JOHN FANTE: a conversation with Ben Pleasants (1 Viewer)


"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
Ben recorded these conversations over thirty years ago.
They've never been published. This is a small section from those talks in 1979.
125 numbered copies.

john fante conversation with ben pleasants.jpg
Yeah there was that one piece for the LA Times (Stories of Irony From the Hand of John Fante July 8 '79) and that's all...

I'll have to look into this, thanks for the heads up.
Pleasants on Fante 2008


Ben Pleasants "The Bunker Hill Novels: Fante, Bukowski and Miles"
Special Guest M.C.: Dr. Joseph O'Neill
ABOUT THE PROGRAM: from Ben Pleasants:

My presentation at KHC in October will contain SECRET TAPES from John Fante and Charles Bukowski on the Bunker Hill Novels including John Fante's novels Ask The Dust & Dream From Bunker Hill along with Bukowski's childhood novel Ham On Rye. The major stress, however, will be on the UNKNOWN novel of Richard Miles, The Moonbathers. There is a major piece coming out in August from Kent, UK on that. "Swimming to Cassavetes" (contained in 3 AM Magazine) suggests the new play I am working on now, subtitled "Hollywood Ghosts." I think this all ties in with your October film theme.


Ben Pleasants is a Los Angeles based novelist, playwright, poet, literary critic, and renown biographer of "Meat-Poet" Charles Bukowski.

Among Ben's plays are: Contentious Minds: The Mary McCarthy/ Lillian Hellman Affair, and The Hemingway/Dos Passos Wars: A play in two acts.

His other works include: Visceral Bukowski: Inside The Sniper Landscape Of L.A. Writers (with Digby Diehl); A Gin-Pissing-Raw-Meat-Dual-Carburetor-V8-Son-of-a-Bitch from Los Angeles: Collected Poems, 1983-2002 (a collection of poetry by Dan Fante, Joyce Fante, Michael Napper, and Ben Pleasants); 53 Stations of the Tokaido; Airmail from oblivion: [poems] (Earth poet series; EB2), and a recently published limited edition monograph entitled Rexroth, Bukowski and the Politics of Literature (The Beat Scene Press, Coventry, England 2007), available on-line at 3 AM Magazine.

His other works include: ... A Gin-Pissing-Raw-Meat-Dual-Carburetor-V8-Son-of-a-Bitch from Los Angeles: Collected Poems, 1983-2002 (a collection of poetry by Dan Fante, Joyce Fante, Michael Napper, and Ben Pleasants)..

You can't just write a 2 page introduction to Dan Fante's book and then count that as one of your books.
TOP Secret, I'm sure.

I've heard rumblings about dealing with Pleasants (and it seems his name can at times be... inaccurate), but I'm glad someone was able to get SOMEthing from these tapes out of 'im.
"Recently, Beat Scene published a tiny section of the second tape, which makes what I did seem like something of no importance. Kevin Ring never sent me the text they had assembled until it was in print. It was a complete waste of time.

Since I have already dealt with a group of gangster academics who did the same thing years ago..."

Yeah man, Kevin Ring: LITERARY GANGSTER!

That Pleasants, what a prince.
Well, to become a gangster I think you have to kill someone, or at least give them a beat, to become a literary gangster I guess you need to beat up a librarian, or smash a kindle.
The GANGSTER ACADEMICS are a shadowy cabal that keeps superior talents like Pleasants down. You know, they are the reason these guys never succeed.

Every writer who fails is being held back by the system. Didn't you know that? Get with it, man. The system can't handle their truth.

But I'll smash a Kindle just for fun.
But doesn't he put HIMSELF out of the system? Whatever, I'm bringing logic to a knife fight...

And I'll join you on the Kindle smashing run...
I realise this is a pretty old thread but I was reminded of Ben Pleasants just this morning when he sent me an email after a long gap of a few years. I was pretty surprised to hear from him after he was very abusive and insulting over the chapbook I did of an excerpt from his interview with John Fante a few years ago. Part of a series that runs to 40 issues now, a number of them relating to Buk. Ben simply didn't like the extract that was chosen, he had given me a free hand to choose any section, which I deliberated over and then selected. I didn't understand his abuse, both in a letter and an email. We had exchanged correspondence for a few years prior to that very amicably.
I've just read comments, attributed to him, calling me a 'literary gangster.' How low can you go? What do they call that 'being a keyboard warrior?'
I haven't killed anyone and don't own a Kindle. It's a nice little modest chapbook. Ben did the interview, I didn't change a word. He's not very nice is he? And yet he sends me an email just today, asking to be his friend on something. Very odd.
Life goes on.
I'll still read and enjoy Buk. He's in the new Beat Scene.

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