Bukowski's Letters (1 Viewer)

yeah but they're probably pumping gas now while you're an immortal poet!
I don't know about immortal, but they probably are too old now to be pumping gas. Actually, I made friends with a couple of the bad guys and bought some protection by letting them copy my homework. Not ethical, but I was in a survival mode throughout junior high school. It was a rough school and you did whatever it took to make it.

I'm just (trying to) reread them and what is really unpleasant is how it all ended. John Thomas had told
Bukowski that Martinelli did not actually visit Pound at St. Elizabeth's and he told Martinelli this. [See last
letter in the book]. She was not amused by this and that was it.
I forgot that part. I'll have to reread the ending. John Thomas came to his own bad ending.
I don't know about immortal

you're right, it was a typo, i meant immoral.

well, i think you're pretty good...
I like the Martinelli-letters. At first I wasn't sure, but now I do.

He definitely was trying to get laid or at least saw himself in some sort of contest with Pound, courting for attention from his ex-mistress. That's very much there, it springs from every page. But being Bukowski he didn't do it in some dull flat way, he packed a lot of energy and unique creativity into it.

Besides, Jane was still alive then and Bukowski was virtually unknown to everybody. His situation at that time was very different to the following years, it really was the beginning of his career and the life he would become known for. The letters are very different than all the other collections, but that makes them that more interesting to me.

Some of them are really up there with the best of his later collections, imho. For example the one he wrote to Martinelli on his birthday while sitting around and waiting/fearing the arrival of a singing telegram from Jane, which he thinks will be his birthday present. I must have read that one about 14 times and still have to laugh. Tragic, mad, true, hilarious genius, really. Or, in one word: Bukowski ;)
Some notes on the Martinelli letters...

I'm in the camp that likes them. I did put the book down for a year after about 100 pages because the letters are repetitive and boring. There is that quality to them. However, I like the letters well enough that I'll likely finish them this weekend. It's rare that one gets to see both sides of a literary correspondence. There are times when they make me laugh even if they are a little pretentious and unnatural. You learn about their influences and tastes, in art and in the mundane. Their writing styles are part of the charm of the collection, though their style is also why I set the book down for a year.

I skipped ahead to read the last couple letters and was put off by how Bukowski broke their friendship off. Even though Martinelli is crazy, something endeared her to me over the course of the letters. Then 6 years or so go by and he makes that rude comment about her never meeting Ezra Pound. Oh well. To be fair, her "preening" of Bukowski, as an earlier poster mentioned, does get very annoying. I probably would have given up on her sooner had I been in Buk's position. Nonetheless, I'm intrigued by Martinelli and would like to learn more about what happened to her. She sort of disappeared like Kaye Johnson did. Ironic that she felt so resentful about "kaja."

On a closing note, I think Sheri would have made an interesting character in Women had they met. Or is she in the book? I can't remember.
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Anyone who makes it through the Matinelli letters is hardcore Buk in my opinion. I didn't find the Purdy letters to be all that interesting, but at least the book is short and readable.

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