story<p>a novel by Richard Brautigan<strong>THE COVER FORTROUT FISHING IN AMERICA</strong><font
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<font face="Times New Roman">The cover for Trout Fishing in America is a photograph takenlate in the afternoon, a photograph of the Benjamin Franklinstatue in San Francisco's Washington Square.Born 1706--Died 1790, Benjamin Franklin stands on apedestal that looks like a house containing stone furniture.He holds some papers in one hand and his hat in the other.Then the statue speaks, saying in marble:PRESENTED BYH. D. COGSWELLTO OURBOYS AND GIRLSWHO WILL SOONTAKE OUR PLACESAND PASS ON.Around the base of the statue are four words facing thedirections of this world, to the east WELCOME, to the westWELCOME, to the north WELCOME, to the south WELCOME.Just behind the statue are three poplar trees, almost leaflessexcept for the top branches. The statue stands in frontof the middle tree. All around the grass is wet from therains of early February.In the background is a tall cypress tree, almost dark likea room. Adlai Stevenson spoke under the tree in 1956, beforea crowd of 40, 000 people.There is a tall church across the street from the statuewith crosses, steeples, bells and a vast door that looks likea huge mousehole, perhaps from a Tom and Jerry cartoon,and written above the door is "Per L'Universo."Around five o'clock in the afternoon of my cover forTrout Fishing in America, people gather in the park acrossthe street from the church and they are hungry.It's sandwich time for the poor.But they cannot cross the street until the signal is given.Then they all run across the street to the church and gettheir sandwiches that are wrapped in newspaper. They goback to the park and unwrap the newspaper and see what theirsandwiches are all about.A friend of mine unwrapped his sandwich one afternoonand looked inside to find just a leaf of spinach. That was all.Was it Kafka who learned about America by reading theautobiography of Benjamin Franklin..............Kafka who said, "I like the Americans because they are healthyand optimistic."
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