Bukowski quote about Fante as a West Coast Fitzgerald

Hi everyone,
I am looking for a quote that is super important for what I'm writing -sometimes, after reading thousands of pages, you just lose track...

In that quote, Bukowski says that John Fante was a West Coast Fitzgerald, but that he was almost forgotten precisely because he was from Los Angeles and not from New York.

This is super important because, in my research, I found that many critics talk about how West Coast literature tends to be erased from the American literary canon- especially if it's Los Angeles, unless you are a Noir writer. That quote I am looking for shows that Bukowski was aware of such a thing.
 
don't have that quote at hand.
but from what I think I know and understand of Bukowski, he wouldn't have used this comparison in terms of quality of the authors, as he loved Fante but dispised Fitzgerald. (also their subjects and styles differ a lot)

What I can see is Bukowski stating, that in both cases it was working for Hollywood / the movie industry that destroyed them. I'd think this was his point.
 
Now I am having *some* doubts. Let's say, I am at least 75% certain Bukowski said that, and it is definitely about Fante being a Western version of Fitzgerald, and about being forgotten for being a Los Angeles writer.
 
I don't recall reading anything about Buk's feelings on Fitzgerald, but it's difficult for me to imagine that he would have held him in high regard. That he held Fante in such high regard makes it also difficult for me to imagine that he would use Fitzgerald as a comparable for Fante.
 
anything about Buk's feelings on Fitzgerald
I seem to remeber a poem in 'You Get So Alone' where he's mocking his wife (Linda Lee Bukowski) for reading 'Tender is the Night'. Or was it about the picturization of the novel on TV? Not sure now.

I, personally, liked that novel a lot. But only because I knew about the real situation between Scott & Zelda.
 
...a poem in 'You Get So Alone'...
On page 19, working it out contains:

"I go downstairs for another bottle, switch on the
cable and there's Greg Peck pretending he's
F. Scott and he's very excited and he's reading his
manuscript to his lady.
I turn the set
off."

The poem finishes with:

"...I type the next
line. you
can read it to your lady and she'll probably tell you
it's nonsense. She'll be
reading Tender is the
Night
."

Good call. Not specifically about Linda Lee, but you nailed the book. I'm glad it was on pages 19-20 instead of page 302. :eek:
 
The only substantial references to Fitzgerald that I can find in Buk's work (other than what has been mentioned above, of course) can be found in Hollywood, Chapter 1.

"At one time I used to refer to Sarah and me as Zelda and Scott, but that bothered her because she didn’t like the way Zelda had ended up. And I didn’t like what Scott had typed."

Then, later:

"The door opened and a young girl with long black hair walked in without knocking. Next thing we knew she was stretched out up on the back of the sofa, lengthwise, like a cat.
“I’m Popppy,” she said, “with 4 p’s.”
I had a relapse: “We’re Scott and Zelda.”
“Cut the shit!” said Sarah.
I gave our proper names.”"

On the subject of why Fante "was almost forgotten precisely because he was from Los Angeles and not from New York," check out the doc "Born Into This." Joyce Fante describes the eastern literary establishment, and how west-coast writers weren't taken seriously. If can recall correctly, it's in the first quarter of the film. She doesn't say more than a few sentences, but she describes the situation pretty well.
 

zobraks

Moderator
I don't recall reading anything about Buk's feelings on Fitzgerald

He (or J. Martin?) had his opinions on F.S. Fitzgerald:
"Yeah, Raymond Carver, I liked him a lot more than someone as overrated as Fitzgerald," Bukowski mumbles.
(Sunlight Here I Am, page 271)

As per Niki and her "The Lost Generation," I hope she got it right. Those were interesting people, Gerty and Hem and Fitz and the gang.
(Living on Luck, page 99)

At one time I used to refer to Sarah and me as Zelda and Scott, but that bothered her because she didn’t like the way Zelda had ended up. And I didn’t like what Scott had typed.
(Hollywood, page 10)

some didn’t work for
me: Shakespeare, G. B. Shaw,
Tolstoy, Robert Frost, F. Scott
Fitzgerald
(The Burning of the Dream, Septuagenarian Stew)

"but
you once said
F. Scott Fitzgerald
was the most over-rated
writer of
our time..."
("a nice fellow" to Buk in Dreiser Wasn't So Hot Either, Bone Palace Ballet)

I really never liked Scott or Zelda for what they wrote.
(My Father Wanted Me to Be a Mechanical Draftsman But, Open All Night)

saw this photo of
F. Scott
and he reminded me of
the guy who told me
he used to spend his free time
watching the little boys
through a hole
in the crapper wall
at the Y.
14972

(Rogue's Gallery, The Night Torn Mad with Footsteps)

(but Hem was correct in maintaining that F.
Scott couldn’t write);
(No Wonder, The Night Torn Mad with Footsteps)

"what do you think of F.
Scott Fitzgerald?"
she asks.
"I never," he answers,
"think of him..."
(A Poetry Reading, Dangling in the Tournefortia)
 
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in my research, I found that many critics talk about how West Coast literature tends to be erased from the American literary canon- especially if it's Los Angeles, unless you are a Noir writer.
That pov is repeated by John Fante's widow, 'Joyce' (I think her name was), in the documentary "Born Into This".

I seem to remeber a poem in 'You Get So Alone' where he's mocking his wife (Linda Lee Bukowski) for reading 'Tender is the Night'. Or was it about the picturization of the novel on TV? Not sure now.

I, personally, liked that novel a lot. But only because I knew about the real situation between Scott & Zelda.
Hemingway parodies the Fitzgeralds in one of his books, I think it was "A Moveable Feast", where he goes for a drive in a car with Scott and they pull up somewhere because Scott's not feeling well and goes to the toilet and then Hemingway has to "check him out" because Scott has some complex about his knob that Zelda kept giving him shit about.

Funny moment! But not sure if that was just a Hemingway fantasy or something that really happened.
 
Well in my memory I just remember that Bukowski didn't compare Fante to Fitzgerald in terms of quality, but of thematic content.
But it seems these words were probably said by someone else, I really wonder why I was so certain it was Bukowski. Maybe I'll find out again in a few years and will come back to that thread. ;)

Thanks guys for your help, and thanks very much Widdis and Bukfan Brad for telling me about Joyce Fante's interview. I will definitely mention it!
 
For the heck of it I googled 'Fante Fitzgerald Bukowski' and this popped up. A commenter placed Fante into favorable company with Capote, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. Although I doubt you somehow got it mixed in your head, because that connection with coastalism in American literature isn't made .. Sharing anyway though.

Edit - added the word 'coast' to the search and found ... This thread haha. But also this not bad list of books, in which the blogger does mention Ask the Dust as the west coast Gatsby ..
 
I would definitely consider "Ask the Dust" a good book, if not great and begging to be adapted into a film that's true & loyal to the story. I think Buk said he didn't like the ending of that novel, but I thought it was a very good ending. I've also read "Wait Until Spring, Bandini" but that's all I've read of Fante. I saw the film adaptation of "Ask the Dust" and thought it a disgusting waste of time and money. The book depicts the hardship and the rundown nature of where Fante's main character lived. The film looked too glossy, like it had been shot in some glamorous part of town and the complex, emotionally-driven interactions between the two main characters didn't have the essential details so keenly observed in the text.
 
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