Baroque Books (1 Viewer)

I'm curious about people's memories of "Red" Stodolsky. I met him in the early 90's, his shop in Hollywood had quite an impressive selection of books by Bukowski. Books I had not seen before (wedding, heatwave, etc...).
I remember his eyesight was failing and he was very trusting about leaving you in the shop alone. I also remember his patience was 'thin', but so is mine, so I'm not criticizing! It was a great little bookstore.
oops, my BAD. My attention span is poor, especially for looking through archives on websites. That's a GOOD thread, ignore MINE (apologies) and move onto it...
hey theeffects, don't feel bad about it. I often have only a couple minutes to spare when I check in here, and I have posted sometimes without checking to make sure there wasn't an existing thread on the same topic. I guess that's sloppy and annoying to some, but I figure it's better to be a bit sloppy than not show up at all. I mean, at least we're making an honest effort to contribute, right? Or am I just making excuses for being lazy?
Thanks David, I don't feel so bad now (not sure I ever really felt that bad!).
I'm guilty of being interested only in the NEWER posts.
I read your poems, your definitely NOT lazy. Or else it just comes easy for you........
Hi owen. This is going to sound obnoxious, but my writing does come easy. I don't work at it. It's like playing. At least with the poetry I'm lazy. With fiction, I work harder, but it's like when a kid plays hard. I wouldn't do any writing if it wasn't incredibly fun. Around the house, I'm as lazy as I can get away with. But at work, I am definitely not lazy. Work my ass off there. Lazy can be a good thing in the right context, disastrous at other times.

I've gone back and read many of the older posts, but not methodically. There's some fascinating stuff in them, and worth a look. mjp runs a great forum, and now he's got the Guerilla Poetics Project one going strong as well.

Bukowski's "Don't even try" motto applied mainly to his private life and to the goal of making it in literature, I think. When it came to a job he wanted to hold onto, like the post office, he did try, and was not lazy. He talks about how hard he studied throwing the schemes in Post Office, so he could pass the exams and stay employed, and that studying was on his own "drinking time." And he wrote his ass off and made a point of sending it all to editors, so I never think of him as a lazy man. He just knew what stuff he wasn't going to sweat.
Red was difficult to get to know, and worth knowing. From '85-'90, I'd visit him and buy books. Specifically, John Fante and Charles Bukowski. Like many others, I went for the stories, which were hard earned - he asked me to leave on my first visit because I picked up a signed first edition Wm. Burroughs and leafed through it. A classic beginner's mistake at Baroque Books.

On subsequent visits, his stories got incrementally longer, before he'd sign off with "That's enough for today - gotta go make a buck." It was after perhaps three years that I noticed the photos of Henry Miller that hung up on the wall above Red's desk. Miller in PJs and robe, during a visit with Red, and according to Red the last known photos of Miller. Upon inquiring of the price of a first-edition signed Miller title, Red came back with, "Don't worry, kid, you can't afford it." I left with a copy of Ask the Dust, signed by Bukowski.

1643 N. Las Palmas was a very special place. Red was glad to have company, once he vetted you for the right vibe and allowed you to stay awhile. He was hung over the last time I visited him, on a rainy day. "Still tryin' to straighten out", he said, at maybe 12:30.

I left L.A. and moved to Northern California in 1990. It was a strange feeling the day I learned my new office in Santa Rosa was located 2 minutes from Black Sparrow Press.
Thanks Bill -

I was led here by the relative absence of "electronic" information on Red, and was glad to find such a good site. Went back to N. Las Palmas four months ago for the first in 17 years...and boy was that a mistake. It's mostly better left as fond memories - much as I've found today in several posts here.

- Brian quote a former Baroque Books customer, Tom Waits:

"There's nothing wrong with her a hundred dollars wouldn't fix
she has that razor sadness that only gets worse
with the clang and the thunder of the Southern Pacific rolling by
I've seen it all
I've seen it all through the yellowed windows of the evening train"

On the "up" side, I made it to Musso & Frank's for lunch, then got out of there FAST...(!)
I remember when I briefly lived in Hollywood in 92? I fell in love with Bukowski and found out about Red’s bookstore. He was very nice to me. I use to have to call him before going over because so many people were stealing from him. That is just not the kind of bookstore that you can find anymore
I think I wrote somewhere on the Forum about my negative dealings with Red. Guess I had the wrong vibe for him. All water under the bridge now.

Users who are viewing this thread