Buk-interview 1964 - rare, I guess (1 Viewer)

What made me VERY interested in that issue, is the fact, that it's from 1964 and Hank is in there together with cats like Hem, Bellow, Rexroth, german poet Günter Grass, artist Jasper Jones, musician Chet Baker - ALL of which were pretty famous at that time.

So, what should we think about Hank's reputation back then in 'certain' circles? Was he really only recognized in the US after 'Barfly' (as most people claim) ?
To me it looks like the REALLY important cats, already registered him then. But I may be wrong. Or drunk. Or both.

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Thanks, Roni & HS! - I read the text via HS' link, but it says 1963. So, which is it, 1963 0r 1964?
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He was in that interview because the guy running the paper loved B's writing, that's why. It had nothing to do with the other authors. The co-editor, Ron Offen, was also a fan of sorts since he had also published B's poetry in a couple of littles in the early 60s.
I think Roni realizes that the interview in the Literary Times is a reprint of the original. But it's still a valid observation, that the editor(s) of the Literary Times considered Bukowski important or interesting enough to include him among those other heavyweights.
'63 is when the interview was originally published. The '64 issue provided by roni is a collection of previously published interviews.

Thanks, Stavrogin! 1963 is the time when Buk really started to become known with the publication of "It Catches...".
Plus the preface to the interview gives some sense of how Buk was regarded then. An oddity, a man of mystery - writing robust poetry straight out of the heart of darkness. Poetry everybody was seeking to publish as noted later in the interview.
Buk had as many -- or more -- detractors in the 60s/70s as he had admirers. There were many editors who hated him & his work, thought it was trash, and wouldn't publish him on a dare. Bring him up at a literary party and you would hear more dismissals than raves.
How wide was the readership of the Literary Times during the 63-64 timeframe? Circulation numbers? I'm just trying to see this publication through the eyes of that time and how he was regarded in response to roni's inquiry. You can have 99 detractors and 1 key admirer and that 1 key can make all the difference. I just read A Confederacy of Dunces and God Bless Walker Percy. Those admirers - from those in charge of the Literary Times - the Webbs - Malone and Martin all were fans of his poetry. Without them there would probably be no Montfort - Weissner - Schroeder. I suppose, roni, to answer your question he was recognized by certain key people here in the States before Barfly. Rekrab was one of them.
To be clear, Bukowski's greatest financial success may have come from Europe, but Europe did not pluck him from obscurity and elevate him to worldwide renown. He was certainly known here when Germany started to publish him.

What his European publishers had was more faith in his mainstream appeal (or they were more willing to take a financial gamble - or both) so they published much greater numbers of his books than Martin did in the U.S. Martin played it very safe and targeted a certain segment of (fringe) consumers, which makes sense financially. But you can't sell books to the masses if you only print 3,000 copies of a title.

One of the unanswerable questions about Bukowski's career in America is how successful he could have been in the 70s if he had been with a major publisher. One who covered the country with his books and actually promoted him as an author. His relative success in Germany seems to answer that question. There was potential there than Martin failed to take advantage of. That seems pretty obvious.

German people aren't that different from American, Mexican, Russian or Japanese people. Bukowski was sold short in America by people who believed he was too "outrageous" and "raw" for mass consumption. I don't believe that was or is true. You can certainly sell outrage and nonconformity. People have been doing it forever (in fact, in the 70s people were more open to the raw and the outrageous).

Bukowski was never marketed. At all. Maybe that was part of his appeal to the audience who found him. It certainly was for me -- "Who is this guy?" But that's a very limiting way to build a career.
Excellent points, mjp. I admire Bukowski's loyalty towards Martin, but he probably did himself a disservice financially and in other respects by not changing to a larger publisher who could print bigger editions and put more money into promoting his books
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