"I suppose my goal has been to twine ideas and images into big subversive pretzels of life, death, and goofiness on the chance that they might help keep the world lively and give it the flexibility to endure."
CAT ON A HOT TIN: OUR LIVES ARE NOVELS AND REALITY IS MADE OF WORDS
From The Prophets Conference Santa Fe: Poets, Mystics, Magicians
The tin can was invented in 1811. The can opener wasn't invented until 1855. In the intervening 44 years, would-be consumers had to access their pork and beans with a hammer and chisel.
Suspecting mainstream literature not to mention orthodox religion, psychoanalysis, Marxism, consumerism, academism, and 99 per cent of self-realization techniques to be a collection of dull chisels and rubber hammers, my aim (unrealistic perhaps) has been to try to write novels that might function as can openers in the supermarket of life.
Or (changing metaphors in midstream), I could say that my goal has been to twine ideas and images into big subversive pretzels of life, death and goofiness, on the chance that they might help keep the world lively and give it the flexibility to endure.
Some time ago, I reached the conclusion that we are in this existence to enlarge our souls, light up our brains and liberate our spirits. Pondering the role that language, imagination, humor, sexuality, risk, attitude, spirituality, and altered states of consciousness play in that process is what keeps the little feet running in my hamster cage.
It's probably unnecessary to point this out, but I wish to make it clear that I'm neither a New Ager nor an Old Ager, neither a prophet nor a guru, but rather, just another glad fool on the left-handed path: dodging the ego, romancing the Mystery, spilling the wine, and, above all, celebrating language, that magical reticulum of words into which human reality is forever dissolving and from which it continually reemerges, having invented itself anew. The noun in the lotus. The jewel in the inkwell. Green dolphins leaping from a sink of dirty dishes.
Since the publication of Another Roadside Attraction in 1971, TOM ROBBINS has become known as the principal voice of American countercultural fiction. His cult celebrity was further solidified by the success of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Still Life With. Robbins' mix of vivid language, ribald humor, philosophical musings, controversial commentary on religion and sexuality, and concentration on female protagonists and feminine consciousness has marked almost all of his fiction, as well as his short writings.
Despite his undeserved reputation as 1960s hippie icon, all of Robbins's work remains popular and in print, and his later novels--including Jitterbug Perfume (1984), Skinny Legs and All, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, Villa Incognito, and B Is for Beer--engage thoroughly with current politics, mores, and trends.
FROM OUR STORE
BOOK Jitterbug Perfume
BOOK Another Roadside Attraction
BOOK Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates
BOOK Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
BOOK B Is for Beer
BOOK Wild Ducks Flying Backward
BOOK Conversations with Tom Robbins (Literary Conversations)