favorite passages

Angus

Founding member
hey,

it's been quite a while i don't drop by the site (busy at work). anyway, first of all, congratulations cirerita for your baby (beautiful name!), I truly hope the best for her (can you imagine being born in 2006??). I'm a 1971 guy...

but the idea of this thread is to put down some of our favorite buk's passages, like some of his great/funny/crazy lines.

how about the screamer from "the captain is out to lunch and the sailors have taken over the ship":

"FUCK GOD IN THE FACE! HE CAN'T DO THIS TO ME!"

this line always makes me laugh, actually it goes with a great draw by r. crumb.

cheers, angus
 

Charlie

Founding member
In Factotum, near the end where he is talking to some black guy, the black guy says, "My ambition is handicapped by my laziness."

I always felt this sort of "embodied my predicament", so to speak.
 

Angus

Founding member
that's a great one, charlie

by the way, when I said a "draw" by r. crumb, I meant a drawing.

forgive my cuban english.
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
the whole scene in post office where he is forced to rape a woman because she wont sign for a letter and she starts yelling RAPE! RAPE! RAPE!
that has always cracked me up. so many to remember though...
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I like the first line of Post Office; "It began as a mistake."
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
mjp,

the opening sentence originally read:
"It all began as a mistake", but B thought that wasn't simple ENOUGH, so he crossed out the word "all" so the simplicity would be as real as possible.

Just think of it.
"It all began as a mistake"
or
"It began as a mistake".

There's a difference there, don't you think?
 

mjp

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Yes, there is a difference. In meaning and originality. "It all began as a mistake," sounds like a cliche. Removing "all" gives you a more unique line and pinpoints that what he's about to tell you began as a mistake.

The next question is, naturally, where's the scan of the first page of the Post Office manuscript?! ;)
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
The little taylor was very happy...

"Jack, you mind telling my why you killed these people?"
"I disliked them."
"YOU CAN'T JUST GO AROUND KILLING PEOPLE YOU DISLIKE!"
"I DISLIKED THEM VERYYY MUCH."

LOL

classic
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
mjp,

As I said somewhere else, I didn't copy the non-poetry B archives. I read most of the unpublished fiction, but I didn't copy it. Same for letters, short stories, etc. With such a load, I'd have needed a few planes to get back to Spain.

But I took notes of a few interesting things, like that first sentence from P.O.
 

mjp

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Maybe we can go in covert groups and systematically copy everything, and create a non-university archive...heh.

I've been trying to get a copy of the original one hour Taylor Hackford film, "Bukowski" (you may know the edited 30 minute version as "Bukowski Reads Bukowski"), but the UCLA television and film archive won't even screen that version for you (the original owner, KCET, says they would, but they no longer have a copy). UCLA has it in a deep freeze limbo: Non-circulating Preservation Vault archival copy. Not available for viewing. Preservation copy.

They have four versions of the film, the only one available for screening is the 30 minute version. So what are they are preserving the original for? Some more fortunate future generation? Maybe in 50 years we'll be able to see it. Or maybe someone who works at the UCLA television and film archives will eventually show up here and liberate the original version for us. ;)

The original version of "Bukowski" was only shown once, November 25th, 1973. Apparently KCET received a lot of complaints about the language in the film, which is why it was edited before they repeated it (in 1974).
 
"the most beautiful face I ever saw was that of a
paperman, a newsboy, the old fellow so long gone
down the way
who sat at a stand at Beverly and Vermont,
his head, his face looked like what they
called him: The Frog Man. I saw him
often but we seldom spoke and
The Frog Man died suddenly
and was gone
but I will always remember him
and one night
I came out of a nearby bar,
he was there at his stand and
he looked at me and said, 'you and I, we know the same
things.'

I nodded, put both thumbs up, and that big Frog
face, the big Frog head lifted in the moonlight
and began laughing the most terrible and real
laughter I have ever
heard.

long gone along the way"

- the science of phisiognomy

That is one of my favorite Buk passages. The description of the frog man is surreally vivid. Most authors wouldn't be able to capture the moment so precisely.
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
mjp said:
I've been trying to get a copy of the original one hour Taylor Hackford film, "Bukowski" (you may know the edited 30 minute version as "Bukowski Reads Bukowski"), but the UCLA television and film archive won't even screen that version for you (the original owner, KCET, says they would, but they no longer have a copy). UCLA has it in a deep freeze limbo: Non-circulating Preservation Vault archival copy. Not available for viewing. Preservation copy.

They have four versions of the film, the only one available for screening is the 30 minute version. So what are they are preserving the original for? Some more fortunate future generation? Maybe in 50 years we'll be able to see it. Or maybe someone who works at the UCLA television and film archives will eventually show up here and liberate the original version for us. ;)

The original version of "Bukowski" was only shown once, November 25th, 1973. Apparently KCET received a lot of complaints about the language in the film, which is why it was edited before they repeated it (in 1974).
sounds like somebody needs to go on a top secret mission into UCLA and snag Hackford's film. I NOMINATE MJP!
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
mjp,

did u try UCS's archives? I watched the movie there, but I can't recall whether it was the 30m or the 60m one...
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
I just checked the UCS's files and they have this video stuff:
5 recording video Bukowski 1975 videocassette by Francis Hogan Brown 1994
5 recording video Bukowski at Bellevue videotape by Black Sparrow Press, 1970 1988
5 recording video Bukowski at Bellevue videotape by Black Sparrow Press, 1970 1988
5 recording video Bukowski KCET Show 3/4 inch video tape nd

I haven't seen the Francis Hogan Brown one; the KCET tape is there, but no length is indicated.
 

mjp

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The most common version is the 30 minute "Bukowski Reads Bukowski" version, so odds are that's what USC has. But if I ever get over there I'll check.
 
"Well John, I said, they busted my ass - caught me asleep in the ladies' crapper" (approx.). (Factotum).

(This is in the wrong place.)
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Yes, there is a difference. In meaning and originality. "It all began as a mistake," sounds like a cliche. Removing "all" gives you a more unique line and pinpoints that what he's about to tell you began as a mistake.

The next question is, naturally, where's the scan of the first page of the Post Office manuscript?! ;)

mjp,
if you have Bukowski in Pictures (softcover), check page 84.
 
Does anyone know the story where Chinaski pushes the jock into oncoming traffic and when he bends down to look at him says:
He's fucked, thought Harry (or Hank?), and I'm fucked. We're all just fucked in different ways. There's no truth, there's nothing real, there's nothing.
I forget which story this is from but I remember the impact very well. Up to this point the story didn't seem much at all - then wham! I get the same thing from the Frog Man poem mentioned above.
 

bright

Over 100 posts
my favorite passage from buk is in my sig,its from a letter.

..but i also like the passage, in postOffice i think,where hank goes in the backyard and confronts the 2 birds ,that his first wife bought, and who are making noise all the time,with the world outside their cage.

paraphrasing:

...the second bird took much longer to decide.
he walked around in his cage,trying to think in his stupid ,tiny head.
"ok,thats my cage,my home, theres my foodbox...but whats that? the cagedoor is open and behind it the whole sky,the whole sky..."
a tough decision,everyone had to take,birds,humans...
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
I have many favorite Buk passages. Here is one I've always liked:

"Hospitals and jails an whores: these are the universities of life. I've got several degrees. Call me Mr."

- from "Confessions of a man insane enough to live with beasts." ("South of no north")
 
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One of my favorites:

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do
you?
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
An Evil Town:

'We want to help you, Mr Evans. I believe we've found a piece of your mind. Would you like it back?'

'Dear Mother:
This is an evil twon. The Devil is in control. Sex is everywhere and it is not being used as an instrument of Beauty as God meant it to be, but as an instrument of Evil. Yes, it has most certainly fallen into the devil's hands, into Evil hands. Young girls are forced to drink gin, then they are deflowered by these beasts and forced into houses of prostitution. It is terrible. It is unbelievable. My heart is torn...'


---

Just some parts from a short story/

i'm sure many of us could be hear all day
quoting quality sections from bukowskis
writing
 

Andreas

Over 100 posts
Robert went to the closet, took the overcoat off Stella and lifted her out of the closet.
"What's that?" asked Brenda, "what's that?"
"A mannequin."
"A mannequin? You mean?..."
"I mean, I'm in love with her."
"Oh, my god! You mean? That thing? That thing?"
"Yes."
"You love that thing more than me? That hunk of celluloid, or whatever the shit she's made of?
You mean you love that thing more than me?"
"Yes."
"I suppose you take it to bed with you? I suppose you do things to...with that thing?"
"Yes."
"Oh..."
Then Brenda really screamed. She just stood there and screamed.

(from Love For $17.50)
 

BUKFAN78

Over 100 posts
"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing"

"If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence"

"so many women want to save the world but can't keep their own kitchens straight"

and that scene from Post Office (I think)
where the company stooge is brought in to give them this spiel about how delivering the mail is about doing you're part to defeat the Communists. So hilarious the way Buk describes it!
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
Over 500 posts
It's impossible to name a favourite passage from everything, but I've been re-reading "The Captain is out to lunch..." there are so many great lines in there
and I really love this:

I’m not in a contest with anybody, have no thoughts about immortality, don’t give a damn about it. It’s the ACTION while you’re alive. The gate springing open in the sunlight, the horses plunging through the light, all the jocks, brave little devils in their bright silks, going for it, doing it. The glory is in the motion and the dare.
Death be damned. It’s today and today and today. Yes.


Beautiful and vivid and that last line, could almost be Shakespeare :wb:

Bukowski, Charles (2009-03-17). The Captain is Out to Lunch (Kindle Locations 770-772). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
 

Purple Stickpin

Over 5000 posts
I know that I've posted this here somewhere, but I need typing practice. From Chapter 44 of Factotum:

"You married, Manny?"
"No way."
"Women?"
"Sometimes. But it never lasts."
"What's the problem?"
"A woman is a full time job. You have to choose your profession."
"I suppose there is an emotional drain."
"Physical too. They want to fuck night and day."
"Get one you like to fuck."
"Yes, but if you drink or gamble they think it's a put-down of their love."
"Get one who likes to drink, gamble and fuck."
"Who wants a woman like that?"

Delivered perfectly as if you're right there in the car gunning for the opening race at the track. Not all track writing is actually about the track.

Another line that always makes me laugh is from Women: after getting tangled in the phone cord and cutting his leg on the bedframe, Buk imagines the advantages in the possible newspaper headline: Chinaski is, without a doubt, the best one-legged poet in the world.
 
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