Height of literary success

zobraks

Moderator
Q: When was Bukowski at the peak of his career/craft?
A: In 1981 for sure: even I had started to read him then.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mjp

Johannes

Founding member
To me it's 1958-1978.

When he started working at the Post Office, hist craft started exploding. He found his voice and 'became' the Bukowski we know during the 60s. Then he was able to quit the job and his productivity, which had always been astounding, doubled in the 70s. It was also the period he was the most loose and wild in his writing, including the letters.
 
Last edited:

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
the peak of his career/craft
Career and craft are two different things.

That article said 1981 was "the height of his literary success," but I think the writer just needed to say something about 1981 and he didn't know anything so he threw that in. In 1987 Barfly, Crazy Love, and The Charles Bukowski Tapes all came out. I don't think he was ever any more high profile than he was at that time. Does being high profile make you a success? Movies aren't "literary success," but most people probably think having your book turned into a movie is the height of wonderfulness.

The height of his literary success, financially, was probably, as he predicted, after he died. You now, whatever literary success is. Bukowski probably felt literary success when he pulled the first copies of Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail out of the box in 1960.

"Success" is all about what the rest of the world sees in you anyway, not what you see in yourself.
 
Career and craft are two different things.
Not if you consider both related.

Height of literary success is a strange and abstract term, the title of the thread is just an imitation of the mentioned article. But I still don‘t know what these words are supposed to mean, maybe something monetarily. Therefore the career/craft question. Career, as I understand it, doesn‘t have to be connected with success or making money.
Anyway, thanks for your answers so far.
 
Last edited:

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
i guess a less ambiguous way to put it would be something like what time period did he do his strongest work.

but that's a very subjective question. also he wrote work that is considered classic or strongest throughout his entire
lifespan - starting from around when johannes said, 58ish.

as far as consistently strong stuff i'd agree with hooch and johannes.

the stuff he wrote after he died though, i'd say there was a big drop in quality...
 
  • Like
Reactions: mjp

Pogue Mahone

Officials say drugs may have played a part
When he was sick in the late 80s, his writing was failing as bad as his health. "The Last Night of the Earth Poems" was published a few years later and was one of his best. The caveat being, some of those poems were written much earlier.
 
Top