Loving and Hating Charles Bukowski by Linda King - Available Now

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
The book is self published.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
Mark: yes, the book was very poorly edited. Whoever did it wasn't up to the task. Like you say, even the back cover blurb has mistakes. Like changes back and forth in tense. The book is riddled with errors and the layout is goofy, with big random spaces between paragraphs for no reason. It looks like it is probably a print on demand, do it yourself publication, but I don't know that for a fact. That said, there is, for some readers, interesting content. I'm only half way through the book, so I don't know what all she addresses, but she does get into Bukowski's habits and attitude towards the craft of writing, his social interactions with people -- can't recall if she talks about Marina. I really wish a good publisher had picked this up and a professional editor had forced her to fix the mistakes and given her "a long list to investigate" covering anything she's too silent on. But as-is, for me, it's a valuable document. Many readers are put off by the sloppiness, and some don't find her interesting, or find her narrative voice annoying.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
I'm finally getting to the part where she talks about the publication of Me and Your Sometimes Love Poems, then breaking up with Bukowski and moving to Utah, then getting a copy of the newly published Erections, Ejaculations etc., in the mail. Her chronology doesn't match what I remember. She says she was living at DeLongpre courts when Me and Your came out. I went to what I thought was Linda King's house for the publication party for the book. It was a suburban ranch style house, not DeLongpre. Then, she says, she moved to Utah. Then Erections came out. All this in April and May 1972. The book I had Bukowski sign was Erections, and she was sitting at his side, at a bar in Long Beach. She wasn't in Utah. Apparently it's jumbled in her memory. Easy to do when you are writing about events of many years ago. I suspect I have garbled the chronology in my own writing about Bukowski. Does anyone know what months those two books were published?
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Her chronology is off in several places, which is odd, considering that it looks like they used the timeline here for a lot of things (when she mentions exact dates of readings, etc.).

Me And Your Sometimes Love Poems is dated 1972, but Bukowski moved to her house in Silver Lake in February of 1973. According to other accounts of the "collating party," I suspect your memory is correct and the book wasn't actually completed until early 1973.
 
It would be very interesting if someone on this board that Linda trusted could wade in and edit a revised and expanded edition that would then be presented to a real publisher. I'm really surprised she doesn't have an offer from a real house, even a respectable small press. If you think of the important women in Buk's life, Linda quickly come to mind. Is Linda Lee blocking this in some way? Does she have that kind of power? I see a lot of potential for a revised edition that could go mainstream.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
mjp: Silver Lake it was -- thanks for that, and the 1973 date. Now that you've given me the name, I do remember it being Silver Lake where the publication party was held. I didn't know Bukowski was living there with her. My own memories are so jumbled I want to make a timeline of the period during which I saw Bukowski. I distrust some of the things I seem to remember. Not that they didn't happen, but when, in what order. With hard facts like publication dates, dates on letters, etc., I may be able to get a semi-correct version. Not that it will matter much to anyone but me, but I'd like to have it straight in my mind.
[...] Is Linda Lee blocking this in some way? Does she have that kind of power? [...]
I imagine Linda Lee does not want Linda King's memoir to get wide circulation, and it wouldn't surprise me if some small press editors would stay away from the project for that reason.

I checked my second edition of Me And Your Sometimes Love Poems and in it Linda says the first edition of 50 copies was published in 1971 (not 72 or 73), while she was living in one of the DeLongpre Court apartments and Bukowski was in another. This is sheer conjecture, but maybe the poems were written and collected in 71/early 72, but not actually published until early 73 when Bukowski moved in with her at the Silver Lake house. By the way, here's a photo of that house from the Sounes photo book.

That photo, with the front entrance on the right up a high staircase, doesn't look right to me. I recall the entrance being either in the center or on the left, with windows on the right, but hell, I very well may be wrong. If that isn't the house, then the collation / publication party must have been at someone else's place, but I do remember it being Linda's house, so I'm confused as usual. I probably am not remembering it as it was, visually.

Edited to add: Doing a Google Earth street view on the address, I see there is not only a stairway and entrance on the right, over the garage, but also a walkway with less steep stairs and possibly a door on the left side. Hard to tell with all the vegetation, but I may be remembering it correctly.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
It would be very interesting if someone on this board that Linda trusted could wade in and edit a revised and expanded edition that would then be presented to a real publisher.
I think it requires more than an edit. I also seem to recall that a small press was interested in it years ago. I don't know what happened to that deal, but from what I've heard, Linda and/or her son seem to have an inflated idea of the monetary value of the story.
I imagine Linda Lee does not want Linda King's memoir to get wide circulation, and it wouldn't surprise me if some small press editors would stay away from the project for that reason.
You're probably right, but I honestly don't understand why anyone would be concerned with what Linda Bukowski wants at this point. She isn't about to hand over any significant body of unpublished work to a small press to publish as a collection (though ironically that's the only way we'd ever get anything close to the actual work), so why everyone wants to curry favor with her is a mystery to me.

I would assume that the sticking point with King's book would be Bukowski's letters - the estate/publisher could deny use of those - and they are the only redeeming value of the book as it stands.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
I've been wondering how long it'll be before Linda Lee objects to the letters. There are many of them, quoted at length, and they are damned good letters.
 
I think it requires more than an edit. I also seem to recall that a small press was interested in it years ago. I don't know what happened to that deal, but from what I've heard, Linda and/or her son seem to have an inflated idea of the monetary value of the story.
I agree that it needs more than an edit and the addition of the letters would make it an important book, instead of a marginal one. Linda Lee is sitting comfortably on a mountain of Buk's writings. The decent thing to for her to do is let to Linda King have ownership of the letters that were sent to her. This reminds me of when Sir Richard Burton (the explorer) died and his wife burned all of his personal diaries because they contained some sexual content. Seems to be a lot of sexual jealousy in the air with this Linda King and Linda Lee stuff.

Also, if Linda and her son think the manuscript is worth more than they've been offered, then strike a decent percentage deal with a publisher and let the marketplace prove them right.
The disfunction may be deep all around.
 

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Over 1000 posts
I've been wondering how long it'll be before Linda Lee objects to the letters. There are many of them, quoted at length, and they are damned good letters.
After King announced her intentions to sell the letters in 2007, she said, lawyers from Bukowski's estate warned her that the letters weren't hers to sell, citing intellectual property laws that entitle the author's estate to all "unpublished works."
But the estate decided not to pursue the matter in the courts. Later that year, King took the letters to San Francisco's PBA Galleries, which sold them to a private collector.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Charles-Bukowski-love-letters-sold-maybe-more-3286664.php#ixzz2DLeJsf2H
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
King has sold 60 love letters that Bukowski wrote to her, fetching $69,000 at a San Francisco auction house [...] she said she received $25,000...

Ah, auction houses and booksellers! Those are bigger profit margins (for doing virtually nothing) than the Wall Street guys take.

"I had a dream once that I had a Bukowski rug on the floor, and each time I got broke, all I had to do was reach into the mouth and some money would come out of the rug - the Bukowski rug."

I guess a lot of people share that dream.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
Over 1000 posts
King has sold 60 love letters that Bukowski wrote to her, fetching $69,000 at a San Francisco auction house [...] she said she received $25,000...

Ah, auction houses and booksellers! Those are bigger profit margins (for doing virtually nothing) than the Wall Street guys take.
is that standard commission rate???

that's worse that art galleries, and they almost do something...
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
After King announced her intentions to sell the letters in 2007, she said, lawyers from Bukowski's estate warned her that the letters weren't hers to sell, citing intellectual property laws that entitle the author's estate to all "unpublished works."
But the estate decided not to pursue the matter in the courts. [...]
I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me the estate would only own the content of the letters, as intellectual property, but not the physical letters that were sent to Linda. Those would be hers to sell, with no publication rights attached. The estate could block publication, but not sale of the physical letters.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
couldn't the estate sue her for selling the book as-is with the letters included? i don't know that they would, given that it is not being widely circulated, but it seems like they've shut down smaller publications from less prominent figures in the past (like amber o'neil's book)... or maybe that was due to john martin's vigilance during the black sparrow days.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
It seems they could, but they'd probably start with a letter from their lawyer demanding she stop selling the book, as with Amber. If that happens, and Linda's book goes o.p., it's going to turn into a $200 book overnight.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
it seems like they've shut down smaller publications from less prominent figures in the past (like amber o'neil's book)...
I think if you look at the cases where people have claimed that BSP tried to block their publications you'll find that no actual blocking ever happened.

Amber's book could be sold, she just chooses not to sell it. Every copy of Going Modern was sold. The only person who ever responded to Martin's disapproval in a concrete way was Johnny Brewton, who chopped up (most of) his run of one Bukowski broadside and sent the pieces to Martin. Which, to me, smacks more of a publicity stunt than anything. A good one, for sure.

Otherwise what has Martin or BSP ever stopped? It seems like if you published something that infringed, Martin would express his disapproval, and that's about it.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
i thought the story was that he told amber she had to rip the letters out or she'd get sued?
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Not at all. In essence he said, "You've been a very bad girl," and then went on to say it was okay to sell the books, but "insisted" that she not print any more (after the first 500). The ripping out of the letters is completely Amber's choice.

I've been given excerpts of the letter Martin wrote to Amber about it, and it doesn't appear that he was a dick about it at all. And he certainly never threatened her with a law suit or in any other way.

The story around Going Modern is very similar. But rather than sit on the copies of that book, like Amber did, that publisher sold them "out the back door" to book dealers (who all benefited from the "suppression" story by inflating the price on what was otherwise a very unremarkable book).
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
I didn't know Martin told Amber it was okay to sell out the edition but not to reprint. Just hearing from him must have frightened her into suppressing the book herself. I think it was me who suggested she rip out the letters and sell the books that way just so the text was available.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
It could have been you, yes. Whoever it was, I had just about convinced her to sell them intact when everyone jumped in and said they would buy it with the letters pages removed.

It was like spending half the day negotiating a deal on a new car and then having your cousin walk up and offer to pay the full new car sticker price (in cash) for the car at the back of the lot that was salvaged from the bottom of a river.
;)
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
Well, damn. If I'd have known about the deal, I would have shut up. Shutting up seems to be my best option in most situations.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
Maybe they did'nt print all that many copies. I'm sure they'll just print some more.
It's still available on English Amazon.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Over 1000 posts
Sunday, March 3rd at 2 p.m. "” Linda King: Loving & Hating Charles Bukowski "”

A reading and book signing with the author
Sunday, March 3rd at 2:00 P. M.
BIRD & BECKETT BOOKS AND RECORDS
653 Chenery St, SF (415) 586-3733 www.birdbecket.com


Linda King, then a fetching young poet and publisher of the lit rag called "Purr", spent several feisty years in Buk's intimate company and carries the torch and the tongs to this day.
She's a great character herself "” a terrific woman, a really wonderful sculptor, a fabulous poet, a notable publisher in the day and a sly and eminently readable memoirist (cf, her new book of this title), and she lives in these parts these days, frequenting the store for jazz and poetry events.
You may have encountered her here and may not realize it... Neeli Cherkovski, close Bukowski friend, collaborator on the little mag "Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns" and Buk's biographer, and one of our most important local poets/essayists/novelists, will be on hand to lend a word or two in sage concurrence and playful asides.
Come and you're insured close contact with the spirit of the gruff and unlovely but oddly lovable old man himself, plus the very enjoyable company of a living treasure or two!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top