Notes of a Dirty Old Man - Open City - January 3, 1969

mjp

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underneath that gigantic and phoney and murdered tree with the second quart of I.W. Harper...

17782
 

Johannes

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The christmas tree story is in one of the novels, I believe. Most likely Post Office.

The Dostojewski part ("BROTHERS") is somewhere in the letters, probably Screams from the Balcony. Pretty sure about that.
 

mjp

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The christmas tree story is in one of the novels, I believe. Most likely Post Office.
Yes.

On Christmas I had Betty over. She baked a turkey and we drank. Betty always liked huge Christmas trees. It must have been seven feet tall, and half as wide, covered with lights, bulbs, tinsel, various crap. We drank from a couple of fifths of whiskey, made love, ate our turkey, drank some more. The nail in the stand was loose and the stand was not big enough to hold the tree. I kept straightening it. Betty stretched out on the bed, passed out. I was drinking on the floor with my shorts on. Then I stretched out. Closed my eyes. Something awakened me. I opened my eyes. Just in time to see the huge tree covered with hot lights, lean slowly toward me, the pointed star coming down like a dagger. I didn’t quite know what it was. It looked like the end of the world. I couldn’t move. The arms of the tree enfolded me. I was under it. The light bulbs were red hot.
“Oh, OH JESUS CHRIST, MERCY! LORD HELP ME! JESUS! JESUS! HELP!”


The Dostojewski part ("BROTHERS") is somewhere in the letters
Yes.

[To William Want-ling]
[Early October 1965]
thanks for the Dos thing, I will comb it like I did the same central caves of the novel, only what bothered me about Brothers [Karamazov] was this unreal division of the brothers into those cast types like chessmen, each with his own move. a wonderful diveboard for stunting but I wonder about the critics who rate the Brothers Dos’s #1 work. Crime seemed the more evil and normal and natural work. I think that Dos wanted to say a lot more than he did in Crime & but lost his guts, his nerve and his senses. a great novel, still. and since I haven’t written a nearby companion piece I had better shut up. [* * *]
 

Johannes

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To me Bukowskis letters are up there with his best work. Especially the letters of the 60s. He really exploded in all directions during this time.

It's mindblowing to me that he would send this huge letters to people everywhere, with drawings added on top, basically sending them into a void not knowing if the recipient would throw them away, tore them up, lose them, piss on them ...

Interesting tho that he put that part from a 1965 letter to William Wantling in a column in 1969. Since he didn't keep carbons he must have gotten them back. I remember him writing (in the letters too 😎) and asking different people for his letters back in the late 60s because some collector wanted to give him $$$ for them, among other things. I remember he complained that some people wouldn't return them with bullshit excuses.

Wantling obviously did return them.
 
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