In how many languages was Bukowski translated ? (1 Viewer)


Reaper Crew
You're welcome!
Feel free to ask whatever you like about these publications.

There are more Bukowski books translated in Serbian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Bosnian (basically it's all the same language
), but since I started buying originals and stopped checking the local bookstores (that became few and far between) I haven't paid much attention to the latest publications. I remember seeing the translations of Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook and Absence of the Hero soon after those books were published by City Lights. Flavio Rigonat (a translator and a publisher of Bukowski) was always fast to react.
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Reaper Crew
Thanks, Ponder.

I hope one day we'll have info & pics of most of his translated stuff from all around the world in this thread.
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"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
That would be an interesting project indeed.

A fairly new (big) publisher called Lubowski, (not such an original name for a publishing house) has bought the rights
to publish Buk in Dutch. The former publisher (the busy bee) gave up to keep the rights.
Lebowski said, (the Dutch Lubowski, geez) that they will publish 5 titles a year. So that means a lot of
poetry books. Not much poetry has been translated in Dutch ad what they translated is not so good.
You MUST READ Bukowski poetry in English. An alternative doesn't exist.
An old Dutch highly respected translator said in the newspaper that it was very easy to translate The Pleasures of the Damned.
What a naive, dumb fool.

Not many books Buk Books have been translated in Dutch.
It started in 1970 (quite early) with a small poem collection. A limited edition of 250 copies:
Drunken Mircales & Other Sacrifies.


I believe in 1976 the first edition Post Office appeared.
Many reprints followed. Can't find the cover of the first edition at the moment.


Below are all the other translations:

hollywood dutch.JPG

Hollywood, first print - no further editions.


First print, no reprints.


Dozens of reprints.


First edition only.


Several reprints.


No reprints, (to my surprise.) Good cover.


many reprints.

pulp vert.JPG

one or two reprints.


Release was last year or in '12
Not to belabor a deeply esoteric point (who am I kidding, I tend to belabor everything), but where's the masculine definite article in "de?" I was taught that de la means "of" for a feminine noun and de le becomes "du" for a masculine noun such as vin.

I'd say that this is very confusing, but the English language is riddled with difficulties such as to, too, two and there, their, they're, ad infinitum. But at least we spell them differently!
Hi there.
Two of my brazilian Buk's. I like the translation... but I´m going for the originals right now. Well... I´m a writer myself.
Dream of translating some unseen work in portuguese language.
I have two or three more brazilian books...but I´m a bit drunk to search for them right now.

Those are
yellow one: "Notes from a dirty old man"
green one: "Erections, ejaculations, exhibitions and general tales of ordinary madness"

See ya... and great place, by the way.

The whole issue of translations is tricky. I have five translations of my favorite novel, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, and while they differ, the message is fairly consistent. Whether the message is exactly what Dostoevsky meant is not clear to me.

But translating Bukowski, or any 50s/60s/70s poetry, or any poetry, for that matter, is rife with difficulties. How do you capture the nuance, the colloquial, the anger, the despair, the snarling wife on the balustrade?
I´ve read Crime and Punishment in a brazilian edition that had no translating credits.(?!) Later I found that this particular Publisher was sued for plagiarism and that they took the work of an old translator that is not in the same league as new ones available. After this experience, I´m a bit more demanding now. I still have to find the time to read it again, now through somebody else's lenses.

Translating is a tricky thing. I always try to choose well known - and good - brazilian writers that had the guts to do it. One of my favourite all time novels "Les Travailleurs de la Mer" (Victor Hugo) was translated into portuguese by our arguably best writer, Machado de Assis. It's a fantastic piece of work.

Oddly enough, I was just playing around trying to translate Buk's "Crime and Punishment", that I´ve found in the manuscripts section. Things got tricky when it came to the "let's get our legs under us" line, as I assume it has something to do with horse racing. So i was searching for some brazilian slangs in horse racing and actually found one that suits the poem, I think.
Does that expression means something in the likes of "straighten up" or, sorry, "get your shit together"?
Yeah, possibly reinterpreting or reimagining are better words. Cause every language has it's spirit and something always get lost in translation.
Cause every language has it's spirit and something always get lost in translation.
I think the real problem is that, not only does something get lost in translation, something also gets added. As to "let's get our legs under us," as mjp posted, regrouping is one meaning, but as you posted, "getting our shit together" is also a reasonable interpretation. But again, with translation, adding an expletive when one was not used in the original line, or removing an expletive when translating a line is a problem. It changes the urgency of the line, even if it sort of means the same thing.


Founding member
Bukowski poetry collections were published in Iran back in the late 90s. I had some email correspondence with the guy who translated them. So "for the first time" may not exactly be accurate.


“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Most Buk covers are okay. I like the look of the upcoming anthology Essential Bukowski. This thread got me searching and I saw this Spanish ed that I like a lot.

here are mine, in brazil, but there are more published in here.

Title here - how it would be in english - original - publisher
Numa fria - On trouble (?) - Hot Water Music - L&PM Pocket
O amor é um cão dos diabos - same as original - Love is a dog from hell - L&PM Pocket
Escrever para não enloquecer - Write to not go mad (?) - On writing - L&PM Editores
O capitão saiu para o almoço e os marinheiros tomaram conta do navio - same as original - Captain is out to lunch and the sailors have taken the ship - L&PM Pocket
maldito deus arrancando esses poemas de minha cabeça - damn god ripping these poems off my head - ***this is a antology put together by the brazilian poet Fernando Koproski from 16 buk's books** - 7Letras
Mulheres - same as original - Women - L&PM Pocket
Textos autobiográficos - Autobiographical texts - Run With the Hunted: a Charles Bukowski Reader - L&PM Pocket
Factótum - Factótum - Factotum - L&PM Pocket

Most of the texts are translated by the same person, Pedro Gonzaga. However, it's a completely different experience reading Buk's on original.

As you guys were saying, translating is always tricky. I actually wrote an essay about that for the UN Contest on muntilingual abilities and global citizens, using the brazilian writer João Guimarães Rosa as an example for his work and his use of language, known for its neologisms and spoken portuguese. My essay wasnt the winner one, so what do I know? :p

Nevertheless some titles in portuguese are quite funny if you think about the original.


the Normandie poster, but its credited to a brazilian painter in my copy, which makes no sense.

Post Office is also translated for PT-BR under the title Cartas na Rua (Letters on the street).


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