Bukowski's mother, Katherine

Father Luke

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Interesting way to spend a Christmas eve. . .

1956 Bukowski's mother, Katherine, dies: 12-24-1956

--
Okay,
Father Luke
 
Buk's Mother.

I know there's a lot written about Buk's relationship with his Father and all their fights, his Father pretending to be the author of one of his written works...
And I know his Mother often sided with the old man against Buk.....

Is there any evidence of a warm relationship between them?

Are there any pictures of his mother and did he attend her funeral?

Just interested in Buk's relationship with her.
 

james

Over 1000 posts
the only time i can remember his mother being nice to him is the scene from "ham on rye" when his father had found his short stories and threw all of hank's stuff into the yard, so his mother waited for him behind a bush to warn him of the old man's rampage and to give him money to rent a place to stay.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
In a letter to John William Corrington on pg. 74 of Screams..., Buk mentions going to the hospital on Christmas to bring his mother a rosary and finds that she had passed already. I would assume that he would have gone to her funeral, as he went to his father's, but I don't recall any specifric writings about it.
 

Lolita Twist

Rose-hustler
Over 500 posts
james, I was also gonna mention the scene from Ham on Rye... There's something about people and their mothers, though. You can have it a "normal" way, where there is reciprocated love... or you can feel an obligation to care for them... though, taking to mind what John said, bringing someone a rosary, especially if the giver is not very religious, is kind of a sentimental, personal thing. What do we think - did Buk feel warmth towards his mother?
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
Buk wrote somewhere (help me out, hank solo!) that his mother told him in the hospital, "You were right, Henry. Your father is a horrible man." But in Unca Howie's bio, Buk's mother told him the last time he visited her in the hospital, that he should have more respect for his parents, especially his father. "Your father is a great man", she told him.
What to believe? Did Kate say, "a horrible man", or, "a great man"?
 
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reasonknot

Founding member
Over 100 posts
so bukowski's mom died on christmas eve.
just another reason why he didn't look foward to or enjoy the holiday season.
 
'Locked in the arms....'

Thanks for the advice FL re: 'Locked in the arms of a Crazy life'

The interesting quote from Buk's wife Linda Lee:

'It's a very veiled sort of thing... (Buk's relationship with his mother....' barely there.....'


It also says Buk never dwelt on his feeling for his mother, in his writing or conversation.

Bukowski's isolation was total then?

Although it seems he was at least sad when she died, rather then being in jubilation as on the death of his father and wanting to spit in his face...
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
I think Buk had ambivalent feelings towards his mother. She usually sided with his father ("your father is always right"), but she also looked after him after he moved out and visited him regularly in his rented room, giving him money and checking if he had clean clothes. She also got him his first job at the railroad. So, in some ways she was a good mother, while in other ways she was not, especially since she failed to protect Buk from his fathers abuse...
 

homeless mind

Over 500 posts
1956 Bukowski's mother, Katherine, dies: 12-24-1956
My pops died 12/13 - on a friday. Funny, I call my mom every death date, as regularly as a birthday, to remember him.

I was fortunate to spend this X-Mas eve with my mom, hence, why I am scribing this note. Funny, I feel like I have family here "” in some warped website way.

And Padre, my thoughts are with you.

I have read your work and know this is a difficult time. My family sends its love to you and yours "” even it it's just you.

Pax,

homeless mind // bill
 
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roni

Over 5000 posts
yes to all said here. (ambivalent, she didn't stop his father, she held to his father, she gave Hank money, ...)

here's something else, but keep in mind: this was from a letter to his mother's brother! - uncle Heinrich:

"The loss of my father was hardly great at all -- we did not get along, but I did have a very good and innocent mother."


(oh, another thing: in that same letter he writes: "I have a WIFE, Frances, and very recently, a daughter ..." - which might be interesting regarding that thread about "his 2nd wife" Barbara. He obviously wasn't much accurate with that term, talking about long-time-relations.)
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
(oh, another thing: in that same letter he writes: "I have a WIFE, Frances, and very recently, a daughter ..." - which might be interesting regarding that thread about "his 2nd wife" Barbara. He obviously wasn't much accurate with that term, talking about long-time-relations.)
Yes, that is interesting regarding his "second wife" Barbara Fry. I guess that shows us Buk used the term "wife" loosely, without necessarily meaning he had married the woman...
 

mjp

Your Host
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All it means is that he didn't want to write to an old school relative in the 1960's and say he was living with a woman he wasn't married to. I don't think that's the same thing as saying "wife" in a poem.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
All it means is that he didn't want to write to an old school relative in the 1960's and say he was living with a woman he wasn't married to. I don't think that's the same thing as saying "wife" in a poem.
Maybe not, but what about the first stanza in the poem, "hello, Barbara", in "Dangling" (page 77)?:

25 years ago
in Las Vegas
I got married
the only time.
 

mjp

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What about the hundreds of times he said (and wrote) that he stopped writing and went on a "ten year drunk"? ;) We can't always trust his version of events.

But as for being married to Jane, I don't know what difference it makes, really. It's just an interesting little tidbit, and the hints found here and there keep the tidbit alive.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Bukfan,

"The Birds" was written in late 1958 / early 1959. "Hello, Barbara" was written in 1981 or so. I believe that B. needed time -distance- to create the myth. Still, it's all literature and you just never know...
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
That's right! We can't always trust Buk's version of events, like the ten year drunk myth, and when it comes to contradictory statements we better remember it's just literature, not hard facts. It does give us something to ponder, however, and it is interesting to study. Buk certainly knew how to build a myth...
 
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