Bukowski in schools

oh, friends, I'm so happy now!
I just gave my first BUKOWSKI-CLASS at the school I once graduated.
A friend of mine from back then is an English teacher there now and she was excited when I offered her to do a lesson about Bukowski in her class. We had this in mind for over a year. Now it took place.

It was gorgeous!
The text we used was from the 'Notes'. The revolution-piece, starting with "all the rivers are going to get higher". (pp 62-70 in my edition.)

The kids (about 17-19, mostly girls, some quite cute) were very active. Not just like "oooh no! another stupid literature-thing we are forced to deal with" - they were all engaged to talk about the piece, about the free thought in Buks writing.

It was pure joy for both, them And me.
They were asking questions about all the people, Buk is naming and referring to. They showed their own thoughts about the piece and Buks meanig. Most of them liked it a LOT. Only one girl didn't like it because of all the cuss words :-))

So, I'm very excited at the moment.
Will go on, of course, to bring Buk into the schools. I'm aware, there are a lot of his fans who think he should better stay underground. I don't. I wish I had the opportunity to read such stuff at school. It shows them, literature doesn't have to be dry shit, it can be fun and entertaining and serious and critical and dirty all at the same time.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Nice going Teach.

Beware of those cute ones.
 
M

MULLINAX

One of my teachers, 30 years ago, had us read Irving Layton:

"I place my hand upon her thigh
By the way she moved
I could see
Her devotion to literature
Was not perfect"
 

mjp

Founding member
Good work, Roni, good work.

I'm aware, there are a lot of his fans who think he should better stay underground. I don't. I wish I had the opportunity to read such stuff at school.
I think most of us around here are dong all we can to drag him up out of the underground.

You know, not literally... ;) The smell would be pretty bad at this point...
 

ROC

It is what it is
Nice one mate.
I wish someone had introduced me to Buk when I was in school.
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
I'm aware, there are a lot of his fans who think he should better stay underground. I don't. I wish I had the opportunity to read such stuff at school. It shows them, literature doesn't have to be dry shit, it can be fun and entertaining and serious and critical and dirty all at the same time.

I agree. I know there's something special about knowing an author and being part of that "select few" of fans... But hell, as much as I like to be a fan of guys like Buk and Fante... I'd rather have other people I know read them and be able to discuss them with me.

And I'd absolutely love to be able to teach them some day.

Excellent work. Hopefully you corrupted one or two young minds for life!
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Congrats, Roni! Good work - keep it up! I wish somebody had taught me about Buk in school...
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Roni -

Congratulations roni ! That must have felt fantastic to pass along some Bukowski knowledge to a group of young adults that may not have ever encountered it otherwise.

You've inspired me to take up the challenge, too. I have a friend who teaches in the Chicago school system (8th grade), and she has invited me to make a presentation to her class about anything I wanted. I'm going with Buk. Details to follow in a seperate thread...

From across the Atlantic, a toast to roni and his contributions to the educational process !

istockphoto_2215754_toast_with_red_wine.jpg
 
Great to hear, Roni. Makes me a little sad that it would be less likely an event to happen here in the USA, though one of our boardmates will try to change that.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
No problem Roni, just as long as you don't "pretty him up". The text you selected shows you didn't. :)

By the way: I got the library at the school where I work (ahem) to buy all books by Bukowski that have been translated into Norwegian.
Guess what happened to them...
Right, the same thing that often happens to Buk-books in libraries.

Strange universal phenomenon this stealing of Bukbooks. This, in a way, is a mark of quality. Buk somehow makes certain young ppl (and older as well!) wanna rebel against the system, and thats not a bad thing. Not many books get reactions like that from their readers! But the book stealing thing is a bit like pissing in you're pants for warmth if you ask me...

Next I'm gonna get them to order Pleasures of the Damned...;)
 
Again, I have to thank all of you for all this support!
You're a great bunch of cool cats.


(I also want to thank the academy and Mr. John Keating ;-))
 

mjp

Founding member
Great to hear, Roni. Makes me a little sad that it would be less likely an event to happen here in the USA, though one of our boardmates will try to change that.
Well, they aren't exactly kids, but I work in the web hosting business with a couple dozen geeks, geniuses and social outcasts (hey, sounds like this forum! ;)). Anyway, I have a meeting with the technical support team every week, but last week I couldn't find my notes for the meeting, so we went through some generalities and then I pulled out Love Is A Dog From Hell (there are half a dozen Bukowski books on the shelf in my office and I am always encouraging the people I work with to read them) and read them "the crunch."


I think that they all consider me to be quite insane now.


But I was entertained, and really, when you're at work, that's all that matters. And I suppose it's not a meeting they will soon forget.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock


- charles bukowski from the crunch

This man was a writer.
 

Domator

Founding member
Lucky children, lucky you. I'm lucky too that i discovered Bukowski by myself in school. It's good to have writer like him in school-bag :)
 
[...] and read them "the crunch."

"People are not good to each other!"

Too bad, this one differs a lot between the 'Dog from Hell'-version and the 'Baudelaire-reading'-version, which I like better.

Does anybody know which was first? How many (even unpublished) versions? Where to get them? cirerita? mjp? han(k) solo?

Something similar between the 'Poems and Insults-reading'-version of 'Style' and the printed version, which is lacking so much of it! I can't believe, that Buk cut out all those fantastic lines for the book! I can't believe Any body would leave these amazing lines intentionally! It's a crime.
 

Ambreen

Sordide Sentimental
Your story is nice as usual, Roni !

I myself did an oral presentation in english about Hank (but as a student) a few months ago and that was so great ! The professor was American but she only knew him for his poetry and most of my fellow classmates only knew his name. At that time, I was not registered on buk.net but sometimes visited it to read things here and there. I wanted to read something to them ; as I didn't have any Buk books in english, I picked a poem from the "Words" section, Two kinds of hell. And I ended it by the Apostrophes episode. :D That was a successful presentation, they loved the man and writer I depicted to them and were curious about him. :)

(I also want to thank the academy and Mr. John Keating ;-))
Are you referring to the Dead Poets Society's teacher ? I saw the film and must be one of the rare people who are not seduced by that guy. I particularly can't stand the scene where he tells his students to tear pages and pages of a literature book (I think). I remember we studied it and some extracts from the novel in english course when I was in highshool and yes, I was the only one to criticize his methods, the others pupils all finding him so cool.
But I have nothing against Robin Williams, his performance in this film is excellent (though I definitely prefer him in "The Fisher King"), I only put into question the character he's embodying.
 
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Pretty cool, Roni!

I think Buk should have a space on everyone's library. It's just so enriching to read something out of what everyone is used to and on top of that, something as good. Some people just don't seem to grasp the concept of how much variation there is in literature and how good it can get.

Bukowski changed my life in a way I didn't know it was possible, and it must be incredible to have the opportunity to transmit that feeling to other people.

Right on!!!
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Well, I never got my chance to make a Buk presentation to a classroom. My friend grew unhappy with her situation at the school and is now working elsewhere. Maybe she will return to education someday and I can be "the class intellectual".
 
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