On Cats

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
I wasn't counting Terror Street but there you go.

The fact that it isn't the shortest Bukowski book ever when you count the words doesn't change the skimpy, unnecessary feel of the thing. I'm not surprised it was published December 1st, it seems purpose-built for holiday giving.

I just can't come down on the side of "any 'new' Bukowski is good" when they are sold like this. A 110 page book about cats is really inexcusable when there is so much uncollected work out there that's just as good - or much better - than this stuff. Of course "good" is subjective, but trivial stuff like this just reinforces the fallacy that "all the good Bukowski work has been collected," or that he somehow lost his talent at the end of his career.

I would call it disrespect, but I don't think it's intentional. It seems more like a situation where they have Bukowski, but they just don't know what to do with him. They clearly don't understand what makes him attractive to the people who read him. Which could also be said of his previous publisher.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
When I had my first look at it, I felt like that too. A little thin and a little unnecessary.
A German publisher who had it for consideration had asked me about my opinion and I said, I would rather see this as a coffeetable-book (for cat-lovers) if properly crafted, than a book for the regular Bukowski-fan. Of course it was clear from the beginning, that all three theme-books would be sold in one packet, so if a publisher was interested in 'Writing' and 'Love', he'd have to take that one also.

At the end of the day, it was KiWi (Kiepenheuer & Witsch) who bought the books for Germany.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
Roni,

I'm not so sure about the package thing. In Spain OW was bought by Anagrama (a big publisher) and OC was bought by Visor (the main publisher of poetry in Spanish). No idea about OL, but I think it will probably end on Visor's lap.
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
In Germany there was a sort of 'blind bidding' for each title, so technically there has been the possibility that the books could end up in different hands, but I think it was obvious here for the publishers involved, that they'd deal with the whole package.
 

Pogue Mahone

Officials say drugs may have played a part
Over 1000 posts
I finished On Cats. I actually enjoyed Bukowski's early writing about cats (first third of the book). It helped me understand where he was coming from. But when he gets older and moves to San Pedro, the old meanings seem to get replaced by much more sentimental feelings -- he admits as much. But if the damn cats helped him live longer, more power to them I guess.

Having said that, an entire book on cats was way too much for me. Just like an entire book on playing the horses would be too much.

No matter what your take, forum members will definitely like reading Abel's intro to the sources section of the book.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
forum members will definitely like reading Abel's intro to the sources section of the book.
I haven't read the book yet, but I picked it up to read that intro, and it's good to have the "editing" called out, in an Ecco title no less.

The fact that anyone is talking about it at all - anywhere - is good, regardless of where someone stands on its destructiveness.

It's biblical, you know. ;) Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
 
Top