last book?

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
Just finished reading buk's latest (Come on In!) and noticed in the bio that it doesn't say "in the years to come, Ecco will continue to publish...", it just said that all of his books have now been translated into, etc.
Could it be that the well has run dry? Anyone know any details, or did Ecco just change its blurb to fool with me.
 

mjp

Founding member
I heard a few years ago, when Black Sparrow was still publishing the books, that Martin had six collections worth of material left. That would seem about right then if this latest was the last. They have to stop at some point.
 

Battaglia

Founding member
I had begun to think, right after "What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire", that maybe the cannon was getting a bit full, and we were verging on overkill. As it is, the sheer volume of books in print dwarfs that of most published writers.

I do, however, remember reading somewhere that there are several short stories and letters that have not yet been published; that the poetry would be exhausted first, then one more book of letters, and then the stories. My hope is that there is a "saving the best for last" effort being employed by someone with a sense of how to end the run properly: With a bang.

I really wouldn't mind seeing a collection of all of Buk's short stories, as well as a massive anthology of his best poems, set up chronologically - not by subject matter, but by period written. Edited by someone other than John Martin; it just seems like it's time for Bukowski to evolve through new blood. I expected a kind of re-energizing from Ecco, but haven't really seen it or felt it.
 

mjp

Founding member
I don't think ECCO meant to re-energize anything. Their handling of Bukowski has been lackluster at best. Have you seen the early runs of the reprinted Black Sparrow books? The covers looked like someone had done a print run from a colored xerox or something. Really, really bad. Say what you will about Martin, he always made a nice looking product.

Based on what they've done so far I doubt anyone with "a sense of how to end the run properly" will get within a mile of the project. If they go for another new release it will likely be edited by Martin, if he's alive. Is Come on In! edited by Martin? I haven't seen it yet...

Agreed that a collection of short stories would be nice. They are in much shorter supply though, but a really nice volume could be made from the best of them.
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Moderator
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Come On In! was edited by Martin.
I've always thought one of the reasons Bukowski was never more highly regarded as a poet was due to the fact that he was over- published. Too many poems on the same subjects, etc.
Not that it bothered me, I'd read them anyway.
I'd be happy to see another volume of letters, I enjoy reading his correspondence.
 

mjp

Founding member
The letters are good, and I know there are tons of them unpublished. Problem is collecting/editing I guess. Just read The Bukowski/Purdy Letters, and it's a little skimpy compared to the BS letter collections. I'm glad I didn't pay the $100 it fetches on the rare book sites.

Over-published -- that never occurred to me, since I was always ready for more, but it's an interesting thought.

It's worth noting that early on, in the late 50's/early 60's, Bukowski didn't have the staggering output that he worked up to after he was able to quit the post office. Crucifix in a Deathhand, for example, is pretty much his entire output for a year and a half, and that's only 53 poems. He would write 53 (keepers) in a couple of months during the 70's and 80's.

That leads to the question of what was his actual output, which is probably a subject for another thread...
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
I'd like to see a reprint of Crucifix in a Deathhand. Aren't there several poems there that have never been published elsewehere? And what about Flower Fist and bestial wale? (spell? wail? Kurt Weil?)

Hey! How do you get italics into these messages?
OK, found it --> went to advanced post...
 

mjp

Founding member
A lot of Crucifix wasn't reprinted elsewhere, but even some of it that was showed up in things like the Penguin Modern Poets series, which isn't super-rare, but still not that easy to come by.

Only two poems in Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail weren't reprinted in BS collections; I Taste the Sweet Ashes of Your Death and Some Notes of Dr. Klarstein.

It might be interesting to do scans of It Catches and Crucifix and make those available. I'll have to see what I can do. Those books are kind of fragile (though my copy of It Catches is library bound, so that could be scanned). If you open any of the Webb's books too far the glue snaps and the spine cracks. The old copies of The Outsider are particularly prone to coming unglued.

That's something I'll put on the list for the database rewrite - flagging things that don't appear anywhere else. There's a lot of things I want to improve about that database. I built it when I barely had a grasp of php/MySQL. Not like I'm a guru or anything now, but I know I can make it a lot better than it is. Just need to find the time.
 

cirerita

Founding member
when I talked to Martin back in 2001 he said the unpublished short stories weren't good enough to be published, which is kinda true. Same for the essays and intros for other writers. I have copies of all the intros and some of them are true Bukowski stuff! Good readings, anyway.
 

mjp

Founding member
Martin had his own reasons for guarding the gate to unpublished Bukowski material, and if you ever questioned him on it, he went back to the same argument; "It isn't good enough to be published."

Which is interesting considering that the majority of the material Martin considers unpublishable was published in the hundreds (thousands?) of literary mags that Bukowski sent them to.

Martin is a character and probably deserves his own forum here. He's said some outrageous things to me, so I can only assume there are a million stories about him out there.

Once you start looking at the manuscripts you can see his hand at work in the final published product, and sometimes his changes are just weird. In Panasonic in the night torn mad with footsteps he changes cockroaches to spiders - why? Did cockroaches scare him? (Original version here: http://bukowski.net/database/display_man.php?show=poem1977-12-21-panasonic.jpg)

There are a lot of interesting things that come up when you look at a lot of poem manuscripts, and not just about Martin.
 

cirerita

Founding member
well, I've read most of the unpublised short-stories (I actually have copies somewhere in my B files) and, honestly, most of them are not half as good as the published ones. I think Martin was right there.

poems are a different issue. there are many, many good poems which remain unpublished. too bad, really. I once suggested Martin to publish "Rimbaud Be Damned: I Have Withstood 99,000 Seasons In Hell And I Still Look Down Into This Glass Wondering, Wondering," which Richmond published back in 1965 in the Earth zine, and Martin said he read the poem, thought it was good but too long to be published!
well...
 

mjp

Founding member
How is it you've read "most of the unpublished short stories"? What's your connection? Who you is? Fess up.
 

cirerita

Founding member
maybe because I spent almost three months researching into B's ouvre back in 2001 in UCSB Special Collection Department? I'm Spanish, though, and I do live in Spain, near Barcelona.

you might remember that year, right? I came back to Spain after 9/11 and I carried almost 4000-5000 photocopies of B material and I was worried they might open up my suitcases and consider me a nut or something! actually, I was lucky enough and they didn't inspect my luggage.

right now all these babies are sitting behind my back. it's my little "treasure" because there are hundreds of rarities and (almost) never-seen-before items.

I also had the chance to interview a lot of Bukowski related people while doing the research. I can't recall all of them, but big John Thomas was there (he died shortly after that), Steve Richmond, John Martin, Franceye, Linda (the first one), N. Cherkovsky, Harold Norse, A. Menebroker, D. Blazek, G. Locklin and a few others.

I certainly took advantage of that trip to the US!
 

mjp

Founding member
I see. Is Martin the main source of the material in that collection? I doubt he would hand over everything, though that would be quite a resource if he did.

Linda has copies of everything he sent to Martin, so there's quite a stash sitting in their house on the other side of town. I read that Dulligan (sp?) the guy who did Born into This was setting up a Bukowski "museum" with Linda, but I don't know if anything ever came of that...
 

cirerita

Founding member
yep, there was some sort of Bukowski museum project going on when I was there. Locklin explained it to me over a bowl of spaghetti somewhere in L.A.!!!

The first bulk of B material sold to the UCSB was sold by B himself in 1970 or 1971 for $5000. He was "on the hustle" and needed the money. That covers pretty much everything from 1944 to 1970, inclunding the Matrix and Story magazines. Everything's there. The most valuable items are kept in the vaults. Those are the copies originally owned by B. Great stuff. After that everthing becomes sort of blurry and most of the material was sold by Martin and other people I can't recall right now. Very interesting unpublished letters, as well.
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
cirerita said:
I also had the chance to interview a lot of Bukowski related people while doing the research. I can't recall all of them, but big John Thomas was there (he died shortly after that), Steve Richmond, John Martin, Franceye, Linda (the first one), N. Cherkovsky, Harold Norse, A. Menebroker, D. Blazek, G. Locklin and a few others

What about Joan Jobe Smith? She received praise from Buk on her poetry. Also, she is the author of Bukowski Boulevard A book of poems.
 

cirerita

Founding member
yes, I did interview her at ther place. very nice woman. I got her on videotape! at the time she was working on issue n°1 of the Bukowski Journal and I had written a short rambling approach on B letters and she liked so much she said she would publish it in issue n°2. but then I came back to Spain and kind of forgot everything. she sent an email asking me to correct the text for typos, etc., I said "sure!", but then I forgot again and never sat down to email her the corrected text. a pity!
 
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HenryChinaski

Founding member
MAN...you're crazy. ahahhaahhah ID BE KICKING MYSELF IN THE ASS RIGHT NOW. I sent her a poem about Buk for Bukowski Review #4 but sadly the deadline had passed. And #4 will be the last issue. They are ceasing publication of the Buk Review. Thats a pitty.

wonder if you could that footage of Joan Jobe Smith up here on the forum?
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over-published -- that never occurred to me, since I was always ready for more, but it's an interesting thought.

Had Bukowski been his own editor, he'd have published many more books. It was Martin the one who restrained him. In many unpublished letters, B seems rather angry because Martin takes soooo long to publish some of his books, and Martin's answer is always the same: "Hank, we don't want to flood the market with your stuff," or something along those lines.

In this case, I think Martin did the right thing. Writers are not the best judges of their own material and they would publish virtually everything they could.
 

mjp

Founding member
cirerita said:
Writers are not the best judges of their own material and they would publish virtually everything they could.
Same goes for some musicians. Ah, yes...Bukowski and Prince, both too prolific for their time. ;)
 
A lot of CrucifixIt might be interesting to do scans of It Catches and Crucifix and make those available. I'll have to see what I can do. Those books are kind of fragile (though my copy of It Catches is library bound, so that could be scanned). If you open any of the Webb's books too far the glue snaps and the spine cracks. The old copies of The Outsider are particularly prone to coming unglued.

If you're worried about the fragility of the books, why not just type them? If the poems are as good as it gets, perhaps they should hold off and do up the fragments. I've heard about novels that werent completed, I'm sure of short stories and false starts, great oneliners, etc. You could probably get a good big ass volume out of it.
Did Buk ever keep a journal?
 

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