Burnett/Bukowski correspondence

Discussion in 'All things Bukowski' started by cirerita, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Holy shit! I'll say it again: Holy shit.

    Too many things to say and I can't type them up now as Ona is sitting -again!- on my knees.

    Just a few things:
    -I received an unpublished, hand-written STORY from late 1947 with lotta cool drawings.

    -The letters go from 1945 up to 1955. I thought they had corresponded in the 40's only, but B. was sure persistent.

    -At least 3 "lost" stories are mentioned by title.

    -One of the funniest rejection letters ever. Burnett told B. that one of the rejected stories was pretty good, but he couldn't understand why the gorilla talked. Then he said that if B. made the gorilla "deaf and dumb" he might consider publishing the story!

    -No pre-1945 material mentioned. Too bad about that.

    -I paid $27 for these letters, but they're worth every single dime.
    PhillyDave likes this.
  2. Godammit! cirerita! You ARE a fucking hero!
    ...and from day to day you become even more of a god.
    You enlighten our darkness, baby!
  3. hank solo

    hank solo Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights Vice President First 9 Reaper Crew ROAD CAPTAIN Unholy Ones

  4. More info for the timeline:

    -In Oct/Nov 1945 he was in Philadelphia:
    1623 Green St.
    Phila, 30, PA

    -In April 1947 he was in Philly as well. No address specified, though.

    -In Aug 1948 he was in LA:
    737 S. Union Ave.
    Los Angeles

    The Charity Ward episode took place in April 1954, not 1955!!!!! In a 8-25-54 letter to Burnett, B. says:
    The year seems right because there's a reply from Burnett dated Feb. 17, 1955.

    In a 2-27-55 letter to Burnett, B. adds:
    So All the Assholes... was not the first time he told that story in story form.
  5. Oh, Burnett tells B. to write a novel several times. B always says that he's not up to it, but by 1947 he already has a title in mind: Blessed Factotum ;)
  6. this is great
  7. Ponder

    Ponder "So fuck Doubleday Doran" Live to Ride ROAD CAPTAIN

    Great stuff!
  8. Another solidly standard Philly neighborhood. The Yuppies buy these things up. Notice that they were doing some construction on that street recently. I would not live there. Just too close to everyone else, but I would not live in a really nice neighborhood in Manhattan, either. Still, if you're gonna live in Philly, this is not bad.

    I think that the side of the street that he would have lived is where that large apartment building is. It does not look that old, so the building that Buk was in may have been torn town.


    PhillyDave likes this.
  9. 1fsh2fsh

    1fsh2fsh I think that I think too much First 9 SAMCRO Unholy Ones

    ok, forgive me for being ignorant, (to the point of embarassment). but who exactly is Burnett?
  10. Ponder

    Ponder "So fuck Doubleday Doran" Live to Ride ROAD CAPTAIN

  11. Whit Burnett was the editor of 'Story'-magazine in which Bukowskis first story ('Aftermath of a lengthy rejection slip') was published in 1944.

    What a find! All those 'well researched' biographies have to be written anew due to YOU!
    Man! 1954! We have to compare all other sources of these years new now.

    on Philly: HA! More than one addresses! More than one stay!
  12. 1fsh2fsh

    1fsh2fsh I think that I think too much First 9 SAMCRO Unholy Ones

    ah, yes. thanks guys. I'll dig out "whats his names" book and have a re-read. again. and thanks to cirerita for all the work and information you hand to us freaks.
  13. I just hope that if anyone writes another biography, and they use the wealth of knowledge from this forum (which they would be foolish to not use), that they will credit the appropriate parties (meaning Cirerita). It would be somewhat dishonest to use this forum for info without crediting the hard work of tracking down this important info that keeps surfacing.

  14. I doubt it, but you just never know.

    In any case, the info available on the forum is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want it all, you gotta pay me a visit ;)

    A few published early stories had been previously rejected by Burnett:
    -"Hell Yes, the Hydrogen Bomb" [submitted in 1946 as "Hell Yes, the Atom Bomb" and published in 1958 in Quixote]
    -"The Rapist's Story" [rejected in 1954 by Burnett and published in Harlequin in 1957]
    -"Cacoethes Scribendi" [rejected in 1946 by Burnett and published in Matrix in 1947]
    -The lost story "The War, The War" was rejected by both Burnett and Crosby (Portfolio)

    One of those early, lost stories is titled: "A Genius on Skid Row" ;)
  15. Have you seen any of these stories?

  16. When I say they're lost, I mean it. They're lost! I know those titles because Bukowski and Burnett mention them in their letters not because I have copies of the stories.
  17. Erik

    Erik If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski First 9 Redwood Original Unholy Ones

    Excuse me (deep breath - then another) but does this mean STORY as in SHORT STORY? Or more accurately PREVIOUSLY LOST BUT NOW REDISCOVERED SHORT STORY?

    (pause - another deep breath) Oh, I get it, must be an illustrated story in a letter. Not a SHORT STORY. No, couldn't be that.

    I look forward to hearing the story behind this find Cirerita.
    27$ be damned!

    PS: I expect Howy S. soon will contact you demanding you recant the new info you claim to have discovered... it doesn't seem to fit in with his immaculate bio.
    Is the "10-year drunk" starting to expand again after years of shrinking? :rolleyes:
  18. You got me there!

    Here's the first page from this unpublished story. Don't ask me to scan the full text as it's a 10 page story and I just don't have time for this. I'm a full-time dad and I have other priorities :D

    This is the earliest unpublished story available that we know of. I don't think anyone in the Bukowski "circle" has ever seen it. And it's not a bad story. The other drawings are much better than this one.

    And, oh, I just found the title of yet another "lost" story: "Whitman: His Poetry and Prose" (1945!!!)

    Attached Files:

    zobraks likes this.
  19. Let me be the first to say -


    Note the signature on the drawing - C. BUK.

    Thanks C.
  20. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    Congrats, cirerita! Incredible find! A "new" short story - that's fantastic. And new info about his relations with Burnett and his stay in the Charity Ward. Ýou sure hit the jackpot this time, c...!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  21. this is great
  22. hank solo

    hank solo Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights Vice President First 9 Reaper Crew ROAD CAPTAIN Unholy Ones

    "I've got nothing but time" ;)

    Thanks for sharing again cirerita. Is that story illustrated throughout?
  23. yep, it is.
  24. Cirerita I don't post my thanks often enough. My excuse is that I am also a dad of two plus I spend 4 hours a day commuting and sit at a desk for another 8 hours, so I barely have time to read the new posts as it is, but I just wanted to publicly thank you for all your efforts. They are appreciated more than you know.
  25. CIRERITA,thanks its allways fun to read things like that ,this site gets better and better
  26. Added

    That may be 2020 Mt Vernon St, Philadelphia which is already in the timeline. But I'll add April.

    Added (took out Union address from 1947 that must have been wrong since it shows up in 1949)

    Now this one raises some questions.

    Were there two medical procedures that he rolled into one "charity ward" incident?

    Because there is supporting evidence for 1955, including "I almost died last April" and the copy of the bill from the County of Los Angeles dated 1955...
  27. I don't think so there were two episodes:
    The total would be $128.16, which is exactly the sum quoted in the Dept. of Charities letter (May 1955.)

    So we know B. mentioned this in Aug. 1954, Burnett replied to him in Feb. 1955 and B. replied to Burnett in Feb. 1955 as well, and the Dept. of Charities letter makes reference to this 1954 episode... unless he was again nine days in the Charity Ward in April 1955 and he was charged $14.24 a day again.
  28. Seems odd they would bill him a year later is all. Assuming the (typed) date on the bill is accurate of course. Ha.

    But the letter evidence is compelling.
  29. I think that that might not have been the frist letter from the Dept. of Charities. My guess is that it was some sort of reminder after receiving a letter from Bukowski where he probably said he was broke or something like -that's the impresson I got after reading the Dept. of Charities letter.
    B. probably received the first letter from the Dept. of Charities sometime in 1954, then he wrote them back telling them he only had $15 to pay the hospital bill and was completely broke and would they please have mercy on him and accept those $15 as payment?, and then they wrote him again...

    ok, enough nonsense...
  30. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    And assuming that the date on Buk's letter to Burnett is accurate. It would be strange though if he wrote 1954 instead of 1955 by mistake...
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013

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