Bukowski and short stories (1 Viewer)

Hi, being an avid fan of both the short story form and Bukowski himself, I am writing my degree dissertation on the topic. I was wondering if anyone knew whether there was a specific period of Bukowski's career where he wrote primarily short stories so i can narrow down my time frame? I want to try and figure out who his contemporaries were as well so I can place him in the literary canon- what was he doing differently to those who came before and what were his possible influences?
whether there was a specific period of Bukowski's career where he wrote primarily short stories [...] ?
There was, but it was very early on and most of the work was rejected, so very little survives to analyze and dissertate upon. So to speak. You've chosen a difficult vein to mine.

That being said, you should read Portions From A Wine-Stained Notebook
and Absence of the Hero
. They collect some early stories, but again, the bulk of the really early short stories are lost.

He was 35 when he changed his focus to poetry, and while he continued to write short stories and columns throughout his career, he wasn't really focused on the short stories the way he was when he was younger.

Other short story and column collections:
Notes of a Dirty Old Man

South of No North

Hot Water Music

The Most Beautiful Woman In Town And Other Stories

Tales Of Ordinary Madness

More Notes of a Dirty Old Man

The Bell Tolls for No One
mjp, thanks for the recommendations- I'll make sure to to look into them. All of the texts I was planning on looking at appear to have been published within a convenient ten year period (1973-83) so I'll try find out a bit more about him at that time. Were any of the short story collections written solely with the intention of being in a collection or were they all column stories formed into books at later dates?
They were all submitted to periodicals and collected later. The same goes for (most of) the poetry collections.

The 10 year period you mention makes sense. He quit the post office at the beginning of 1970, so for a long time he was writing things for outlets that would pay him, and those would all be short stories or columns. Then around the end of that 10 year period he started making enough money (mainly from European royalties) to ease up on writing just for the money.

There's your hook.
Hence his extensive catalogue of stories, I suppose. Who would you say were his contemporaries during that time period? I understand he has some relation with the beat writers (perhaps a bit earlier?) but at the same time he has a very different feel to the likes of Kerouac and Burroughs. But then again, nobody is quite like Bukowski. Also, thanks again for the help.
"contemporaries" is not a totally wrong term (even though one could argue, that Bukowski began to write in the eraly 1940s, way before there was a Beat-movement and stopped writing 1994, way after the Beat-movement had died). But that's not the point.

The point is that, even though there ARE similarities (e.g. writing as a non-elaborated art-form that comes from the inner guts and heart), there also are many important differences - in writing-style, life-style, attitude and lots more. Not to mention that the Beats have been a 'group' and Bukowski (the born loner) never belonged to that group.

So, in short: making that kind of connection is misleading.
In fact, many Buk-fans like the Beats a lot.

Which may be true, but what we have not mentioned is that Bukowski disliked the beats immensely (some of it probably out of jealousy for the attention they got). He wrote about them regularly (in poems and letters) on how terrible he thought they were. There were a few exceptions. He admits that when he first read Howl he was affected by it, but generally hated Ginsberg more than all of the Beats put together. The other exception I can think of is he ended up respecting Robert Creeley.

So, if you wonder why a lot of folks on here are critical of the Beats, they are simply taking Bukowski's side.
Bukowski liked Gregory Corso after meeting him and wrote good things about him in at least two stories. In "A Rambling Essay" Bukowski wrote: "I've never said this before but I am high enough as I write this to perhaps say that Ginsberg has been the most awakening force in American poetry since Walt [Whitman]." B. also also wrote a very positive poem about Lawrence Ferlinghetti "The Bard of San Francisco." Burroughs he liked the least, but says in one of the letters that he liked that Burroughs was pushing into unknown areas with his literary experiments. Also B. wrote a pretty even-keeled "Dirty Old Man" column about Neal Cassady--the Dean Moriarty of Kerouac's On the Road.

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