Poe's Ulalume, with line-for-line interruption. The Prince of Darkness himself takes over, but discloses his low morale with reference to his role: he's losing his grip, becoming dis-oriented within his own bailiwick. Surprise happy ending.

Comment from The Librarian

Robert Butler has contributed two manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are Ulalume's Tomb Revisited (MEA 1993.001) and The Sorrows of Young Squire Smith (MEA 1993.002 A, B).


The Ones in Long Pants Are Men

Kathleen Parley
MS #262
MEA 1992.004
Posted 1992/04/25 by The Librarian

A student of psychiatric nursing keeps a journal to help her sort out the confusion of theories and regulations which surround her. Frustrated by rigidity, awed by wisdom, devoted to her patients, she evaluates everything that happens. Seventeen years later she adds some introductory chapters giving the hospital setting from a professional vantage point and finds that the meaning of the story has not changed. "There is just acceptance." The important people were the patients in her group; the individual personalities of seven unusual women. The Ones in Long Pants Are Men is the story.

Comment from The Librarian

Kathleen Parley has contributed two manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are The Ones in Long Pants are Men (MEA 1991.004) and The Mower (SOC 1993.001).


About the Tree That Fell in the Woods, Or Grand Unified Field Theory

Stephan Evart
MS #261
MEA 1992.003
Posted 1992/04/25 by The Librarian

A G.U.T. theory (Grand Unified Field Theory) explaining a complete field of duality of a single law of nature. Proving that event supercedes energy thereby equalizing time. The thesis (seven pages) uses parodies to explain this showing that a fith force exists as well as cold fusion, life after death, God, a devil, heaven, hell, etc. It shows opposite sides of each isotope of nature to exist. Ironically, the parodies themselves show that these dualities exist in nature. Time as we know it does not exist as a constant because of a duality. Nothing is faster than nature because of event.


Vacancies

Albert Geiser
MS #260
MEA 1992.002
Posted 1992/04/25 by The Librarian

Vacancies is a collection of short stories. They are related by theme and narrative technique. In most of the stories the point of view is from a single character. The character experiences a confusion of identity and a disassociation from nature. Most of the characters are able to walk a short distance. The characters are changed by their contact with things alien to nature and their bodies, and most of the characters seek comfort and shelter in memories and wishes of their own.


Deep Fool

B.(arry) E.(isenberg)
MS #252
MEA 1992.001 A, B
Posted 1992/02/25 by The Librarian

The author of this autobiography, Deep Fool, is a fifty-three year old man who has imbibed freely of the varieties of experience. The Zen Buddhist/hippie author's many and varied love affairs are interwoven with the narrative as are his several descents into homelessness and the lower depths. The global background from the late thirties to the early nineties is related to the author's misadventures and the style is light yet urbane, irreverent and humorous. Deep Fool recounts the spiritual quest of a man intent on transcending the bounds of standard middle class values and his own dualities. It should appeal to those interested in psychological growth, religion, the love generation, life on the streets and iconoclastic politics. NOTE: This manuscript is missing from the library collection.

Comment from The Librarian

Unfortunately, this manuscript was missing from The Brautigan Library collection when it was transferred from Burlington, Vermont, to Vancouver, Washington.


50,000 Watts of Jazz from Fargo

Tim Runquist
MS #239
MEA 1991.008
Posted 1991/12/31 by The Librarian

50,000 Watts of Jazz from Fargo is a mid-1980s "roadside folklore/novel legend sketchbook" that follows three young men and a 1967 Volkswagen across the United States. Along the way, they encounter the motorcycle cop from Deming, partake in the midnight Michigan monsoon Mexican liqueur van-party, engage in a short bout of Jersey-bashing and, ultimately, find the town of Dent, where one can always stock up on maple syrup and, if lucky, tune into 50,000 watts of jazz from Fargo. The journey, recorded in prose, poem and Country-Western lyrics (among other styles) takes one from the surreal to the immediate to the yard-long beer-induced to, occasionally, back home.


Sherlock's Homes

Raymond Sherlock
MS #237
MEA 1991.007
Posted 1991/12/10 by The Librarian

In Sherlock's Homes, at age eighty-five, Raymond Sherlock tells a life story which spans the twentieth century from horse and buggy to jet airliners. Raymond and Marian, his wife of sixty-two years, lived the first half of the century in Northwest Pennsylvania, traveling for work during the Great Depression to Detroit and California. Since 1950, he has lived in Arizona. Besides various trailer abodes, Raymond and Marian lived in 32 homes or apartments; hence the name of the book. There are many resourceful job and business experiences, and hunting, house building, bargaining, restaurant and medical/chiropractic stories. Mr. Sherlock's forte was building fireplaces.


Meer

Kadds Filbert
MS #202
MEA 1991.006
Posted 1991/08/16 by The Librarian

Meer is about a clash of purposes, an action-oriented story with satirical overtones, designed to convince the reader that cooperation is usually the best solution. "Meer" (Russian for world) takes place six months after the Last Revolution toppled the evil no-named dictates of a potato-chip shaped island (Meer). Two factions fight each other for control, as several colorful characters with unusual backgrounds join the melee. Each person has his own objective in mind when crazed homicidal maniacs attack the island, only to be fought off by black-hole aliens protecting their 300-year-old crop of gumtip! The end (like the story) is a surprise.

Comment from The Librarian

Kedds Filbert has contributed two manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are Meer (MEA 1991.006) and It's Not Real Life (MEA 1993.004).


Seasons of an Unknown Artist

John Linstroth
MS #198
MEA 1991.005 A, B, C
Posted 1991/08/09 by The Librarian

Seasons of an Unknown Artist is the story of a young painter who tries to find himself through his art in Spain.


One God's Gift

Kathy and Terry Niver
MS #186
MEA 1991.004
Posted 1991/06/22 by The Librarian

One God's Gift is a somewhat unique work in which the authors vivify the archetype of Apollo via the mechanism of a treasure hunt based on a past life experience. There's lots of sex. There are dilemmas, colorful characters, incredible scenery and a fairy tale quality to their experience of a faraway Grecian wonderland. In the end the reader is left with thoughts on which to meditate.


A Younger Earth

Alexander Stella
MS #180
MEA 1991.003
Posted 1991/06/01 by The Librarian

In A Younger Earth, two willful men conduct a private duel in the confluence of high finance, politics and syndicated crime. This piece also deals with such philosophical topics as destiny and love of destiny. Naturally, the subjects of infidelity and murder raise their fascinating heads.

Comment from The Librarian

Alexander Stella has contributed eight manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are iLinx (FAM 1990.005), War Dodger (SOC 1990.016), Nodes (SOC 1990.017), Splish (ALL 1990.022), Cinema Inspiration (SOC 1990.025), Crystal Star (MEA 1991.002), A Younger Earth (MEA 1991.003), and C Is for Caucasian (SOC 1991.007).


Crystal Star

Alexander Stella
MS #179
MEA 1991.002
Posted 1991/06/01 by The Librarian

In Crystal Star, a stage play, a young American journalist confronts grief and horror as she witnesses the deep spiritual struggle between a shadowy rabbi and a fugitive ex-Nazi. Why was a young Jewish girl, the beloved of both those men, mutilated in a patch of woods years before?

Comment from The Librarian

Alexander Stella has contributed eight manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are iLinx (FAM 1990.005), War Dodger (SOC 1990.016), Nodes (SOC 1990.017), Splish (ALL 1990.022), Cinema Inspiration (SOC 1990.025), Crystal Star (MEA 1991.002), A Younger Earth (MEA 1991.003), and C Is for Caucasian (SOC 1991.007).


Calendar Time and The Meaning of Life

Albert Helzner
MS #146
MEA 1991.001
Posted 1991/01/01 by The Librarian

Calendar Time and The Meaning of Life is a brief study of the physical meaning of life on the planet Earth and in the universe. But this study is different than all others. Why? First, I am looking at life from an overall perspective. Second, I am asking very different questions than those that have been asked previously by others. As a result, I have concluded that every calendar date has a physical meaning relative to life.

Comment from The Librarian

Albert Helzner has contributed sixteen manuscripts to The Brautigan Library (along with four using the pen name R. Heale). They are 365 Bits of Wisdom To Enrich Your Life (SPI 1990.004), The Long Range Effect of Birth (NAT 1990.005), The Long Range Effect of Abortion and Other Essays about Life in the Universe (NAT 1990.006), Some Challenging Essays for You To Think About (NAT 1990.007), A Revolutionary Way of Looking at the Earth As A Planet (NAT 1990.008), More Challenging Essays for You To Think About (NAT 1990.009), Three Short Stories with Unexpected Endings (ALL 1990.017), October 6, 1984 to October 6, 1985, One Year To Life (NAT 1990.010), The World Is Wrong (NAT 1990.011), Life on Earth Before You Were Born (NAT 1990.012), October 6, 1990 (NAT 1990.013), From The Spirit of '76 and Other Thoughts (NAT 1990.014), Some Observations about the World We Live In (NAT 1990.017), Calendar Time and the Physical Meaning of Life (MEA 1991.001), Thirty Centuries (NAT 1991.001), and The Ongoing Condition of the Universe (NAT 1991.002).


A Life without Porpoise

Raymond Sikorski
MS #143
MEA 1990.002
Posted 1990/12/20 by The Librarian

Somewhere in A Life without Porpoise, a collection of stories, plays, and whatnot lies the meaning of life. I don't know exactly where it is; if you find it please call me immediately and tell me what page it's on. It's a local call — 860-7218 — so I don't think anyone would mind much if you use the phone behind the librarian's desk.

Comment from The Librarian

Raymond Sikorski has contributed to manuscripts to The Brautigan Library. They are A Life without Porpoise (MEA 1990.002) and Curiosity Killed My Hat (MEA 1993.003).


Scenes Along the Way

Judith Jelinger
MS #136
MEA 1990.001
Posted 1990/11/19 by The Librarian

Scenes Along the Way describes the way one particular woman's soul has experienced reincarnation. There are attempts to understand hidden motives and purposes and their results on the human scene. It may offer the reader a little understanding of the phenomenon of reincarnation. The first "life" examined was quite dramatic and, if you can accept it as historical fact, it might tell you how the stones at Stonehenge got so disarranged and upset. The following episodes, more or less interesting, lead to a final memory that I can only call a treasure.